Member of the reality-based community of progressive (not anonymous) Massachusetts blogs
Longtime readers of the blog know that I have a peculiar dislike of our neighbors to the north. I was born there, so I’m allowed. There has been some progress there, like the passage of same-sex marriage in 2009 (though that’s in danger of repeal next year). But by and large, I wasn’t impressed with their education system…I was angered by the near-loss of all music and art programs in Manchester schools in my last year of high school…and I was furious when the NH legislature yanked funding out from under UNH, my alma mater, mid-year (ie after the budget had been passed and UNH started their fiscal year) which caused no end of chaos for departments, professors, and administrators, and the year after I left, their tight budgeting caused the loss of some of the best teachers in the departments of my major and minor. That was all between the years 1994 and 1999. You know. The boom years of our economy. *rolls eyes*
So the fact that New Hampshire (which I like to call “New Hamster” because the state is about as dumb as one) has managed to one-up the stupidity of its past actions, believe you me, is quite a feat. But it has. By defunding Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (PPNE) (bold mine).
Planned Parenthood has stopped providing birth control pills and other contraception in New Hampshire after the state’s executive council rejected up to $1.8 million in funding for the group” because it also provides privately-funded abortions. After losing its contract — which paid for education, distributing contraception, and the testing and treatment of sexually transmitted infections — the centers have “turned away 20 to 30 patients a day who have arrived to refill their birth control prescriptions.
Some women have told the center that the will likely “stop taking birth control because they cannot afford the higher prices charged by pharmacies” and an estimated 70 percent don’t have insurance to cover the prescriptions.
Did I emphasize enough that the public funding is not for abortions in any way, shape or form? PPNE does privately funded abortions. The public money helps them deliver other services, particularly for the underprivileged.
Let me tell you a little story as to why this makes me even madder than seeing my favorite Brit Lit professor laid off.
I’ve mentioned before that there was a period of time my husband and I were uninsured. Due to the great, fabulous “employer-based” system we have, we were employed by people who don’t give insurance - ie contracting and temp agencies. Yay for the American work environment.
Those same temp jobs (at the time) didn’t pay well (before we started working in MA, where the real jobs are). So we didn’t go to any GPs, desperately afraid of finding preexisting conditions, and not really in the fiscal situation to afford out-of-pocket expenses, anyway.
Except for Planned Parenthood. You see, I qualified for their sliding fee scale. In doing so, I could get heavily discounted birth control and GYN exams. In the case of birth control, it was a godsend.
Ever since those lowly days as a temp administrative assistant in NH, I have felt a profound gratitude to Planned Parenthood, so much so that I still use their services, as a full-paying insured client, so I can at least support them in that way. I have to hike to Boston to do it but it’s worth it to me. I do not know what we would have done without those services, and the fee help, during the first years of our life together. I would have been one of those women who would have lost access to birth control, which could have been devastating.
This is why New Hampshire is one of the stupidest, most backwards, idiotic states in the union. I will never live there again, you couldn’t pay me to educate my kids (if I had any) there, and if you are a woman, they’ll screw with your access to safe, legal birth control.
And just to kick women when they’re down:
“I am opposed to abortion,” said Raymond Wieczorek, a council member who voted against the contract. “I am opposed to providing condoms to someone. If you want to have a party, have a party, but don’t ask me to pay for it.”
Go fuck yourself, Raymond Wieczorek. No really, go and have an unwanted pregnancy because you couldn’t afford birth control, you whiny tiny-minded privileged old white asshole. Go back to the eighteenth century when you were born and get a leech treatment for your warts. The rest of us want progress, not old moldy assholes dragging us back to the Dark Ages.
New Hamster or Florida, both compete for Redneck Stupid State of the Year. By the by, Wieczorek is the former mayor of Manchester. Guess which years he was in charge??
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