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Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
Cecile Richards (PPFA)
Sigh. They're at it again. Or perhaps I should say still. This time it's Rep. Denny Rehberg, a candidate for the Montana Senate seat of Jon Tester. On Tuesday, Rehberg released his House Appropriations subcommittee's completed work on the labor, health and education budget for the 2013 fiscal year.

Amid the sharp spending cuts in the proposed legislation are some things we've heard before: no money for Planned Parenthood, an end to funding for family planning prescribed for Title X, and a provision to allow employers to deny birth control coverage to women workers under the Affordable Care Act. One increase in spending is included: extra money for abstinence-only "sex education."

If you're wondering whether they will ever give up on this theme, the answer is no. Why would they with paeans like this flying their way from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops?

Cardinal DiNardo expressed gratitude to subcommittee chairman Representative Denny Rehberg (R-MT) for his leadership in sponsoring the conscience provisions when he introduced this bill, adding, "The Catholic community and many others concerned about religious freedom will work hard to ensure that these protections are enacted into law."
The bill is likely to suffer a similar fate as the Blunt Amendment. That proposal, by Republican Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri, would also have allowed employers to deny reproductive health-care coverage to women. The Senate shot it down. But defeats don't stop Republicans. They energize them to try over again and again until they wear down the opposition or catch it on an off-day.
"It is outrageous that the majority continues to undercut women's health with attacks on Planned Parenthood and Title X and by allowing health care providers to deny women critical services," Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), a member of the labor and health subcommittee, said. "This bill is dead on arrival — it is clear the majority would rather play political games than legislate responsibly."
At the Planned Parenthood Federation, president Cecile Richards stated:
“This budget proposal is badly out of touch with the needs of American women and families. Chairman Denny Rehberg and the House Republican leadership clearly don’t think that their constituents care about their access to health care. They could not be more wrong,” said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “Eliminating vital preventive programs like the national family planning program and attacking women’s health providers will mean that millions of women would lose access to basic, preventive health services, and those are economic issues for millions of families.”
Absolutely right. They could not be more wrong.

But, after all this time, it's pretty clear they don't care what happens to the women that their policies would injure out of malign neglect. Otherwise they would stop acting the way they do. They would stop pretending that cutting off Planned Parenthood won't harm low-income women by reducing their health care options. They would stop pretending that abstinence-only programs work. They would stop pretending that they aren't proposing to give employers carte blanche to deny coverage regardless of their actual moral views. Pretending, however, is their foremost skill. Nobody ever wants to give that up.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 02:33 PM PDT.

Also republished by Abortion, Pro Choice, and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  if only we could turn MB's tag line into... (5+ / 0-)

    ...a cure for Republican dementia.

    There's gotta be a way.


  •  War on women? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, SeaTurtle, slowbutsure

    There's no stinking war on women. A female legislator from some state (I can't remember) suggested women call for abstinence---married or not. She said it would be difficult to sustain, but might be worth the effort. Maybe, since it's never going to get anywhere, we should just ignore them, and they'll give up.

    Your left is my right---Mort Sahl

    by HappyinNM on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 02:42:17 PM PDT

    •  Give up? No, MB's right on that. (6+ / 0-)
      But defeats don't stop Republicans. They energize them to try over again and again until they wear down the opposition or catch it on an off-day.
      The rightwingers are neurotically obsessive about sexual issues. And they're tapped into the 1% "Fund for Useful Idiots," so they can keep going and going like the Energizer Bunny.

      The same thing happens with environmental issues.  How many times have we rallied to save ANWR?  In a sane society, how many times would people have to rally to save a unique Arctic wildlife refuge?  Or the Everglades?


      There's a difference, though.  Even people who care about the environment, unless they're dedicated activists, only know about a fraction of what's happening and what's at stake.  But women know they need birth control.  Most women want abortion to be legal and safe in case they or their daughter needs one.  When they hear about things like the Republican leadership at Komen cutting women off from breast exams, it strikes at a very visceral level of empathy and fear.

      I think the Republicans are making a big mistake.  God, I hope so.

