Defunding women’s health isn’t just irresponsible — it’s counterproductive

History is repeating itself. In April 2011, Republicans in Congress nearly shut down the government over demands to defund Planned Parenthood and limit abortion access for low-income women in the District of Columbia. Now they are again threatening to shut down the government unless Congress agrees to revoke federal funding for one of the nation’s leading providers of low-cost health care for low-income women and families. And while their attempt to defund Planned Parenthood failed in the Senate last week, you can be sure the partisan attacks on women’s access to critical health services – including by the 2016 GOP presidential hopefuls – will continue.

But the real irony of this backward tactic by anti-choice factions is this: Defunding Planned Parenthood wouldn’t just limit women’s right to abortion services; it would also prevent millions of women from accessing contraception that prevents unintended pregnancies, 40% of which end in abortion. A Guttmacher Institute study found that federal funding for family planning and other critical health care services for low-income and uninsured people, known as Title X funding, prevented 345,000 abortions in 2013.

This article was originally published in MSNBC.