Yesterday, Mitt Romney, desperate, alone, and faced with the horrifying possibility that 9 months from now, he might not be the President-elect, promised supporters that he'd "get rid of" Planned Parenthood. Just eliminate the whole thing. No one has to know. By this time next year, it'll be like this whole "providing affordable, federally funded health care to women" thing never happened.
The comments came during an interview with a Missouri TV station. Mittens is campaigning in the lead up to the Show Me State's primary in the hopes that he'll be able to convince voters that he's the awkward robot programmed to President best. And boy oh boy gosh darn gee whiz y'all oh boy does he want to be President badly. So badly that he'll pretty much say anything at this point.
During the interview with KSDK, he presented his plan for fixing everything: drill for more oil, get rid of the Affordable Care Act, and, most important of all: "Planned Parenthood? We're gonna get rid of that." He knows a doctor who will help, a few towns over. No one will have to know. It's safe.
With that proclamation, Romney's made a complete 180 degree turn from where he said he stood on Planned Parenthood a decade ago. As a candidate for Massachusetts governor, he filled out a Planned Parenthood-sponsored candidate survey attesting that he believed in using Medicaid funds to help poor women get abortions and increased availability of emergency contraception, and that he wasn't against a state law mandating that employer-sponsored health care plans cover the cost of contraception.
But ham-fisted pandering aside, Romney's suggestion that the country "get rid of" Planned Parenthood would be laughably ineffective at balancing the budget. Not only is it impossible for a President to "get rid of" the independent health care provider, cutting all federal funding to the organization would only result in a 0.01% decrease in the overall federal budget. Further, 2/3 of Planned Parenthood's budget comes from sources other than the federal government, and thanks to the Hyde Amendment, no federal funding finances abortion services; rather, tax money for Planned Parenthood finances preventative care for low income women and men. And that's how Romney's campaign evolved from a promise to bring socially moderate fiscal conservatism to the Whit House to a promise to make it more difficult for poor women to get pap smears, breast cancer screenings and contraception while cutting taxes for Romney's NASCAR team owning, "couplea Cadillac" driving millionaire friends.