      --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

      by Fiona West on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 06:22:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The reasons for this obsession (0+ / 0-)

        is not because they are neurotic about sexual issues, per se (they aren't if you look to the sexual and sexualizing behavior of members of the GOP and of the groups they are trying to cultivate), but because this represents the decline of the "old order" and hierarchy.  And also because they don't believe that Dems will go to bat on these issues because it involves a language of morality, which the right wing believes they have a monopoly on.

        Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

        by a gilas girl on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 01:33:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  They should be hoist by their own, uh, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CA Berkeley WV

      petards a la Lysistrata

      one of the few surviving plays written by Aristophanes .... a comic account of one woman's extraordinary mission to end The Peloponnesian War. Lysistrata persuades the women of Greece to withhold sexual privileges from their husbands and lovers as a means of forcing the men to negotiate peace — a strategy, however, that inflames the battle between the sexes. The play is notable for being an early exposé of sexual relations in a male-dominated society
      As in "I got yer abstinence right here, Hubby", or 'A Piece for Peace in the War on Women, or no Piece at all!' Republican Sisters of Lysytrata arise!

      Just getting a handle on the knobs and dials.... Hey, don't touch that!

      by Old Lefty on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 01:18:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Cardinal DiNardo from the Galveston-Houston (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SeaTurtle, mama jo, slowbutsure, BachFan, rbird

    archdiocese. I know the man. Total [redacted] bag.

    My last fortune cookie was a The Nephew sockpuppet.

    by commonmass on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 02:44:55 PM PDT

  •  the current iteration of the RC hierarchy (8+ / 0-)

    including the USCCB have truly 'jumped the shark'.  They are the only ones who actually believe that they are speaking from a concern for values.

    Everyone else stares at them, mouths gaping open, at their arrogant attempts to establish their regressive world views, which includes protections of their vast wealth, btw, as they try to establish a theocracy.

    And in so doing, also establish an imperial papacy, just like the good old days, which can then be used to prop up the absolute monarchs of the plutocracy.

    Worked once before in the 'good old days,' why not now?

    I belong to the “US” of America, not the “ME,$,ME,$,ME,$” of America!

    by SeaTurtle on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 02:45:35 PM PDT

    •  the pain in the voice of the learder of the LCRW (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cocinero, SeaTurtle

      on Fresh Air was discernable. she figured the rest of the church had the baby thing covered so they would minister to the rest of us, you know, what vatican council ii referred to as the church.

      they are putting cardinals and bishops who turned a blind eye to pedophiles among the male clergy to teach women religious obedience. nuns have always elected their own leaders through out church history.

      obedience, not to g-d and her love, but the male heirarchy.

      yeah, i stopped going to mass. i must be a radical feminist.

      Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living~~Mother Jones

      by CA Berkeley WV on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 12:56:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Internal power struggles (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cocinero, SeaTurtle

      in institutions like the RCC are scary for the fall-out.  That's what we're seeing.

      Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

      by a gilas girl on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 01:34:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  See, but if we fully implement abstinence only... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, Calamity Jean

    'education', women will be so ignorant about their bodies, they won't even know why their belly is growing, and next thing ya know, no more abortions!

  •  Republicans ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rbird, this just in

    ...really, really hate mankind.

    They are a party of misanthropes who will use every means at their disposal to harm as many people as possible as quckly as possible.

    I suppose it has its roots in their apocalyptic religious fervor, which keeps them in a constant state of depressive rage, which translates into some unquenchable thirst for vengeance.

    Maybe some of you professional psychiatrists can weight in.

    Because I can't figure it out.

    Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate. ~ Proverbs 22:22

    by wyvern on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 03:10:20 PM PDT

  •  Just wait until Mitt's tax returns reveals (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mama jo, Fiona West

    Planned Parenthood Dobation

    Präsidentenelf-maßschach"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Ensanguining the skies...Falls the remorseful day".政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 03:11:36 PM PDT

  •  The Republican Message: (6+ / 0-)

    Don't have an abortion, because you'll get breast cancer.

