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Standing Tall For Planned Parenthood

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Standing Tall For Planned Parenthood

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Seeing as it’s still all too common to depict a determined woman as an angry one, let’s be clear on who did and did not yell at the congressional hearing Tuesday.

The headline in The Hill read, “Republican gets into shouting match with Planned Parenthood executive.”

Alas, this is no closer to the truth than Carly Fiorina’s screed of lies about a video that she did not see because it does not exist. To cast this particular exchange at Tuesday’s five-hour congressional hearing as a “shouting match” is to suggest that both people were wild-eyed fanatics. This was not the case.

Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards was her typically calm, rational self trying to answer a question as U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan — from Ohio, I’m embarrassed to say — repeatedly yelled at her.

In contrast to Richards’ poise, Jordan’s performance looked like a bad audition for the junior class play. He was busy with hand signals, pointing and raising his palm to her as she tried to speak. He also did everything he could, short of cutting off her microphone, to stop her from talking. By my count, Jordan silenced her 15 times during testimony that lasted 5 minutes, 34 seconds.

So many women know that ex-husband.

Had I been in attendance at the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing, I might have had a hard time stopping myself from standing up and shouting, “Who raised you, son?” Jordan is only seven years younger than I, but he was acting like one of the neighbor boys my mother warned me about when I was about 12.

Virginia’s Rep. Gerry Connolly sounded equally appalled in his summary of what he’d just witnessed:

“I hope every American woman is watching today’s hearing, because just the visuals, as well as the audials [sic], tell you a lot. My colleagues have said there’s no war on women. Look at how you’ve been treated as a witness. Intimidation, talking over, interrupting, cutting off sentences, criticizing you because of your salary. […] The disrespect, the misogyny rampant here today tells us what is really going on here.”

Rep. John Duncan, perhaps mindful of the optics of the hearing, said to Richards, “Surely, you don’t expect us to be easier on you because you’re a woman.”

“Absolutely not,” she responded. “That’s not how my mama raised me.”

That mama was the late, great Ann Richards, the feminist of withering wit and deadpan delivery who was elected governor of Texas in 1990. She died in 2006, but she left us in good hands by launching Cecile into the world.

Her daughter, momentarily uninterrupted: “It’s a shame to think that there are people in this country who are so committed to ending women’s access to both birth control and safe and legal abortion that they’ll really resort to any means to try to entrap people, twist the truth, in order to reach their ends. […] Why I’m here voluntarily today is that the facts are on our side. We’re proud of the health care that we deliver every single year despite the animosity by some, and we’re grateful that the American people (stand) with Planned Parenthood, as I think the Wall Street Journal poll showed last night.”

The Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll that Richards mentioned at the hearing found that 47 percent of Americans view the women’s health organization favorably, compared with 31 percent who do not.

If you’re on social media, you’ve most likely noticed how many people have recently bathed their pictures or avatars in pink with the hashtag “StandWithPP.” You may even be astounded at the sight of some of those pink faces. How many times have I tried to tell you this? Women are just full of surprises.

For me, this is a long habit: I stand with Planned Parenthood.

I’ve also sat with Planned Parenthood. First as a teenager who needed birth control and later as a companion to many friends and family members who’ve needed the help and compassion of the good, brave people who work there.

I’ve supported Planned Parenthood, too. Those are some powerful memories. In 2012, in Columbus, Ohio, I stood with Richards by the stage as a young woman walked up to the microphone and talked about the 7-week-old baby strapped to her chest as a handful of men in the back yelled “murderer,” “liar,” and “Hitler.”

The mother didn’t yell. She didn’t get angry. She just continued to share her story, surrounded by supporters. Her voice was trembling, but she was strong. Armed with the truth, she was unstoppable.

Connie Schultz is a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist. 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.

The chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform committee, Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT)(left) shakes hands with Planned Parenthood Federation president Cecile Richards (right) before she testifies at the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on Capitol Hill in Washington on September 29, 2015. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

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Connie Schultz

Connie Schultz is a nationally syndicated columnist for Creators Syndicated. Schultz won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for commentary and was a finalist for the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for feature writing. She has also published two books: Life Happens: And Other Unavoidable Truths -- a collection of her previously published columns -- and ...and His Lovely Wife: A Memoir from the Woman Beside the Man, which chronicled her experiences on the campaign trail with her husband, Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown.

