Missoulian OpEd: U.S. Senate race: Vote Tester, for women’s health

The choice couldn’t be clearer. Rep. Denny Rehberg uses his position to target women and families, and turns access to basic health care into a political bargaining chip. Sen. Jon Tester, however, stands up to these misguided political machinations, and stands strong for women and families in Montana and across the country.

The recent budget negotiations are a perfect example. Rehberg, as chairman of the Human Services Subcommittee, proposed a budget that:

■ Eliminated the Title X family planning program (cancer screenings and contraceptives for low-income women and families);

■ Prohibited Planned Parenthood from participating in federal programs to provide preventive health care, including birth control, cancer screenings, annual exams and STD testing and treatment; and,

■ Included the Stupak abortion ban (taking away health insurance coverage women have today).

Tester said “NO” to each of these, and was instrumental in ensuring these extreme proposals were rejected. In a year where budget-cutting for critical programs was very popular, Tester helped restore 99 percent of funding for Title X.

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