    But if you're worried about getting breast cancer (the real kind, not the fake, abortion-induced strain), don't try to get screened for it - we don't want it a mandated part of your insurance, and we don't much like the people who provide them free of charge.

  •  Richard's statement (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean, martydd, mchestnutjr

    is pretty weak.  We need to call this what it is - an attack on the idea that women are fully human, possessing of rights, able to make decisions on their own about things that are no one else's business.  Our position is (or at least ought to be) that everyone is fully a person, that everyone counts.  

    Our position is freedom: the freedom of the individual over themselves (not to make others bend to their will).

    We shouldn't shy away from calling it what it is.

    Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity. Notes on a Theory

    by David Kaib on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 06:03:56 PM PDT

  •  there is another reason (0+ / 0-)

    for me to not be catholic or religious in any way. I am anti-theist.

    -9.75, -7.49 "He that will not reason is a bigot - He that cannot reason is a fool - He that dares not reason is a slave." Sir William Drummond 1585-1649

    by zamrzla on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 01:08:01 PM PDT

  •  push abstinence again-HIV in the Bible Belt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Coming up tomorrow - Even though AIDS is hitting hardest in the South of the U.S., with over half of all new HIV cases in the country, it still receives much less federal funding to fight HIV than any other region of the country. Our months-long investigation looks at the reasons for this explosion of AIDS, including the shocking lack of education about the disease and the continuing social stigma, forcing patients into almost total secrecy. Tuesday at 8pm ET onAXS TV. Click below for a preview.

    Not blaming Bush for the mess we're in, is like not blaming a train engineer for a fatal train wreck because he's no longer driving the train.

    by JML9999 on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 01:09:13 PM PDT

  •  paeans from the U.S. Conf. of Catholic Bishops (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cocinero, this just in

    When I find the magic lamp and the genii grants me my three wishes, the first one will be to remove the tax exemption from all organized religions.

    We must drive the special interests out of politics.… There can be no effective control of corporations while their political activity remains. To put an end to it will neither be a short not an easy task, but it can be done. -- Teddy Roosevelt

    by NoMoJoe on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 01:09:24 PM PDT

  •  Abstinence (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Oh, c'mon.  Even the MOST radical fundamentalist conservative republican went through periods in their lives where their hormones made them do things that they now rally against with regard to sexual activity.  This is SUCH a foolish argument.

    As we grew older, we not only learned to control our impulses but learned the consequences to our actions and as such, we became aware of what would happen when we made love to someone of the opposite sex.  I mean, geezzz, y'all.

    I'm betting that the vast majority of those that are all about abstinence are those that weren't for it in their younger years.  So, give us a break, folks.  

    This is a stupid thing to present and something that just hasn't caught on with our younger set.  And, it won't.  Again...remember when you were in your late teens?  Abstinence?  Yeah, right.

    The truth is sometimes very inconvenient.

    by commonsensically on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 01:09:58 PM PDT

  •  The GOP just can't leave women well enough alone. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sjburnman, cocinero

    You'd think that much pandering to their base would be over the top.

    But it looks like this season's spate of House GOP anti-abortion bills and its persistent attempts to dummy down sex ed and defund Planned Parenthood is so tempting, they can't leave it alone.

    I'm thinking conservatives have a problem - a pretty amazing bundle of fixations, actually!

    Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

    by TRPChicago on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 01:10:49 PM PDT

  •  I get it. Sex is only good when you lie,cheat and (0+ / 0-)


    An idea is not responsible for who happens to be carrying it at the moment. It stands or falls on its own merits.

    by don mikulecky on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 01:12:55 PM PDT

  •  Convincing teens to abstain from frakking is like (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    convincing republicans to abstain from lying. And how's that been working out?

  •  Could we please take a page from their book? (3+ / 0-)

    The right wingers never give up.  They never lose, because if they lose a short-term battle, they always bring it up again as a grievance the next time.  

