Today, standing in the rain outside the Planned Parenthood clinic on 16th Street NW in the District of Columbia, DC Mayor Vincent Gray pledged to fight back against the Republicans who are colonizing the District of Columbia. Gray got arrested and went to jail yesterday (April 11) to protest the ban on District funding of abortions for poor women – with its own money! – and the trampling of DC’s rights.
Treating poor women as expendable may be the spark that renews the movement for home rule.
The abortion ban rider was the final piece of the budget deal that resulted in the government not being shut down last week. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton applauded Gray and other DC colleagues for not letting “our President and our party” off the hook. Reports were that Obama agreed, begrudgingly, to GOP demands to restore the ban on the District funding abortions for poor women – again, with its own funds.
Her greatest outrage was for the GOP, who have “contempt for our city” and “think they can get away with anything.”
And they were fools to try this. There have been 117 elective abortions since August 2010, costing $62,300, and 73 therapeutic abortions since then, costing $125,000, according to DC officials. Scarcely a drop in the ocean of debt.
But it’s not about the numbers. “The numbers don’t seem large – but tell that to people who need this service,” said the mayor.
More foolishness. The ban was unnecessary, Holmes Norton said. Republicans got almost all the cuts they wanted. There wasn’t any reason for President Obama to cave on their demand to ban abortion funding.
More anti-women legislation is coming. Republicans want a permanent ban on abortion funding in the District – again, DC taxpayer- funded abortion services that do not use a penny of federal money.
“DC is quite ready to fight back,” Holmes Norton promised.
Go to RCRC’s website website to send a message to President Obama. The rights of DC women are not bargaining chips.