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August 04, 2015 11:20 AM UTC

Gardner's Planned Parenthood Vote: Well, Pundit Class?

  • by: Colorado Pols
Sen. Cory Gardner (left).
Sen. Cory Gardner (left).

Denver Post reporter Joey Bunch contributes the local angle to the AP’s national wire story about yesterday’s failed attempt by U.S. Senate Republicans to defund Planned Parenthood, as the brouhaha over thinly-supported allegations of the organization “selling baby body parts” continue to provoke the usual reaction from the anti-choice crowd’s usual suspects.

Including Colorado’s junior Sen. Cory Gardner, for whom the issue of voting to defund Planned Parenthood is stickier than most, after successfully outflanking attacks on his anti-choice record in last year’s elections:

Planned Parenthood Colorado Votes called out Republican Sen. Cory Gardner of Yuma for voting to defund the organization, which provides many other women’s health services besides abortions. Cathy Alderman, the organization’s vice president, said Gardner “should be ashamed of himself.”

Gardner wasn’t.

“This bill would redirect funding for women’s health care away from the scandal-plagued Planned Parenthood and toward responsible community health clinics that operate without a political agenda,” he said in response. “Funding for women’s health care must actually go to fund women’s health care, not to line the coffers of an organization under increased scrutiny for reprehensible, inhumane behavior.”

Like we said last Friday discussing this vote, there’s nothing in the videos released by abortion opponents so far that points to any actual wrongdoing by Planned Parenthood. Clinics are allowed a reasonable repayment for handling tissue donations under federal law, and the medical research carried out using donated fetal issue is both vital and (until now) relatively uncontroversial.

But in rushing to vote to defund Planned Parenthood, even before the various GOP-led and presumably biased inquiries are complete, Gardner and friends have proven that these videos are just a pretext–to do what this organization’s longstanding enemies would do anyway and have repeatedly voted to do. This vote is a validation of the “War on Women” theme that Republicans have desperately tried to discredit in recent years. The political advantage gained by firing up the conservative base is undone, and then some, by demonstrating to independents and Democrats that their fears about the GOP’s true agenda on this issue are justified.

In the absence of evidence that any law was broken, and with over a year until the next election to allow cooler heads to prevail, we believe Republicans are seriously harming themselves politically–reversing gains they had made in appealing to women voters last year.

And we’ll say it again: every time Gardner votes to attack women’s reproductive rights–and this won’t be the last before 2020–he is discrediting the entire local pundit class who pompously told women voters that concerns about Gardner’s record on the issue were overblown. From the Denver Post’s editorial board who claimed Gardner’s election “would pose no threat to abortion rights” to local talking heads like Floyd Ciruli and Eric Sondermann who helped manufacture the negative impression of Democrats’ “one issue campaign” against Gardner, there are lots of people today who should be embarrassed to show their face.

Then again, Dick Morris still gets face time for some reason.


20 thoughts on “Gardner’s Planned Parenthood Vote: Well, Pundit Class?

      1. This is about facts. You can deny your lying eyes all you want to. PP sells baby parts for profit. How many $30-$100 "fees" does it take to equal millions? A fraction of the number of babies they kill every year.

        You are defending murder. My conscience is clear.

        1. Moderatus: I think you have your facts mixed up. The illegal sale of "baby parts," which really is not happening, is an issue only for those who want to ban any and all abortions; and in doing so, impose their personal religious beliefs on all other citizens. And the unstated, but very clear, purpose of the self-proclaimed Center for Medical Progress is to discredit a major provider of abortion services, even if it's only 3% of their total budget and activities. Guess you're not real familiar with CMP. One of the long time kingpins of Operation Rescue is a leader in CMP. And, once again, there is no selling of "baby parts" for profit. You really need to stop drinking the Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity kool-aid.

          You're calling abortion "murder." Again, if one is totally anti-abortion, then maybe it is murder. However, as a real conservative, I support individual rights, freedom of conscience, and religious liberty. You may want to read Section 4 of the Colorado Constitution regarding religious freedom. Perhaps you'll be surprised.  C.H.B.

