tumblr o96g5yQlgo1txjsswo1 1280llustration by Sam Woolley 

Even in the face of a life-threatening virus outbreak, the Senate cannot take their heads out of their calamine-covered asses and agree to work together. Earlier this week, the senate Democrats blocked a federal spending bill that would have provided "1.1 billion to fight the mosquito-borne Zika virus." According to the New York Times, Democrats refused to pass it because Republicans were using the bill to cut money from other programs, including "provisions that would hinder access to contraception for women and weaken environmental restrictions on pesticide use."

The bill collapsed largely because of arguments over whether funding should be given to PLANNED PARENTHOOD. Excuse the capital letter outburst, but it comes as a particular shock when factoring in the fact that those most at risk of the Zika virus are those who Planned Parenthood specializes in most....pregnant women. Those swell ultrasounds that Planned Parenthood provides are currently the only way to detect the birth defect that the virus causes, and the number one way to prevent spreading the virus through sexual contact is... you guessed it, contraception. Things that Planned Parenthood are really good at.

Sen. Chuck Schumer responded to the decision, saying, “Republicans can’t miss a chance to whack Planned Parenthood, even if their services are exactly what can help prevent the spread of this debilitating virus.”

And just to give you a refresher, let's just recap why Planned {arenthood helping in the fight against Zika goes together like Republicans and bad hair pieces.  

  • The Zika virus is rapidly spreading to the U.S, and although the virus is relatively low risk, the one group the virus is particularly threatening to is pregnant women. 
  •  In addition to thousands worldwide, 300 pregnant women in the U.S. alone have been infected. (Time.com)
  • 1 in 100 pregnant women infected with the virus during the first trimester will give birth to a baby with microcephaly, a condition causing babies to have an abnormally small head and the potential for neurological issues. (UPI.com)
  • 7 children with birth defects linked to Zika have already been born in the U.S. (Statnews.com)
  • Zika can be transmitted via a mosquito bite or through sexual contact, so protection is vital. (Time.com)
  • The virus lasts longer during pregnancy. (Time.com)
  • Frequent ultrasounds are currently the only way to detect microcephaly before a child is born. So Planned Parenthood would be a real helpful thing to have around. (Time.com)
  • Evidence suggests that women living in countries where Zika is spreading are increasingly seeking abortions, especially in places where the procedure is illegal. (Time.com)
  • Mosquitos are more likely to bite pregnant women. (Statnews.com)

Decisions are being made, however. According to statnews.com, the March of Dimes is petitioning Congress to fund Zika prevention efforts and President Obama is meeting with Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell, NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Tom Frieden to hear about the status of the response to Zika.

More from BUST

What Women Need To Know About The Zika Virus

I Had An Abortion, And This Is What It Was Like: BUST True Story

SCOTUS Finally Sides With Your Uterus

 

Courtney Bissonette is a New York based writer and improv comedienne. She writes primarily about movies, pop cultures and feminist heroes. She gets along best with old people. She has seen more old movies than your grandma, probably. Salt from Salt n Pepa once took her Trick'r Treating. You can follow her on instagram at @gddamnitcourtney or twitter @courttette

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