Jeb Bush Says Planned Parenthood Is Not Doing Anything For Women’s Health Issues

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jeb-bush-planned-parenthoodJeb Bush thinks the U.S. government is spending too much on women’s health issues already, and today he added that Planned Parenthood does not deserve federal funding because “they’re not actually doing women’s health issues.”

Putting aside the grammatical weirdness of the phrase, “doing women’s health issues,” it is unclear what the heck Bush is even talking about. Does he think Planned Parenthood is a party-planning service? They are explicitly dedicated to women’s health services. In addition to abortions–which are not funded by the government, are a very small part of what Planned Parenthood does, and are a good thing that should be available to women who choose to have them–Planned Parenthood provides essential services like cancer screenings, STD screenings, and contraception. In particular, it provides those things to women who might not otherwise be able to get them. Many of us know or have been uninsured women who have used Planned Parenthood for birth control because there were no other affordable options. But still, Bush apparently thinks Planned Parenthood does not provide health services for women.

“I for one don’t think that Planned Parenthood ought to get a penny though, and that’s the difference because they’re not actually doing women’s health issues,” Bush said this morning in Englewood, Colorado, according to Mashable. “They are involved in something way different than that.”

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(Via Giphy)

The Hillary Clinton campaign issued a quick rebuttal, pointing out that Planned Parenthood does 900,000 cancer screenings and 4.5 million tests and treatments for sexually transmitted diseases in a year.

“What does Jeb think cancer screenings, STI tests and treatments, birth control, and prenatal care are?” the Clinton campaign wrote.

Mashable points out that while Bush says Planned Parenthood is not “doing women’s health issues,” it wouldn’t really matter if he thought it were, because he said earlier this month that women’s health issues are overfunded in the U.S.

“I’m not sure we need half a billion dollars in funding for women’s health programs,” Bush said. “If you took dollar for dollar, there are many extraordinarily fine organizations, community health organizations that exist, federally sponsored community health organizations to provide quality care for women on a wide-variety of health issues.”

It’s a bewildering statement, considering that contraception and improved access to healthcare for women, especially young and poor women, is an effective way of saving money and reducing abortions. Colorado’s groundbreaking program to give free IUDs to young and low-income women was an enormous success, saving a reported $5.85 for every dollar spent, and reducing the number of abortions by approximately 40 percent. One would think a rational person concerned about money and reducing the number of abortions would want to provide more funding for women’s health and contraception, not less.

(Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)