JIM TINSLEY: As a doctor, Benishek should support Planned Parenthood

TO THE EDITOR:

Last week Dan Benishek announced that he would not be seeking an additional term as our Congressional representative and that in his concluding months he would be focusing his attention on veterans and veterans’ issues.

This a laudable goal, but almost immediately after his announcement his newsletter announced that he had written and helped pass a bill that would defund Planned Parenthood. This bill has no hope of becoming law but is part of a specious attack by radical Republicans on poor women’s right to healthcare.

Rep. Benishek likes to remind us that he is a medical doctor. In that profession, he has worked with the dedicated doctors and nurses in the Planned Parenthood clinics across his district. He has seen firsthand the wonderful results this organization has had as it works with poor women and men who would often have no access to medical care without Planned Parenthood.

The House of Representatives will soon be working on passing a budget which will prove to be especially contentious because of the Planned Parenthood issue. I would have hoped Rep. Benishek would have taken this time to stand up for his colleagues and not allow his party to vilify them before our nation or to hold the budget hostage because of a misguided and slanted portrayal of their work.

I can only remind you that federal funding for Planned Parenthood was begun by Republicans like Prescott Bush and Richard Nixon to be continued by George Bush Sr. Each of these leaders saw the merits of this organization’s impact on healthcare for the poor and for woman. They believed in Margaret Sanger’s vision of universal birth control and choice, not just in this country but around the world.

Jim Tinsley

Manistee

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