In yet another stunning display of how best can I waste tax payers’ money in the poorest state in the union,
The Reverend Governor Phil Bryant and his buddies in Jackson, Mississippi, passed a law back in 2015 to defund Planned Parenthood.
That’s probably not earth shattering news, but allow me to give some context.
Mississippi has one Planned Parenthood in the entire state. Yes, one. It is located in Hattiesburg, which is about an hour and a half southeast of Jackson. (So, that makes it about five hours south of Memphis…which means it’s not easily accessible for a lot of people.)
Also, the lone Planned Parenthood does not perform any abortions. They do offer a referral service, however.
In addition, from July 2013, to August 2015, Mississippi Medicaid only paid out $439 total to Planned Parenthood.
Of course the only logical solution to this massive problem is to enact a bill, am I right? This legislation will save the state on average $219 per year.
In April, the director of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services sent a letter to Medicaid agencies in all 50 states reminding them that they can’t cut funding to medical providers such as Planned Parenthood just because the providers might also offer abortion services.
Despite the federal warning, Bryant signed the law in May, forbidding Mississippi Medicaid from spending money with any facility that provides elective abortions, or with any entity affiliated with an abortion provider. Mississippi law, for years, has already prohibited the use of tax dollars to pay for most abortions. (Source)
The esteemed Governor Bryant stood on his self-righteous bully pulpit and saved the state from the abomination that is women’s healthcare and their right to choose! Can I get an AMEN HALLELUJAH!
In between passing worthless laws that get struck down by the courts and preaching to the choir while running the state into the ground in the name of Southern Baptist Jesus, Reverend Phil has managed to snag a few awards from the Heritage Foundation and the American Family Association (which coincidentally is based in Tupelo, Mississippi). He will need those to keep him warm at night, because a federal judge ruled the ban on Medicaid money going to healthcare providers who give abortions violates the law.
U.S. District Judge Daniel P. Jordan III ruled Thursday in a lawsuit filed in mid-June by two Planned Parenthood affiliates. The law took effect July 1.
Jordan said every court to consider similar laws has found they violate the “free-choice-of-provider” provision of federal law. Medicaid is paid by federal and state dollars.
Much like HB1523, which targeted LGBTQ in the name of religion, this bill was a colossal waste of time and resources. The state legislature loves to put on a good show, but at the end of the day, all we end up with is a gigantic legal bill and another hit to our already shitty reputation.
Mississippi had the third highest teen pregnancy rate in 2015, and the highest rate of chlamydia (including throat chlamydia, STDAware), HIV, and gonorrhea.
Given these statistics, the passing in 2011 of House Bill 999, which requires sex education to be taught in all Mississippi public schools for the first time ever, may seem like a big win. But sex education advocates see the bill as a mixed victory, since it mandates abstinence-based sex education in all public schools and limits information about safe sex. Districts can opt to teach “abstinence plus” curriculum, which includes information about contraception, but demonstrating proper condom use with an actual condom is forbidden. (Source)
We have much bigger problems, and we need more Planned Parenthoods, not fewer.