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Family Planning Again Becomes Political Football
Date:1/27/2009

d to have asked Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), who chairs the House committee with jurisdiction over Medicaid, to drop a provision that would enable states to provide family planning to low-income families without having to seek permission from the federal government. Other outlets said he was "distancing himself" from the provision as "not part of" his $825 billion stimulus plan.

Mary Jane Gallagher, president and CEO of the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association, released a statement noting "Americans are counting on the Obama Administration and every member of Congress to make family planning a priority. Ensuring access to health care is a critical part of the stimulus bill and an important provision that we cannot afford to discard."

President Obama's political move followed a weekend of a high-decibel focus by Republicans on the family planning funding as central to their opposition to the stimulus package. House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) said that family planning spending "doesn't stimulate the economy." Conservative columnists and bloggers picked up on the theme, some raising long-discredited arguments that higher birth rates can rescue an aging society.

"If the anti-contraception forces are able to use distortion and harness a frothing media to convince Obama to jettison such a pragmatic and common-sense solution, the next few years may be rockier than we thought," commented BirthControlWatch.org blogger Cristina Page. Other bloggers have added their voices to the turn of events on family planning funds, which have been posted on www.rhrealitycheck.org.

President Obama's apparent reversal on the stimulus package provisions today has dismayed many reproductive health activists who welcomed his action last week to rescind the Bush administration restrictions on family planning funding assistance to overs
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SOURCE PLANetWIRE.org
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