As the Glenwood Springs Post-Independent’s John Stroud reports, the decision this week by Garfield County’s Republican commissioners to eliminate a small grant to Planned Parenthood in support of a health center in Glenwood Springs is…well, it’s tough to imagine this response from the community is what they had hoped for:
A grass-roots fundraising campaign has raised more than $13,000 for the Glenwood Springs Planned Parenthood clinic in response to a politically motivated decision by Garfield County commissioners earlier this week to cut a grant to the organization.
Organizer Ashley Johnson of Carbondale indicated on her GoFundMe.com webpage that the goal of the campaign is now $15,000. If successful, that would be 10 times the amount of the $1,500 county human services grant that was eliminated by commissioners on Monday.
That decision, led by Commissioner Tom Jankovsky over his concerns about what he referred to as “partisan, political” messages being sent out by Planned Parenthood’s political advocacy affiliate in Colorado, prompted significant public reaction on social media after the story broke in the Post Independent.
The grant that was to go to Planned Parenthood’s Glenwood clinic for cancer screening was part of a package of 2016 county human services grants totaling more than $430,000.
Now, some of you might think, and not without justification, that this successful backlash fundraising drive plays into the hands of Planned Parenthood’s opponents–who argue that the organization “doesn’t need” a dime of public funding for cancer screenings or anything else. But the fact is, these grant funds helped Planned Parenthood perform a valuable service to the local community, which is why they have been distributed to the organization for decades. And without this denial by GarCo county commissioners, there would be no controversy to raise funds off of.
For these reasons, the political damage to Garfield County’s Republican commissioners far outweighs any actual harm done to Planned Parenthood. The cornball excuse from GOP commissioner Tom Jankovsky that Planned Parenthood is sending out “partisan” emails, which he then uses to justify doing exactly what those emails say Republicans do, simply protests his own guilt. And once you factor the community rising up and raising ten times the amount of the grant that was eliminated?
Like the entire summer of “Fetuspalooza,” we just don’t see how any of this is helping the GOP.
Unless their goal really is to help Planned Parenthood.