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49 Comments

  1. Dominick Vila October 1, 2015

    Rep. Chaffetz’s (sic) interview on CNN last night revealed the emptiness and desperation of those opposing funding Planned Parenthood. The congressman became irate during the interview when he cited some of the abuses by PP executives, such as flying first class (a privilege that apparently applies only to elected officials like him), the fact that the Director of PP earns $250K a year, in a society where most CEOs earn between $10M and 20M a year, and the fact that 1% of PP affiliates perform abortions, and half of that 1% make embryos available to researchers. The fact that PP is not breaking any laws, which he acknowledged, did not stop his attack or calm him down. I wonder who his constituents are? Jurassic Park survivors or Illuminati?

    Reply
    1. FireBaron October 1, 2015

      Ironically, many of his constituents are women who have to depend on the services of Planned Parenthood for their general health services. However they are not the ones capable of writing the campaign checks he desperately needs to keep his reelection bids going.

      Reply
      1. midway54 October 1, 2015

        This is not to mention that his constituency, like that of Wyoming, is comprised of a relative handful of state citizens out numbered by mountains, canyons, boulders, and wildlife creatures cheering him on.

        Reply
  2. bcarreiro October 1, 2015

    Her actions have placed planned parenthood in jeopardy to begin with. Man or Woman…U have got to step down. Lamborghini s are for real woman.

    Reply
    1. Insinnergy October 1, 2015

      Your comprehension matches your grammar.
      Sod off and seriously review your life.

      Reply
      1. bcarreiro October 2, 2015

        Looks like u don’t have one.

        Reply
    2. Tommy Hartley October 2, 2015

      ESL? LOL

      Reply
    3. plc97477 October 4, 2015

      I take it English is not your first language or even your second?

      Reply
      1. bcarreiro October 4, 2015

        Pig Latin…

        Reply
  3. RED October 1, 2015

    What is this picture? The reports I saw showed this scumbag, Chafitz, doing what scumbags do, being a scumbag. So what is this picture of him being all friendly with Mrs. Richards? I truly do hate these dirtbag politicians who clearly have no interest in serving the public. We’ve allowed America to become so ignorant and hateful that these are the scum that rise to the top, it’s truly disgusting and it’s gotta change and will change one way or another.

    Reply
    1. 788eddie October 1, 2015

      I’ve heard the comment that the House Republican caucus has become like a cesspool; the big chunks have risen to the top.

      Reply
      1. midway54 October 1, 2015

        Moreover, it is plain that this party of rancid scoundrels should be more accurately identified as the members of the Plutocratic Party who are engaged in dedicated service to the very wealthy owners of the media, financial establishments, corporations, and governmental institutions of the United States

        Reply
      2. bikejedi October 4, 2015

        Too funny …Registered Republican …good one

        Reply
        1. 788eddie October 5, 2015

          Hey, bikejedi, my signature has been on the Republicans supporting my state’s electors for many years. I’m just not one of the “flaky right.” As a moderate, I’m still hoping that the moderates will be able to take back control before the Party becomes history.

          Reply
          1. bikejedi October 5, 2015

            No real Republicans want that as we have all seen the feckless leadership the establishment Republicans have shown

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            Reply
          2. 788eddie October 9, 2015

            Hey bikejedi, take off that helmet if you want to challenge me as to who is more of a man. “Real Republicans” or just the “Crazy Wingers?”

            Reply
          3. bikejedi October 9, 2015

            What the hell is that supposed to mean …The establishment Republicans are feckless and just as balless as Obama

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            Reply
  4. yabbed October 1, 2015

    It’s clear the attack on Planned Parenthood is a fraud.

    I stand with Planned Parenthood.

    Reply
    1. 788eddie October 1, 2015

      Me, too. And I’m a registered Republican (but please don’t hold that against me).

      Reply
      1. Insinnergy October 1, 2015

        Thank you for speaking up. 🙂

        Reply
    2. bikejedi October 4, 2015

      Maybe you aren’t aware of the fact that those videos were independently checked by Coalfire and found to be unaltered and accurate

      Reply
  5. midway54 October 1, 2015

    This picture must have been taken before this lout brought the inquisition to order. It was quite a spectacle to behold with the representatives from the states composed of the old confederacy taking star roles in their contemptible behavior designed to work the rubes back home in Dupedom South info a frenzy. Not to be outdone in the show was the rude loudmouth from Ohio, Jim Jordan, whose southwest district embraces a large population of low-information rednecks and who always shows his own ignorance of proper conduct in an official setting.

    Reply
  6. Insinnergy October 1, 2015

    The Republicans do realise that slightly more than half of the voters in America are women, right?
    What sort of lemming-like race off the electability cliff is this misogynistic, backroom, boys-club behaviour??

