New York — Despite three nationa lpolls in two weeks that show the majority of American voters stand with Planned Parenthood, veto threats by President Obama, a failed vote in the Senate, and now Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s insistence on “no more government shutdowns,” key Republicans show no signs of slowing their unrelenting lemming march toward shutting down the government in order to block millions of women from accessing birth control and cancer screenings.
Statement from Eric Ferrero, Vice President of Communications for Planned Parenthood:
“The GOP leadership has demonstrated a record of deep hostility to women's health, but this is ridiculous. Of all the things controversial enough to shut down the federal government, a woman’s regular Pap smear shouldn’t be one of them.
“Yet increasingly, and in defiance of the president of the United States, the U.S. Senate, the American people, the House Minority Leader, and generally all forms of reason, key members of the GOP are taking a stand — against birth control, against lifesaving cancer screenings, against STI testing and treatment, and against well-woman exams. There are very few issues that inspire the far-right into such a relentless, well-coordinated, defiance of both public opinion and political reality. Yet when it comes to preventing low-income women from accessing basic health care, it seems there’s no limit to how low they’ll stoop.
Recently, GOP presidential candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz have called for a government shutdown if Congress and the president refuse to block Planned Parenthood’s nonprofit health centers from serving the millions of individuals who rely on publicly funded health care programs.Senator Rand Paul has refused to say whether he would shut down the government over Planned Parenthood, whileSenator John McCainandSenator Jame Inhofe have both indicated that they are both willing to go that far. Additionally,18 House Republicans, have explicitly said they would not support a bill, that does not block Planned Parenthood from receiving federal funds.
Donald Trump: While on the Hugh Hewitt show,“Donald Trump said he believes Republicans should shut down the government rather than fund Planned Parenthood....” [CNN, 8/4/15]
Senator Ted Cruz: Ted Cruz has vowed to “use every tool available to stop funding what appears to be a criminal enterprise.” [POLITICO, 8/4/15]
Carly Fiorina: While on the Hugh Hewitt show, Carly Fiorina was asked whether Republicans in Congress should shut down the government and Fiorina told Hewitt: “I apologize for not answering your question. They should close the government down.” [Real Clear Politics, 8/4/15]
Senator John McCain: Senator McCain said: "I don't like a government shutdown. But this is a clear case of totally improper use of taxpayers' dollars. I have an obligation to the taxpayers of Arizona." [NPR, 8/4/15]
Senator James Inhofe: “I would support anything we could to [defund Planned Parenthood].” [Bloomberg, 8/4/15]
Not every Republican opposes the care Planned Parenthood health centers provide --- in fact, Randall Moody, former top aide to the late Republican U.S. Reps. John Y. McCollister and Virginia Smith and to the late U.S. Sen. Roman L. Hruska, just wrote in theCleveland Plain Dealer:
“I have watched my party take this path before — and lose. The Republicans in Congress tried this in 2011. It didn't work then, and it isn't going to work now. The American people, and many other Republicans like me, want their elected leaders focusing on fixing the economy and creating jobs, not pushing an extreme personal agenda that hurts women.”
A recent NBC/The Wall Street Journal poll released this week further underscored that Americans stand with Planned Parenthood — showing that Planned Parenthood rates most favorable with American voters — higher than both political parties, the NRA, the Supreme Court, and all leading 2016 presidential candidates. It also further underscores another recent national poll from Hart Research, which showed that not only do a majority of American voters not only oppose defunding Planned Parenthood, but see opposition to Planned Parenthood and the care it provides as a reason to vote against a candidate for office, as well as a YouGov poll released today that shows a majority of Americans have a favorable opinion of Planned Parenthood.