When asked if willing to hold up the entire federal budget over de-funding national health care provider Planned Parenthood, Indiana’s Representative Mike Pence replied, “Of course I am.”

What the Republican Party doesn’t seem to realize is that their efforts are counterproductive. While the GOP’s attack focuses on the fact that Planned Parenthood provides abortions, no federal funds go towards abortions. Tax dollars instead go to providing important family planning services and health screenings, particularly for underprivileged women who may not have access to these services otherwise. The Nation’s Melissa Harris-Perry argues on Chris Matthew’s Hardball that the GOP has twisted the debate from an economic crisis to a moral crisis.

Family planning is what prevents abortion, not pro-life rallies, says Matthews, and Harris-Perry agrees. “Let me tell you the other thing that we know tracks with the lowering of abortions,” Harris-Perry says. “When the economy gets better. When people have jobs. When people are in an economic situation where they feel that they can bear the next child.”

—Sara Jerving