Women in Congress Should Never Have to Filibuster Again Over Reproductive Health
Let’s be clear: Monday’s U.S. Senate debate on defunding Planned Parenthood wasn’t about the use of fetal tissue for research and whether we agree with that practice. It wasn’t about the sham attempts of a group connected to a known felon to make it appear as though Planned Parenthood had violated the law. It wasn’t about hidden cameras. In fact, it wasn’t even about whether federal funds should be used to fund abortion care, given the Hyde Amendment’s prior prohibitions on the use of federal funds for that purpose. Monday’s vote wasn’t about any of that.
Instead, the vote was about creating a vivid and age-old archetype, with an evil villain and the heroes who have come to conquer it. The vote represented political posturing of the worst kind. It was about embarrassing and demonizing a century-old provider of compassionate health care — including reproductive health services — to score conservative points. It was about conservatives who are desperate for an electorate to see Planned Parenthood as a fire-breathing dragon, and themselves as the heroes who slay it.
It is unconscionable that politicians are willing to sacrifice the health care of the 2.7 million Americans, the vast majority of whom are women, who rely on Planned Parenthood for basic health services in order to achieve political notoriety, to score points with an electorate that they know will be fired up by demonizing this organization. But it happened on the U.S. Senate floor Monday. And it happened again Monday night at the New Hampshire Republican presidential candidate town hall. It was sickening to watch.