            1. This lonely joke poster can't even produce a single 'facts' regarding hired signature gatherers in the Jeffco recall.  How do you expect such a liar from knowing the 'facts' regarding heavily edited videos.  The difference between these videos and Romney's 47% is that that video was unedited.  Truth is something that the Mod believes in with religious fervor.  The problem is he doesn't have a clue what it is much less showing in his posts that he has a grasp of the context in which 'truth' is revealed.

  1. Oh Noes – you mean, Mark Udall was right?!!!!

    I wonder if there was more to it than a badly over-messaged campaign on his part – maybe most voters, male and female, would rather never talk/read/hear about abortion at all.

    It's complicated – most of us who were alive, and barely of reproductive age before Roe v Wade and legal abortion, are now past childbearing. Male and female, that's our generation.  But we have daughters and relatives and students who are still contending with these issues, even though they don't remember a time before accessible contraception and abortion.

    We remember 1/3 of our female graduating class disappearing and dropping out, the  hushed gossip and slut-shaming. Those  who worked in health care remember when complications from do it yourself abortion were one of the main causes of emergency room admissions for women.

    The post – Roe generation remembers teens who dropped out to enter special schools with parenting classes and day care centers, and then brought their adorable babies to school for everyone to admire and coo over.

    And few woman are really comfortable talking about their own experiences with abortion, miscarriage, pregnancy, all that messy female stuff. There are unvoiced emotional issues with any terminated pregnancy; I don't care how politically incorrect it may be to admit that.  In contrast to the male of the religious evangelical species, who apparently can wax eloquent (if not exactly biologically correct) on these matters all day long.

    In my roundabout way, I'm trying to explain why we were all so uncomfortable with any talk about abortion rights as a campaign issue. And yes, I agree there was too much of it in the Gardner v Udall campaign,  but for many, we'd rather not discuss it at all.

    So yes, we do need to just get over the "yuck" factor and stand with Planned Parenthood – say thank you to Bennet, Degette, and the other Dems who held the line. And perhaps a reminder to Mr. Gardner that half of his constituency remembers the bad old pre – Roe days and don't want to return there. Ever. 


  2. Dems never trusted him and the R base trusted that he was just saying what he needed to say to get elected. I doubt many if any voters voted for him because they were fooled about anything. Give it a rest, ColPols. Pointing this kind of stuff out didn't hurt him in the election and nobody's paying any attention now.

    1. So just give Gardner a pass? Fuck that. Somebody needs to say it, and I'm glad Pols isn't letting this drop. The truth still has value, at least to me.

      1. If it makes you feel better. Just as long as you know that's all it does. More useful at election time to just point out how he actually votes. That's what matters.


    Planned Parenthood receives more than $500 million annually from the federal government—around 40 percent of its total budget. The vast majority of services offered by Planned Parenthood—which are used by 2.7 million people each year—are preventive, including birth control, cancer screenings, treatment and testing for sexually transmitted infections, and well-woman exams. (Abortions consist of 3 percent of Planned Parenthood's services and are not paid for by federal dollars; the Hyde Amendment prevents any federal funding from being used for abortions.)

    "Community health centers provide really critically important services to low-income women in this country, but it's not clear all of them are equipped to provide the full range of sexual and reproductive services that women need," said Alina Salganicoff, vice president and director of women's health policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation.


    For example, many health centers give referrals for select contraceptive methods, according to a study by George Washington University examining women's health. Only 19 percent of health centers reported that their largest sites both prescribe and dispense delivery of all methods of contraception on-site. A majority—57 percent—offer implants, 34 percent offer intrauterine devices (or "IUDs") by referral or other arrangement, and 49 percent prescribe and dispense emergency contraception on-site.

    And Planned Parenthood health centers constitute 10 percent of all federally funded health centers, but it serves 36 percent of the total clients served by all centers receiving public dollars, according to the Guttmacher Institute

    1. A slight but meaningless correction. The Hyde Amendment forbids federal funds going to abortions except in the case of rape, incest, or the life of the mother. An additional rider to the budget prevents ANY Federal funds from being spent on abortion at Planned Parenthood.

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