Cryptozoologists around the world are buzzing with excitement over the discovery of a thought-to-be extinct creature in the Midwestern state of Illinois: a Republican who supports funding Planned Parenthood. In fact, freshman Republican Congressman Bob Dold of Illinois supports Planned Parenthood and reproductive rights so much that he's introduced a bill designed to protect Title X funding for the family planning organization, and all organizations that also provide abortion services.
Dold, who was elected to represent Illinois' 10th district in 2010, says he introduced HR 5650, the Protecting Women's Access to Health Care Act, because ensuring that places like Planned Parenthood aren't discriminated against is good for America. He told reporters,
Specifically, this legislation says that when it comes to participation in the Title X program, health care providers such as hospitals and health care clinics, including Planned Parenthood, cannot be discriminated against and excluded simply because they choose to offer additional services, separate from Title X.
As HuffPo's Laura Bassett points out, Dold's likely to be a lonely right wing voice in defense of Planned Parenthood. Even though the federal Hyde Amendment prevents any taxpayer funds from paying for abortions (a stupid idea in the first place, because apparently abortion is the only thing that taxpayers can refuse to pay for on the grounds that they disagree with it. Can I propose an amendment that will stop taxpayer money from going to Dick Cheney heart surgeries?), conservatives love to argue that giving money to Planned Parenthood for any reason frees up money to pay for abortions.
But Dold disagrees. He's what's known as a "pro-choice Republican" who believes, according to his campaign website, "(abortion) very personal and difficult decision belongs to each individual woman. I support access to common-sense family planning and comprehensive sex education."
Imagine that! A politician who supports true fiscal conservatism and not superstition-based religious ideology permeating government. In a country where unplanned pregnancies cost the government $11 billion per year, widespread access to contraception and family planning services makes economic sense. Dold's a small government advocate who really believes in privacy and small government! I feel like I just found a unicorn.