Congress Must Set Aside Debate Around Planned Parenthood, No Longer Delay Funding For Zika Response
Los Angeles Times: A shameful partisan battle over Planned Parenthood threatens crucial Zika funding
“Will it never end? Crucial emergency funding to fight the spread of the increasingly scary Zika virus, which causes birth defects in unborn babies, has gotten mired in the same tiring partisan fight over contraception and reproductive health that is on endless repeat in Washington. … The delay in funding … has slowed down research and development of a vaccine … This makes the fight over Planned Parenthood more than just ideological. In the absence of a vaccine, the best defense is contraception. So attacking Planned Parenthood is not just unnecessarily provocative, it undercuts the best way to prevent Zika transmission and pregnancy among women of child-bearing age in areas rife with the virus. … Of course. It always seems to come back to Planned Parenthood. Congress must put that fight aside for another day. Today — this week — it’s about preparing for the inevitable spread of Zika and limiting its harm to humans. It’s unbelievable that this task would be up for debate” (7/8).
Washington Post: Zika arrives, Congress shrugs
“…[A]nother week of gridlock has passed, without action to combat Zika: helping states and local jurisdictions with the difficult mosquito eradication effort; researching new vaccines; improving diagnostics; and educating the public, particularly pregnant women, about the risks. Now there is little time for Congress to act before it goes on summer recess, not to return until September. … Now is the moment to set aside the maneuvering and blame-throwing and negotiate a truly bipartisan compromise — without poison pills, without cuts in other programs — to give public health officials the tools they need. The United States does not need or want a generation of brain-damaged babies. But Congress must act fast to keep that from happening” (7/10).