    The left, and its so-called "leaders" in Congress, would do well to emulate that behavior.  That's how their forbearers passed things like the Fourteenth Amendment and the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  

    Shirley Chisholm was right. Our Republic is in deep trouble.

    by Big River Bandido on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 01:14:45 PM PDT

    •  The Left keeps coming back too. The fight for (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      this just in

      universal health care started over 100 years ago.  We still aren't there, but we've made a big step, and we worked hard for it.  And we aren't done.  THe fight to defend freedom of speech has gone on since the REvolutionary War period, and will continue.  The fight for birth control has gone on for generations now, and will continue until it's a securely established right.  The fight for civil rights has had many stages, starting long before the '60s, and it's gearing up again (see the recent NAACP convention with its focus on defending voting rights.)

      The fights will ebb and flow, though.  We can't be as relentless as the RIght in some ways, but that isn't because they're more dedicated, disciplined, hardworking, or loyal to their cause.  It's because they have better funding.  THey can build organizations, think tanks, publications, with adequate or even cushy budgets that go on year after year.  Hell, the Koch brothers funded the Tea Party.  Who funded all those wonderful peole in Wisconsin fighting to take their state back?  Well, they partly lost.  But it's not over. They'll be back too.  

      --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

      by Fiona West on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 02:37:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Repugs may wish they'd left this well enough alone (0+ / 0-)

      You are surely right:  much ground has been taken by the wingnuts through crazed relentlessness.

      They may have pissed off the wrong army in this case, though.  During the Komen issue earlier this year, the Planned Parenthood defenders were a wonder to behold:  spontaneous, legion, furious, and generous with their contributions.

      At long last, the reasonable many will fight back hard.

  •  I'd like to propose republicans try and practice (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Old Lefty

    what they preach. The party of "family values" actually abstaining from sex? That would destroy an entire industry.


    "Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Matthew 5:11

    by parsonsbeach on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 01:15:20 PM PDT

  •  images of the nanny-state (0+ / 0-)

    Präsidentenelf-maßschach"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Ensanguining the skies...Falls the remorseful day".政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 01:15:30 PM PDT

  •  They are soooooo stupid (0+ / 0-)

    The Republicans still haven't figured out that the Democrats have pretty much given up on white, working class people. Yet they continue to pull women back into the fold with their draconian nonsense.

    I'm no philosopher, I am no poet, I'm just trying to help you out - Gomez (from the song Hamoa Beach)

    by jhecht on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 01:16:09 PM PDT

  •  That Cardinal DiNardo blockquote (0+ / 0-)

    is very telling.

    I've never been completely comfortable with the "war on women" as an explanation (as opposed to a descriptor, a very apt one).  

    This gives me an explanation.  Women make good collateral damage (and important symbols/victims) in the quest to form indelible political alliances to keep the Republicans in power.


    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 01:19:05 PM PDT

  •  Just to see how they react (0+ / 0-)

    I propose offering to cut Planned Parenthood funding if they agree to kill the Bush tax cuts.

  •  All part of the Republicans "laser focus on jobs" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    this just in

    What a crock.

  •  "Relentless" is one word for them. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fiona West

    "Obtuse" is another. "Heartless" is another. "Unrepentant" works, too.

    GOP - The Party of Iago

    by psnyder on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 01:23:26 PM PDT

    •  Heartless, unrepentant. Need both. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

      by Fiona West on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 02:02:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's God's will... (0+ / 0-)

    Maybe they'll learn something from how insane Zimmerman sounds saying he has no regrets.

    They think that contraceptives interfere with God's will.  

    So do vaccinations.  I don't hear anyone complaining about yearly exams and vaccinations for children.

    How does one achieve nirvana? Lower your expectations. Problem solved. Crisis averted.

    by darlalalala on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 01:32:43 PM PDT

    •  Actually, you'd be surprised. Remember Michele (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Bachman complaining that vaccinating girls against cervical cancer would cause mental retardation or some such thing? A lot of people think vaccinations are a government plot of some sort.

      And even though it all went wrong I'll stand before the Lord of Song with nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah! -Leonard Cohen .................@laurenreichelt

      by TheFatLadySings on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 01:41:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Are you kidding? (0+ / 0-)

      Many religious fundamentalists (and sadly many anti-science types on the left like Jenny McCarthy, as well) continually decry the requirement for children's vaccinations.

