April 04, 2017
We get a lot of email here at the Independent, so I nearly overlooked this op-ed from Planned Parenthood's Sarah Taylor-Nanista. The PP exec gives an interesting perspective on President Donald Trump's U.S. Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch.
As you likely know, Democrats have the numbers to filibuster the Colorado judge's confirmation hearing in the Senate, though Republicans plan to use the "nuclear option" to overcome that filibuster and confirm Gorsuch. The showdown is already underway.
U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, D-Colorado, has said he will vote with Republicans to end the filibuster, though he hasn't said whether he'll vote to confirm Gorsuch. Taylor-Nanista makes the case for Bennet to vote "no":
I love the bronze statue Fearless Girl that faces the Charging Bull of Wall Street in New York City. The look on her face is priceless – defiant, brave, ready to take on all the difficulty of life.
It’s an expression we all recognize – I see it daily on the faces of staff members, patients and volunteers at Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains. Fearless Girl embodies how we feel as an organization, standing in opposition to the new administration, and most recently to Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch.
Our opposition is on behalf of our clients – as a health care provider to tens of thousands, we believe that Judge Gorsuch has taken active stands that give corporations religious rights over individual’s access to birth control (Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius and Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged v. Burwell). He has refused to answer crucial constitutional questions or elaborate on his judicial philosophy during his hearing in the Senate.
His alarming history of interfering with reproductive rights and health care will affect Coloradans’ real lives. Every day, we see the need for access to life-saving cancer screenings, STD testing and treatment, cancer wellness exams, preventive health care and birth control. Last year, more than 70,000 people were treated at our Colorado health centers, including our health center in Colorado Springs. Colorado needs MORE access to health care, not less. Judge Gorsuch’s past shows he’s willing to stand in between medical providers and their patients.
We don’t look at access to health care as theoretical, academic or corporate. It’s deeply personal to every single one of our patients. Our patients don’t come to us for political reasons – they come because we are a trusted provider they know will give them compassionate, confidential, high-quality care. And we know that most Americans agree with us. Poll after poll demonstrates that people overwhelmingly support Planned Parenthood and our work.
Planned Parenthood stands in opposition to Judge Gorsuch. And just like Fearless Girl, we stand up to power, especially for those who wouldn’t otherwise have a voice.
If you agree that everyone needs access to health care no matter where they live or their situation, then please call U.S. Senator Michael Bennet at (202) 224-5852 and tell him to vote against the nomination of Judge Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.
Be fearless with us and stand up to power.
Sarah Taylor-Nanista is Vice-President of Public Affairs for Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains and Executive Director for Planned Parenthood Votes Colorado