IF IT WAS GOOD ENOUGH FOR REAGAN…. There was a tidbit on Planned Parenthood’s wiki page that jumped out at me.

Planned Parenthood has received federal funding since 1970, when President Richard Nixon signed into law the Family Planning Services and Population Research Act, amending the Public Health Service Act. Title X of that law provides funding for family planning services, including contraception and family planning information. The law enjoyed bipartisan support from liberals who saw contraception access as increasing families’ control over their lives, and conservatives who saw it as a way to keep people off welfare.

Wait, “since 1970”? If this is accurate — and I’ve seen this date referenced elsewhere — this means that every federal budget for more than four decades has provided public funds to Planned Parenthood and the preventative health care services they provide.

That would include, by the way, budgets approved under five Republican presidents — Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush, and Bush — none of whom saw the need to scrap funding for the health organization.

Indeed, every Republican lawmaker who supported budgets under GOP administrations — a large group of long-time members, including Speaker John Boehner — voted to fund Planned Parenthood, over and over again.

Nothing has changed as far as the organization is concerned. The only thing that’s changed is the radicalism of new Republican Party, which seems inclined to shut down the government rather than allow working-class and low-income women from accessing contraception, family planning services, pap smears, cancer screenings, and tests for sexually-transmitted diseases.

I guess the question then becomes, if Planned Parenthood funding was good enough for Reagan, and the Republicans who voted for Reagan-era budgets, why is it beyond the pale now?

Update: Barry Goldwater championed Planned Parenthood. He was also known in his day as “Mr. Conservative.”

Second Update: Planned Parenthood was also celebrated by George H.W. Bush.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.