Officials with the Louisiana state department of health recently told a federal judge that dentists, cosmetic surgeons, and nursing home caregivers are qualified to provide the same services currently being delivered by Planned Parenthood in the state.
But US District Court Judge John deGravelles was more than a bit skeptical of their claims, remarking:
“It strikes me as extremely odd that you have a dermatologist, an audiologist, a dentist who are billing for family planning services. But that is what you’re representing to the court? You’re telling me that they can provide family planning and related services?”
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal recently made a push to strip $730,000 in Medicaid reimbursements from the state’s two Planned Parenthood facilities last month shortly after the release of a series of extremely specious videos by the anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress.
The hearing before Judge deGravelles is part of Jindal’s continuing efforts to eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood in Louisiana as he also seeks to bolster his image among potential voters in the 2016 GOP primaries. Jindal is currently falling like a stone in the polls.
Other conservatives in Louisiana, including GOP Senator Bill Cassidy, have called for Planned Parenthood’s federal funding to be eliminated entirely. Cassidy has repeatedly argued that there are 100 clinics “scattered all over the state” capable of serving Planned Parenthood patients.
However, a listing issued by the state this week shows that only 29 providers can do so, including just 24 offering the same range of services as Planned Parenthood. Of the providers listed in the new filing, one is not taking new patients for breast cancer or cervical cancer screenings, three offer some contraception services, and two have wait times ranging from two to seven weeks.
So the next time you’re at the dentist’s office, you might want to go ahead and see if you can also acquire some contraception. Imagine the look on your dentist’s face when you ask him or her to set you up with an IUD!
This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org.