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RNC Night 3: The Trump-Pence Administration’s Failed Health Policies on Full Display

PLANNED PARENTHOOD VOTES
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, August 26, 2020
CONTACT: Planned Parenthood Votes Media Office; 212-261-4433; [email protected]
Planned Parenthood Votes Pressroom


Washington, DC — Halfway through a Republican National Convention featuring misinformation and attacks on reproductive freedom and access to health care, we can expect nothing less from night three. We’ll hear from speakers with disastrous records handling public health crises, continual attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, including its coverage of sexual and reproductive health care, and trying to “defund” Planned Parenthood. No one epitomizes these cruel policies more than Vice President Mike Pence, whose utter failure leading the COVID-19 response was profiled in Politico today. Pence will undoubtedly use his keynote speech to attempt to rewrite the administration’s record on COVID-19, boast about their efforts to restrict access to reproductive health services, and hide from their many attempts to undermine our public health infrastructure. 

While the media forcefully fact-checked the disinformation coming from the second night, we know that there will be more lies this evening. Here is what you need to know about tonight’s speakers: 

Statement from Jenny Lawson, executive director, Planned Parenthood Votes:

"The stigmatization of and disinformation around sexual and reproductive health at last night's Republican National Convention are exactly what we have come to expect from an administration with an agenda of decimating health care access and eviscerating people’s rights. Tonight they’ll send these attacks into overdrive. Vice President Mike Pence can’t hide from his failure in leading the response to COVID-19, nor his hostility to reproductive health and freedom. Senators Blackburn and Ernst are complicit in this administration's immoral health policies--voting to restrict access to sexual and reproductive health care like birth control, block access to Planned Parenthood health centers, and even ask the Supreme Court to reconsider Roe v Wade. While Republicans continue to stigmatize sexual and reproductive health, Planned Parenthood Votes will continue to hold them accountable and fight for access to reproductive health care.” 

Vice President Mike Pence

  • Mike Pence has a record of creating – not solving – public health crises. In Indiana, Pence exacerbated a devastating HIV outbreak because he had personal objections to CDC-approved safety measures like providing clean syringes. 

  • Pence’s response to COVID-19 as presidential task force lead has been marked by incompetence and dangerous disinformation. His failure in leadership has resulted in nearly 180,000 people dead in the United States and a lackluster recovery in comparison to other countries. 

  • Pence has led the Trump administration’s numerous attempts to repeal the ACA, and encouraged the Supreme Court to overturn the entire law.

  • Under Pence’s direction, Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) head Seema Verma is allowing states to cut off access to Planned Parenthood health centers for people with Medicaid

  • As an Indiana representative in 2007, Pence brought the very first piece of federal legislation to a vote on the House floor to block patients from using federal health care programs (like Medicaid) for preventive care at Planned Parenthood health centers. 

  • Pence predicted that legal abortion would end "in our time" hoping that “this will be the generation” to outlaw abortion. He also told the March for Life that its movement to ban abortion is “winning.” 

 

Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)

  • Blackburn has voted 13 times todefundPlanned Parenthood, blocking access to health care for more than 16,000 Tennesseans who receive care -- like STI testing, cancer screenings, and birth control -- from Planned Parenthood health centers every year. She even called Planned Parenthood “an unAmerican, treasonous organization.”

  • Blackburn joined her most extreme colleagues and urged the Supreme Court to “reconsider” Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision which established a national right to safe and legal abortion.

  • Blackburn voted multiple times to overturn the Affordable Care Act, putting sexual and reproductive health coverage at risk, including protections for more than 2.7 million Tenneseeans with pre-existing conditions -- like asthma, cancer, or diabetes.

  • Blackburn supports a law in Tennessee that could ban abortion as early as six weeks of pregnancy, before most people know they’re pregnant, and that includes other barriers that prevent pregnant people from making their own medical decisions. 

  • Blackburn supports the Trump-Pence domestic gag rule, which limits access to comprehensive, affordable reproductive health care, including birth control, for thousands of people across the country.

 

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA)

  • Ernst supported the Trump-Pence domestic gag rule, which cut the capacity of Title X, the only federal program dedicated to affordable family planning for people with low incomes, by more than 25% in Iowa.

  • Ernst has voted eight times todefundPlanned Parenthood, blocking access to health care for more than thousands of Iowans who receive care -- like STI testing, cancer screenings, and birth control -- from Planned Parenthood health centers every year. 

  • Ernst voted multiple times to overturn the Affordable Care Act putting sexual and reproductive health coverage at risk, including protections for more than 1.2 million Iowans with pre-existing conditions -- like asthma, cancer, or diabetes.

  • Ernst joined her most extreme colleagues and urged the Supreme Court to “reconsider” Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision which established a national right to safe and legal abortion.

  • Ernst supported a six-week abortion ban signed into law in Iowa, a law that would outlaw abortion before most people know they’re pregnant.

  • Ernst supports a federal so-called “personhood” legislation, which would fully outlaw abortion and potentially some forms of contraception.

 

Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX)

  • Crenshaw opposes the Affordable Care Act, which he called an “unmitigated disaster.” If Crenshaw got his way, it would have put sexual and reproductive health coverage at risk, including protections for more than 11 million Texans with pre-existing conditions. 

  • Crenshaw supports so-called “heartbeat” bills, which ban abortion at six weeks of pregnancy, before most people know they’re pregnant.

 

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY)

  • Stefanik has voted seven times todefundPlanned Parenthood, blocking access to health care for more than thousands of New Yorkers who receive care -- like STI testing, cancer screenings, and birth control -- from Planned Parenthood health centers every year.

  • Stefanik voted multiple times to overturn the Affordable Care Act, putting sexual and reproductive health coverage at risk, including protections for more than 8.3 million New Yorkers with pre-existing conditions.

 

Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY)

  • Zeldin has voted seven times todefundPlanned Parenthood, blocking access to health care for more than thousands of New Yorkers who receive care -- like STI testing, cancer screenings, and birth control -- from Planned Parenthood health centers every year.

  • Zeldin voted multiple times to overturn the Affordable Care Act, putting sexual and reproductive health coverage at risk, including protecting for more than 8.3 million New Yorkers with pre-existing conditions.

  • Zeldin joined his most extreme colleagues and urged the Supreme Court to “reconsider” Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision which established a national right to safe and legal abortion.

 

Kellyanne Conway

  • In 2007, Conway said in a video she was going to perform an abortion using a gun to combat the suggestion that “women can’t do math.”

  • As a White House advisor, Conway used her cachet to push for administrative rules sought by her old clients when she was a pollster to restrict access to health care, including abortion.

  • As a pollster, Conway advised many anti-abortion groups, including Susan B. Anthony List, the Heritage Foundation, and Focus on the Family, as well as the Center for Medical Progress.

 

Sister Dede Byrne

  • Byrne has been an outspoken defender of the Trump-Pence administration’s policies to block access to safe and legal abortion.

 

Madison Cawthorn

  • Cawthorn says he is “unashamedly pro-life” and has called abortion “murder.” He even called Roe v. Wade “outdated and archaic.”

 

Burgess Owens

  • Owens said he wants to see the Affordable Care Act “fully repealed,” putting sexual and reproductive health coverage at risk, including protections for more than 1.2 million Utah residents with pre-existing conditions.

  • Burgess has aligned himself with far-right conspiracy theorists and has praised other extremist candidates for office who believe in absurd conspiracy theories.

  • Burgess claimed that people get abortions because they are “convinced their babies are really trash,” so they “throw them away.”

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Planned Parenthood Votes is an independent expenditure political committee registered with the Federal Election Commission.