Such a delightfully cynical little stunt.
Thirteen Republican members of the Texas congressional delegation wrote a letter to President Obama protesting the administration’s decision to phase out funding for the Texas Women’s Health Program.
The administration took the action after the Texas Legislature voted to ban all state funding to Planned Parenthood to protest the group’s abortion services. None of the federal money in question is used for abortion services, and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services says Texas is not permitted to discriminate against health-services providers.
“We are concerned that your decision to deny this waiver is not being driven by concern for the health of Texas women, but by your insistence at [sic] supporting a pro-abortion agenda, something the Texas Legislature has statutorily forbidden the state of Texas from following,” the lawmakers wrote.
Of course, none of these gentlemen (the list of signatories did not include the lone woman among the GOP Congressional delegation, Rep. Kay Granger) made a peep of protest when the Republicans in the Legislature slashed spending on the Women’s Health Program and blocked bills that would have continued it. I certainly don’t recall any of them protesting when the Bush Administration denied the same waiver request back in 2005; back then, Texas acceded to the federal government’s edict and life went on. And of course on matters like the sonogram bill and the Blunt Amendment and every petty little attack on women’s health that this Congress has become reviled for they took or would have taken the anti-woman side. And as a sign that the divide on this is more than just partisan, here’s another Texas Republican woman who didn’t sign on to this letter:
During an interview on MSNBC [Thursday] morning, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) voiced rare support for Planned Parenthood, noting that the organization provides much-needed preventive care to low-income women. The outgoing Texas senator also condemned a recently-enacted Texas law that prohibits Planned Parenthood from participating in the Medicaid program and providing health care services to some 130,000 women.
There’s a transcript and video there and at the Trib. While it’s true as Kaili Joy Gray says that KBH hasn’t exactly been a staunch advocate for reproductive freedom – I don’t recall her making any noise about those other items, either – she has been better than many of her male peers, however low a bar that is to clear. And it must be noted, this is an opportunity for her to stick a shiv into Rick Perry, which I’m sure was irresistible. Nonetheless, she now stands apart on this, and by doing so clearly shows how far out these yokels are. Nicely done, Senator.