      It's one reason why private residential religious school are frequently the epicenter of outbreaks of diseases like pertussis, measles, and mumps, because not a high-enough percentage of students at these schools is immunized to allow herd immunity.

  •  By the holy foreskin of her messiah, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TheFatLadySings, cocinero

    the Catholic Church wants to exert religious freedom by imposing religious tyranny on the rest of us.  Never forget the hundreds of thousands they've burned at the stake in order to protect religious freedom.

  •  BTW (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TheFatLadySings, CA Berkeley WV

    Cecile Richards was one of the keynotes at NN12 who made me cry, sitting in that dark room listening and watching.

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 01:37:15 PM PDT

  •  So, there really is an important (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    underlying issue unaddressed above and that is, I believe the connecting strand beneath all aspects of the Culture Wars.

    As a member of the 60's tribes that utterly horrified the 'mainstream' I hold us substantially responsible for the creation of the still prevailing but fractured right wing coalition of Fundamentalist Capitalism that arose to resist the change we represented, and for the subsequent election of Regan, it's Creature. We thought trying to levitate the Pentagon on acid wearing paisley and long hair was really funny, the really did not.

    Colorful anecdotes aside, the fundamental point is that the rate of change in all areas is increasing at an accelerating rate and the natural tendency of some to resist that change, to react with fear and loathing to it in all its manifestations is the driving force behind their bull-headed persistence in all their lost causes. Sex in fact DOES equal change and 'unfettered' sex equals unfettered change and that is the real enemy they are fighting.

    Not a novel observation here, but I think it does help to understand the depth and origin of their motivations. Or not.

    Just getting a handle on the knobs and dials.... Hey, don't touch that!

    by Old Lefty on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 01:43:54 PM PDT

  •  As a long time abortion rights advocate, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fiona West, antirove

    I remember telling people ten years ago that while the current fight was about abortion, the next thing they would be going after was contraceptives.

    God, how I hate that I was right.

    My dogs think I'm smart and pretty.

    by martydd on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 01:46:03 PM PDT

    •  Yes. It's been there as an undercurrent, all (0+ / 0-)

      along.  For the most part, it was only clearly expressed when they were talking or writing only for themselves, fringie righty to fringie righty.  But it was there.  They want to role back the sexual revolution, and that means the Pill as well as abortion.  

      --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

      by Fiona West on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 02:11:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We're seeing a lot of Rehberg's commercials (0+ / 0-)

    here in Montana and so far he hasn't mentioned anything about Planned Parenthood.  But he does have one of the most cowardly ads I've ever seen:  He is using his cancer stricken mother in one of his ads telling the viewers what a great guy he is.  "I have cancer and I want you to vote for my son because he is so good to me."  Rehberg also slams his opponent, Jon Tester, because "Tester" voted for Obamacare.  

    My wife, a two time cancer survivor who lost her health insurance, blew a gasket when she saw this ad.  

    "It took us a couple of days because I like to know what I'm talking about before I speak." President Barack Obama 3/24/09

    by sfcouple on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 01:51:43 PM PDT

  •  Faith-Based Initiatives (0+ / 0-)

    Is this country still shoveling money into "Faith-Based Initiatives"  that George W Bush cooked up?  If so, why?  When will that madness stop?

  •  One anecdotal reason why abstinence doesn't work (0+ / 0-)

    I'm a grown man, not a hormonal teenager, and upon seeing this picture of Cecile Richards, I immediately thought about sex. She's not particularly attractive, but it doesn't matter.

  •  planned parenthood (0+ / 0-)

    planned parenthood motto "kill em and bill em"

  •  Dear Gawd (0+ / 0-)

    people, just vote this asshole out of office.  A pink slip isn't as satifying as a baseball bat to the knees, but it will be a surer way Rehberg gets the message.  He's a louse.

    As of right now, I loathe all anti-choice politicians with an intensity greater than the radiation output of a thousand suns. 3.13.12

    by GenuineRisk on Thu Jul 19, 2012 at 07:46:41 PM PDT

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