The Republicans' War on Women still seems to be all the buzz, even though the Senate thankfully rejected the bill to defund Planned Parenthood earlier this month. All but three Republican senators had voted for it (and those who didn't vote for it said their reason was that it didn't have adequate spending cuts ... duh). But now, several GOP senators and congresspeople are speaking up against their own party on behalf of the family planning organization. I gotta say, I'm impressed!
Namely, Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown released a statement yesterday, in which he said that he did not support eliminating federal financing of Planned Parenthood. He explained:
Given our severe budget problems, I don’t believe any area of the budget is completely immune from cuts. However, the proposal to eliminate all funding for family planning goes too far. As we continue with our budget negotiations, I hope we can find a compromise that is reasonable and appropriate.
Similarly, Senator Olympia J. Snowe from Maine told The New York Times:
As a champion of women’s health, I have supported access to family planning and women’s health services throughout my career. While confronting our serious economic challenges and fiscal realities will require difficult decisions to reach more sustainable levels of government spending, the outright elimination of funding for Planned Parenthood and Title X is a step too far and would have a significant impact on access to the preventive services and screenings that have benefited millions of women nationwide.
And Congresswoman Connie Morella from Maryland wrote an op-ed in The Baltimore Sun, stating:
I cannot stand with my party leadership in their dual attempts to undermine women's health by eliminating the Title X national family planning program and prohibiting federal funding for Planned Parenthood. These efforts are bad policy and bad politics. Not only are they based on shortsighted political posturing, but they would also have a devastating impact on women's health.
Senator Lisa Murkowski from Alaska opposes the recent House bill, and Senator Susan Collins from Maine is critical of proposals that would cut funding for family planning programs.
Wow! Cheers to all of these politicians! It's not every day that you see a senator or congressperson stand up to their party. They definitely deserve credit for that.
They obviously see that cutting federal funding of Planned Parenthood would do nothing to reduce the deficit or abortions. And the tune that Mike Pence and his cohorts have been playing to underscore their campaign is seriously off-key. That's because -- and I feel like I sound like a broken record/CD/iPod, whatever -- federal law already prohibits federal funding from going toward abortion. So, if you believed differently, and figured that was a good excuse for this bill, I'm sorry to break it to ya, but you've been misled.
What's more, by calling out their own for going after Planned Parenthood, these politicians are proving that this isn't a political war that the Republican leadership has waged. It isn't a cause that the majority of Americans can stand behind, or that they would want their representatives to be spending their time fighting about in Congress. Instead, it's simply a war on women's health, a moralistic attempt to pander to an extreme faction of conservatives.
And America doesn't have the time for this monkey business anymore.
Do you commend these Republicans for speaking up against the push to defund Planned Parenthood?
Image via Women's eNews/Flickr