The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

It’s nice to already know the Republicans’ strategy as they lurch toward the long and bumpy road to someone else’s presidency. Removes the mystery.

Their new mantra, in GOP-speak: So long, ladies.

I’ll give them this: They’re no longer pretending to care about us. Yay for them for ending that charade. They don’t want us, and apparently they’ve decided they don’t need us. Or, as Jeb Bush put it on Tuesday: “I’m not sure we need half a billion dollars for women’s health issues.”

Later, he said he misspoke — into the microphone, I took that to mean.

Last month, a fake group with a fake name released hidden-camera video it claimed showed Planned Parenthood illegally selling tissue from aborted fetuses. This was a lie. Nonetheless, Republicans heralded it as their version of proof that (a) women cannot be trusted to make decisions about their own health care, (b) Planned Parenthood — cue Star Wars‘ “Imperial March” — is the Evil Empire and (c) this is what happens when you give women the vote.

Nobody has said the last one — yet — but just remember you heard it here first when they do.

When I say Republicans, by the way, I don’t mean all you sensible conservatives out there who are shaking your heads at this latest round of right-wing extremism. I mean the right-wing extremists who claim they’re speaking for you. That must get so old.

This week, Senate Republicans tried and failed to defund Planned Parenthood, but their tent is still standing. As the Washington Post‘s Mike DeBonis reported, the show will go on:

“Defunding Planned Parenthood is now a centerpiece of the Republican agenda going into the summer congressional recess, and some hardliners have said they are willing to force a government shutdown in October if federal support for the group is not curtailed.”

Federal law already prevents Planned Parenthood from using federal money for abortions, which constitute a slim 3 percent of all that it does to help families. Most of its federal money is reimbursement for medical services to low-income women. There’s a tried and true tactic: Let’s target those least likely to fight for themselves.

In May, Gallup asked Americans to respond with either “morally acceptable” or “morally unacceptable” to this question: “How about medical research using stem cells obtained from human embryos?”

Sixty-four percent said it was morally acceptable. Every year since 2002, the majority of Americans have said the same thing.

Not coincidentally, Republicans aren’t talking about the research with fetal tissue collected with patients’ permission at Planned Parenthood. It’s saving lives, including those of babies, and giving hope to millions of people with devastating diseases.

Most of us, regardless of our politics, are grateful for this research that helped produce vaccines against chickenpox, rubella, shingles, rabies and hepatitis A.

We’re also keen on the Harvard Stem Cell Institute’s report last year that researchers “found that fetal dopamine cells transplanted into the brains of patients with Parkinson’s Disease were able to remain healthy and functional for up to 14 years.”

Think of the last 14 years of your life, or of someone you love. That was a whole lot of living, wasn’t it?

Republicans don’t talk about any of this because connecting the dots between Planned Parenthood and this medical research is definitely not a chapter that fits into their fiction. Nor do they mention that research on fetuses from miscarriages and abortions has been going on since the 1930s.

I can hear it from here: “What? Abortions in the 1930s?”

Or to quote from Sandra Boynton’s “Moo Baa La La La,” my baby granddaughter’s favorite cardboard book (this week), “‘No, no,’ you say, ‘that isn’t right.'”

Well, yes it is, but Republicans lie about it both day and night.

Katha Pollitt, in her well-researched book titled Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights, explains that, for the longest time, politicians didn’t care about abortion. Then women started to matter, politically and economically. For this, we had to pay.

“As long as women were firmly ensconced in the family as wives and mothers with few rights and little social power,” she writes, “abortion was legal or tolerated as a way to save unmarried daughters from shame, limit family size, and protect exhausted mothers from the rigors of yet more pregnancies and births. … But once middle-class white women began to emancipate themselves and get involved in public and political life … abortion took on its modern meaning of self-determination and independence and active decision making.”

Here’s a question: Why do we keep casting women’s health care as a “women’s issue”?

Don’t all the men who love women also want them to be healthy? Don’t most children benefit if their mothers are, you know, alive? Isn’t the entire country better off if our womenfolk are strong and sturdy?

So many questions, so little interest.

Or so they hope.

Connie Schultz is a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and an essayist for Parade magazine. She is the author of two books, including …and His Lovely Wife, which chronicled the successful race of her husband, Sherrod Brown, for the U.S. Senate. To find out more about Connie Schultz (con.schultz@yahoo.com) and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

Photo: Protesters gather outside a Planned Parenthood clinic in Vista, California August 3, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Blake

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Donald Trump

Image via Twitter

A year after former President Donald Trump left the White House and Joe Biden was sworn in as president of the United States, Trump continues to have considerable influence in the Republican Party. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a former Trump critic turned Trump sycophant, recently told Fox News that having a “working relationship” with Trump must be a litmus test for anyone in a GOP leadership role in Congress. But an NBC News poll, conducted in January 14-18, 2022, finds that many Republican voters identify as Republicans first and Trump supporters second.

Analyzing that poll in the New York Times on January 21, reporters Leah Askarinam and Blake Hounshell, explain, “Buried in a new survey published today is a fascinating nugget that suggests the Republican Party may not be as devoted to Trump as we’ve long assumed. Roughly every month for the last several years, pollsters for NBC News have asked: ‘Do you consider yourself to be more of a supporter of Donald Trump or more of a supporter of the Republican Party?’ Over most of that time, Republicans have replied that they saw themselves as Trump supporters first.”

Keep reading... Show less

Ivanka Trump, right

Image via @Huffington Post

As House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s select committee on the January 6, 2021 insurrection moves along, it is examining Ivanka Trump’s actions that day — especially the former White House senior adviser urging her father, then- President Donald Trump, to call off his supporters when the U.S. Capitol Building was under attack. This week, Ivanka Trump’s importance to the committee is examined in a column by liberal Washington Post opinion writer Greg Sargent and an article by blogger Marcy Wheeler.

Sargent notes that the committee’s “new focus on Ivanka Trump” shows that it “is developing an unexpectedly comprehensive picture of how inextricably linked the violence was to a genuine plot to thwart a legitimately elected government from taking power.”

Keep reading... Show less
x
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}