A new ad from Americans for Prosperity stars a pediatrician who says that “Obamacare has me worried” about her ability to give patients the attention they need and the future of her practice. However, while the conservative group identifies Dr. Mary Ellen Gallagher as a “Family Doctor and Pediatrician,” the ad does not mention that she also has a history of attaching herself to Republican campaigns in Virginia, including Ken Cuccinelli’s bid for governor.Read more after the jump.
Issues: Reproductive Rights
Susan B. Anthony List has committed to spending at least $1.5 million on behalf of arch-conservative Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli, continuing its pattern of support for extreme politicians. Although it is named for the nineteenth-century feminist pioneer, SBA List has little to do with championing the rights of women and everything to do with ending women’s access to abortion, mostly by supporting candidates who are fiercely opposed to reproductive health choices.
Using the 2013 Virginia election as a “proving ground” in advance of 2014’s midterm elections, SBA List is testing out electoral strategies that will further President Marjorie Dannenfelser’s vision of an anti-choice “political machine” as impossible to ignore as the National Rifle Association. An ad in April from the SBA List targeting Cuccinelli’s Democratic opponent, Terry McAuliffe, was the first paid advertising of the race. Beyond its efforts in Virginia, SBA List has pledged to focus its upcoming efforts on 12 key states, eight of which will host field offices pursuing electoral and legislative goals.
In addition to backing extreme candidates like Todd Akin, who infamously claimed that women are unlikely get pregnant from “legitimate rape” because their bodies have mysterious ways to “shut that whole thing down,” SBA List supports policies in line with its leaders’ radical perspectives on birth control and sex. Instead of endorsing preventive measures that could reduce the need for abortions, Dannenfelser has illogically argued that “contraception and family planning” are responsible for increasing the number of abortions. “The bottom line,” she has said, “is that to lose the connection between sex and having children leads to problems.”Read more after the jump.
Given that Susan B. Anthony List defended Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock after their extreme comments on pregnancy in cases of rape last year, it’s no surprise they also support Ken Cuccinelli’s extreme advocacy for unnecessary and burdensome regulations that could force many of the state’s 23 abortion clinics to close.
SBA List Radio Ad Attacks McCauliffe Over Abortion Clinic Regulations. According to Politico’s “Morning Score,” “The anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List is targeting Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe in new radio ad out today—the first paid advertising so far on behalf of either candidate. In the ad, SBA List goes after McAuliffe for opposing the Virginia Board of Health’s new regulations for abortion clinics—measures McAuliffe called an ‘unnecessary move’ on the part of the state and many pro-abortion rights activists opposed as an attempt to financially cripple abortion clinics. ‘In the race for Governor…there’s one candidate who has taken extreme positions far outside the mainstream….one candidate whose radical ideas are troubling to every woman in Virginia. It’s Terry McAuliffe,’ the ad says.” [Politico, 4/23/13]Read more after the jump.
An ad from a Susan B. Anthony List super PAC calls President Obama an “abortion radical” because of his votes on several “Born Alive” bills in the Illinois Senate, his opposition to a law to criminalize adults helping minors circumvent parental notification laws as a U.S. senator, and his support for the Affordable Care Act. The ad’s most egregious falsehood is the suggestion that the health care law expanded “tax-subsidized abortions” and pays for sex-selective abortions, even though there is no federal funding for abortions in the law. Bills addressing sex-selective abortions, much like the Illinois iterations of the “Born Alive” measures, are attempts by anti-abortion activists to increase restrictions on legal abortions, while parental notification laws endanger minors in abusive or troubled homes.Read more after the jump.
From the American Family Association’s “Focal Point” radio show, hosted by AFA director of issues analysis Bryan Fischer, on August 20, 2012:
Read more after the jump.
FISCHER: So what Todd Akin is talking about is when you’ve got a real, genuine rape, a case of forcible rape, a case of assault rape, where a woman has been violated against her will through the use of physical force, where it’s physically traumatic for her, he says in those circumstances the woman’s body, because of the trauma that’s been inflicted on her, it may interfere with the normal functioning processes of her body that lead to conception and pregnancy. There’s a very delicate and complex mix of hormones that take place that are released in a woman’s body, and if that gets interfered with, it may make it impossible for her or difficult in that particular circumstance to conceive a child. That’s all Todd Akin is saying. The brute force trauma of that event may inhibit her body’s ability to have that act of rape result in conception. That’s all he’s saying and he’s absolutely right about that. [via Right Wing Watch]
Attempts to restrict women’s access to legal and safe abortion is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the conservative assault on women’s health care. Conservatives, particularly the increasingly right-wing House Republicans who rode into the majority on a Tea Party wave, have also sought to undermine and defund a variety of what ought to be non-divisive women’s health care services. Over the last year or so, conservatives have ramped up the war on women’s health care, including access to contraceptives, preventive services like cancer screenings, and programs that promote maternal and childhood health.
Title X: Birth Control And Cancer Screenings
House GOP Repeatedly Tried To Zero Out Title X Funding
In The 2011 Spending Bill, House Republicans Tried To Completely Eliminate A Program That Provides Family Planning And Cancer Screenings For Low-Income Women. From the National Women’s Law Center: “The bill to fund – and de-fund – the federal government for the remainder of fiscal year 2011, H.R. 1, passed the House on February 19, 2011, on a party-line vote (all but three Republicans voting voted for the bill; all Democrats voting voted against it). […] H.R. 1 eliminates funding for the Title X program, which for more than 40 years has provided family planning services, breast and cervical cancer screenings, and other preventive health care to low-income women in need. Title X-funded health centers serve more than five million low-income women and men each year, and six in 10 women who obtain health care from a family planning center consider it to be their primary source of health care.” [National Women’s Law Center, 2/23/11]Read more after the jump.
The arguments in favor of the new Health and Human Services (HHS) rule requiring employers to provide health plans that cover contraceptives with no cost-sharing are overwhelming. Yet, as is often the case in matters concerning women’s health and reproductive rights, what ought to be an issue of effective and practical modern public health policy has been reframed by the right as a threat to religious liberty. Despite an exception to the HHS rule allowing religiously affiliated employers to avoid paying premiums that support contraceptives by shifting the responsibility onto insurers, conservatives remain outraged. But the outside groups and politicians who persist in protesting over the issue are at odds with the American public.
The Origins Of The Uproar Over Contraceptive Coverage
The Affordable Care Act Requires New Insurance Plans To Cover Preventive Services For Free. From The New York Times: “Starting this year, insurers will be required under the Affordable Care Act to completely cover such services as annual physicals, childhood vaccinations and dozens of screening tests for everything from high blood pressure to abdominal aortic aneurysms.” [The New York Times, 9/19/11]Read more after the jump.
From Dr. Anni Bukacek’s remarks at an Americans For Prosperity “Tester Truth Tour” rally on June 19:
Read more after the jump.
I’ve given you a handout. I went from 70 slides down to about 20, and I’m not going to go through all of those slides because it would take about 5-15 minutes on each slide. So I’m just going to talk real briefly, if you look at the second slide it gives you some of the contents that I’m just gonna briefly go over, and I’m just gonna—I mean it’s really true they really are going to have access to your bank accounts. Honestly they already have that, but there is going to be more IRS intrusion, there’s going to be more rationing of care and mandated abortion, those kind of things.