Our government almost shut down because of government funding for Planned Parenthood. This is the state of affairs in my country.
If you weren’t able to watch the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee hearing because you couldn’t stomach committee members’ conduct, I don’t blame you. Cecile Richards testimony is interrupted repeatedly, federal spending rules are man-splained (inaccurately…), and Planned Parenthood is criticized with data that is manipulated and improperly sourced. It’s a grotesque theater, so you’re probably smart for avoiding it. Even John Boehner, that dear soul, wanted to avoid this circus.
Since facts, data, and evidence seem to be irrelevant to those conducting this hearing, I’d like to remind all of us what’s at stake here:
- Planned Parenthood receives 40% of its funding – $528 million last year – from the federal government in the form of Title X program funds and Medicare reimbursements.
- BY LAW, none of that federal funding can go (or has ever gone) to pay for abortions.
- This vote to defund Planned Parenthood is actually unconstitutional.
- When clinics close, the impact is devastating. Ask Indiana. NO, people can’t “just go someplace else.”
- And let’s remember, the majority of Americans support Planned Parenthood (and its funding), and don’t support this Congressional nonsense.
This is a Big. Freaking. Deal. Not just how poorly Richards was treated, but also what would happen if Planned Parenthood actually lost this funding – for individual men and women, for families, and especially the government (if this is truly about spending oversight and accountability…).
And we’re not out of the woods on a government shutdown over Planned Parenthood funding. This conversation is due to start up again in December because this is a temporary stopgap, and the stakes then may be even higher.
Now some good news and funny things, to keep your head on your shoulders (because I know mine is this close to rolling off…)
- Cecile Richards is a BADASS and we should all send her our love.
- Rep. Elijah Cummings is ALSO A BADASS (and we should also send him our love). He points out how hypocritical it is that Cecile Richard’s salary is being called into question by this committee, when so many presidents and chairpersons of big corporations (who are actually found guilty of crimes… some of them many many crimes) are not only walking away unscathed but GET BONUSES following their hearings.
- Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket) and Lisa Brown donated $1 million dollars to Planned Parenthood.
- The Republican-led committee responsible for holding this hearing includes a veritable bastion of buffoons, where anything can be said by any dummy dumb dumb (yea, I’m looking at you, Glenn Grothman of Wisconsin).
- Seth Meyers, in his truly Seth Meyers way, points out how ridiculous all of this really is…
Also, Gail Collins nails it.