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Paul Ryan Budget Proposal Riles Political Feminist Campaign

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By Stephanie Samuel, Christian Post Reporter
July 7, 2011|5:57 pm

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is defending his budget plan Thursday amid negotiations to raise the debt ceiling.

Ryan, chairman of the House Committee on Budget, told Fox News this morning that he is confident in his proposed budget and plans to hold a Facebook town hall meeting tonight to explain and defend his ideas.

The House Budget Chairman proposes $6.2 trillion in federal spending cuts to entitlement programs including Social Security and Medicare over ten years. Republicans have supported the plan and pushed to restrict Title X funds to Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.

The Title X Family Planning Program is a federal grant which provides comprehensive family planning and related preventive health services for low-income, uninsured individuals.

But Ryan's budget is the target of New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's women political movement, Off the Sidelines.

Off the Sidelines is rallying women to get politically active in hopes that they will stand up to Ryan's budget plan, which would prevent federal funds from going to the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood.

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Gillibrand encourages women in a video message, "We can and will have at least half of the seats in Congress. We can and will have at least 25 governorships."

What does she want to do with this new army of Congresswomen and female governors? To challenge the proposed Republican budget and GOP efforts to cut Title X funding to Planned Parenthood.

She charges in a video posted on the group's “About Us” page, "The goal of the Ryan budget is to defund all of Title X under the auspices of keeping federal money from paying for abortions."

In fiscal year 2010, Congress appropriated approximately $317 million for family planning activities supported under Title X, reports the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Abortion provider Planned Parenthood was among the recipients for those funds.

Gillibrand, a Democrat, argues that it is already illegal for the federal government to fund abortions and the GOP legislation is really a threat against women services such as pre-cancer screenings, prenatal care and pap smears.

The New York senator also reminds women that she is one of only 17 female senators in the current U.S. Senate. Only 39 women have ever served in the U.S. Senate.

Currently, women hold 22.1 percent of available state-elected offices, down from 27.6 percent ten years ago, according to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University.

Congress needs more women to protect their interests, argues Gillibrand.

Since being re-elected to take the seat once held by Hillary Rodham Clinton, Gillibrand has been using her resources to advance the feminist cause.

Gillibrand has used her network of donors to help newcomers such as Democrat Rep. Kathy Hochul get elected in special elections.

Now she is urging more women through the Off the Sidelines campaign to add their names to the ballot in a new brand of political feminism.

"Only when every woman and girl fulfills her God-given potential can America fulfill hers," Gillibrand proclaimed in an Off the Sidelines video.

However, it is women who are leading pro-life efforts to restrict federal Title X funding to abortion providers. In fact, pro-life groups such as Concerned Women for America and Susan B. Anthony List assert the chief motive behind their efforts is to protect women.

SBA List, named after the women's suffrage movement leader, advocates a pro-life brand of feminism which also welcomes increased women leadership on Capitol Hill.

 

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