Senate democrat’s struggle to include Planned Parenthood funding within Zika bill ends, but at a terrible cost
A Congressional delay to fund Zika virus research and treatment that lasted nearly eight months has ended, but at a steep price to other health programs funded by the government.
Senate democrats repeatedly blocked a bill that would provide vital funding to fight Zika and isolate the spread of the virus into other Gulf States. In every case, democratic leaders like Harry Reid hindered efforts to fund the bill after Republicans refused to include millions of dollars in Planned Parenthood funding as a part of the Zika bill.
While Democrats stubbornly demanded the inclusion of a Planned Parenthood provision in the Zika bill, other government programs have suffered. First, the President was forced to take nearly $600 million from the fight against Ebola in West Africa, a virus that has killed 11,000 people in Africa since 2013. Money was reallocated from cancer, heart disease, and mental health research in order to pay for ongoing Zika research.
Meanwhile, as democratic lawmakers refused to budge on their Planned Parenthood provision, the Zika virus prospered and spread with little resistance. Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institute of Health admits that the recently released funding has finally allowed scientists to move forward into a second phase of vaccine testing. No one will ever know how many babies are born with birth defects because of political maneuvering by representatives insistent upon funding contraception and abortion programs.
But were House and Senate Democrats concerned about the spread of Zika via sexual intercourse, or were they simply seeking a back door means for empowering abortion clinics across the US?
Statistics tracking the spread of Zika appear to support the latter premise. The CDC reports that within the US there were 3,625 confirmed cases of Zika virus as of September 28, 2016. Of these thousands of cases, a paltry 30 individuals, or one in 125 infected persons, have contracted the virus through sexual transmission. The vast majority of victims are infected by mosquito bites.
Despite these meager figures, and the growing national public health emergency, democrats insisted upon funneling tens of millions in taxpayer dollars to Planned Parenthood.
A statement from Senator Jon Tester best characterizes the misleading and hypocritical rhetoric originating from some lawmakers. He called the Zika virus, “…a sexually transmitted disease,” and added that, “This is serious business and we shouldn’t be playing political games.”
In the end, Democrats were forced to accept a bill that only funded Planned Parenthood in Puerto Rico. There is no reliable data to indicate just how many persons in this tiny island nation have been infected with Zika via sexual transmission. However, if the US model is any indicator, the numbers may be described as insignificant, negligible, and inconsequential. Yet to liberal politicians, these infinitesimal numbers were enough to block the passage of a bill that would provide desperately needed vaccines.
Look for abortions in Puerto Rico to rise dramatically in the coming months.