Republicans in the 112th Congress started picking fights with Planned Parenthood an eighth of a second after being sworn in back in January 2011. They tried to defund it. They threatened to shut down the whole government. They spewed absurd claims on the Senate floor that were not intended to be factual. They launched bogus investigations. And they did a lot of whining and crying and teeth-gnashing.
And they lost.
Time and again, Americans made it perfectly clear that they stand with Planned Parenthood. Just ask Susan G. Komen for the Cure what happened when it dared to pull its funding from Planned Parenthood. Ask Mitt Romney what happened when he swore that if elected president, he'd get rid of Planned Parenthood. The take-away lesson could not have been clearer: Do not fuck with Planned Parenthood.
So of course the Republicans of the 113th Congress have decided that picking a fight with Planned Parenthood all over again is a brilliant move. As Laura Bassett reports:
Tennessee Reps. Marsha Blackburn (R) and Diane Black (R) separately reintroduced a bill during the first two days of the 2013 legislative session that would prohibit Title X family planning grants from being awarded to any organization that performs abortions. The bill, first introduced by former Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) in the 112th Congress, primarily targets Planned Parenthood, which receives about $340 million a year in Title X funds for non-abortion health and family planning services.By now, the myriad reasons this is just plain dumb are well known. Like how thanks to the despicable Hyde Amendment, Planned Parenthood is prevented from using any of its government funding for abortion care. Like how abortion comprises a mere 3 percent of its services anyway, which means, for those who have trouble counting, 97 percent of its services have nothing to do with abortion. Like how Planned Parenthood is the nation's largest—and in many areas, only—health care provider for low-income women. Like how we have a very long list of serious problems to fix in this country, and figuring out how to further screw over women shouldn't be one of them.
Republicans are, of course, invoking the same tired nonsense to justify their latest salvo against Planned Parenthood:
Blackburn declared the bill a priority for her committee and vowed to carry on Pence's agenda. “Congressman Pence has been a champion in the fight to protect innocent human life and I hope to continue his leadership in the House,” she said in a statement. "As a woman, I believe America deserves better than abortion."In other words, blah blah blah abortion innocent life argle bargle blah. It's as absurd this time around as it was in 2011. But there's one major difference: This time, we know for a fact that Americans support Planned Parenthood and they will punish any person, party or organization that tries to come between women and their health care. This is a fight Republicans can't win. Let's make sure they don't.