Likely GOP nominees for president took center stage at Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition Spring Kick-Off on Saturday, where they said just about anything — including outrageous attacks on abortion — to appeal to an extreme faction of the Republican Party. With their anti-abortion vitriol, it’s clearer than ever that these presidential contenders are competing in none other than a race to the bottom on women’s health.
Here are three of the most backwards bravado and despicable attacks on women’s health that these gynoticians displayed at the event. (Spoiler: Reading these may cause you to want to tear your hair out.)
1. Jeb Bush Wants to Defund Planned Parenthood
Jordan Sekulow, senior advisor to former Florida governor Jeb Bush, confirmedBush’s support in defunding Planned Parenthood.
"We have got to defund Planned Parenthood, by the way, and Gov. Bush supports those efforts.”
They’ve “got to” defund Planned Parenthood? That’s essentially saying they’ve “got to” undermine women's ability to receive basic, affordable health care (including cancer screenings, well-woman exams, and birth control). It’s also like saying they’ve “got to” deny preventive health care to the 80,000 women, men and young people in Florida who go to Planned Parenthood — 61 percent of whom are in rural or medically underserved areas.
2. Scott Walker Supports Defunding Planned Parenthood, Too
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker says that he ALSO wants to deny women, men and young people access to the affordable, lifesaving preventive care that Planned Parenthood health centers provide.
“In our first budget, we defunded Planned Parenthood in the state of Wisconsin,” he said at Saturday’s event.
It’s true. Scott Walker did make Wisconsin one of the most difficult states to access safe and legal abortion, in part by forcing five rural Planned Parenthood health centers to close. That resulted in the disruption and loss of health services (including lifesaving cancer screenings, breast exams, birth control, well-woman exams, pregnancy tests, STD testing and treatment, HIV screening, and referrals to a network of community resources) for approximately 3,100 patients.
3. Bobby Jindal Brags about His Ignorance on Birth Control & Abortion
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal publicly stated his support for businesses like Hobby Lobby to deny birth control access to their employees — and, in the same breath, showed his ignorance of how birth control actually works, erroneously linking birth control (which prevents pregnancy) to abortion. He also mischaracterized how Obamacare works (hint: it does not force employers to “pay for” abortion — or even birth control, for that matter).
"We’re seeing an unprecedented assault on our religious liberty rights…. [It] didn't start in the Hobby Lobby case where the Obama administration wanted to force the Green family to use their own money to pay for abortifacients, to pay for abortions that violated their sincerely held religious beliefs,” Jindal said at the event.
Let’s get one thing straight: Women deserve access to affordable birth control coverage. That should be even more apparent to Jindal, whose state already has a vast, unmet need for women’s health care.
Sign the Gynotician Petition
If you’ve got one hand ready to smack your own head, here’s an even better use for it: Sign our gynotician petition. Signing on tells politicians like the ones quoted above to leave women’s health up to the real experts: women and their doctors.
It also shows them something else they need to know: Women are watching. And we vote.