    Reply
    1. Insinnergy October 1, 2015

      Next Congressional investigation into a Fortune 500 company operated by a white male CEO someone has to demand to know his salary, and then complain about it.

      Reply
      1. bikejedi October 4, 2015

        Uh …But they aren’t being paid by us Cecile is …She is running a,supposed non for profit charity so her salary is relevant …but don’t let facts or common sense get in the way

        Reply
  7. Insinnergy October 1, 2015

    Question: If you did a 3 year secret sting on any of the Wall Street Banks or Finance Companies and each time constantly offered the company representatives lots of money to break the law… what do you think would be the result?

    I’ll bet you pretty much anything that it wouldn’t be 3 years of “No”.
    The Republican party should try getting Wall Street’s d**k out of it’s mouth… then they could use that to conduct investigations, instead of their a$$holes.

    Reply
    1. jam October 4, 2015

      Crude? Yes…………spot on, absolutely!

      Reply
    2. bikejedi October 4, 2015

      What a dumb comnent ..Maybe Obama and the Dems should get wall streets dick out of their mouths …Who bailed out Leheman Bros and Goldman Sachs …Maybe Obama likes Sachs

      Reply
  8. Whatmeworry October 1, 2015

    They questioned her just like Waters and Waxman did with the tobacco ex’s

    Reply
  9. David October 4, 2015

    So, Connie Shultz. You stand with Planned Parenthood? Well, you stand with murderers. These are lives being crushed.

    Reply
    1. 788eddie October 5, 2015

      Yet those on the right seem to have no problem with capitol punishment.

      Reply
      1. David October 5, 2015

        First, it is “capital” not “capitol”. Second, don’t try to deflect the argument. We are talking about abortion and how it is the murder of the unborn.

        Reply
  10. towercam October 4, 2015

    As imagined supervising editor, I would have okayed a different first picture.
    You had to show an honorable lady shaking hands with a dishonest fool? Why?
    The photo gives the dirty Representative Jason Chaffetz the spotlight.
    He isn’t worthy of her handshake, much less a photo op with her.
    In my little world, you’re fired.
    http://www.c-span.org/video/?c4552966/rep-chaffetz-caught-lie

    Reply
    1. bikejedi October 4, 2015

      Glad your World is little ..Cecile is despicable

      Reply
      1. Thomas Martin October 4, 2015

        And you aren’t?

        Reply
        1. bikejedi October 4, 2015

          Not at all .I love people . I love defenseless babies too . And that means I love liberals as well …I mean they are defenseless babies as well right ? …joke intended …But I do love all people

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          Reply
  11. bikejedi October 4, 2015

    Good thing the Pope is gone right ? Now liberals can stop their masquerade and get back to the business of doing Satan’s bidding …Let’s go Boo God …Let’s hate Christians …Happy Holidays …oh and lets kill babies especially black ones and sell their body parts …Mommy needs a new Lamborghini right ? Cecile …How can abortions only be 3% of what PP does and account for over 80% of your revenue

    Reply
    1. Thomas Martin October 4, 2015

      No one is booing Christians, it is just that there other religions in the universe that deserve the same respect. Your religion needs to be kept to yourself and not imposed on others. Peace, love and flowers in the universal flow of life.

      Reply
      1. bikejedi October 4, 2015

        I said Booing God as the Liberal Dems did at their convention …and why not tell the Muslims to keep their religion to themselves… I mean people are losing their heads over Islam

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        1. Thomas Martin October 5, 2015

          People from all religions need to keep their beliefs to themselves. No religion should force their beliefs upon others. Each human should have the opportunity to believe what they wish without being threatened.

          Reply
          1. bikejedi October 5, 2015

            Yes I agree …too bad the Muslims dont

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            Reply
          2. Thomas Martin October 6, 2015

            I despise any religion that forces others to follow their religious beliefs, such as Sharia law. Religious laws should not overrule a nation’s legislated or court determined laws.

            Reply
          3. bikejedi October 6, 2015

            Agreed

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    2. 788eddie October 5, 2015

      I think you need to go to confession.

      Reply
      1. bikejedi October 5, 2015

        Maybe… but I left the Catholic Church because the Pope is a Socialist Politician and not a Spiritual Leader …what should I do now …oh my …

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        1. 788eddie October 9, 2015

          If you think the Pope is just a “Socialist Politician,” wait’ll you get a load of our Lord Jesus Christ! (It’s worth reading the gospels sometime.)

          Reply
          1. bikejedi October 9, 2015

            Jesus was nowhere near a Socialist ..He preached be your brothers keeper not his Sugar Daddy and he definitely didn’t preach give your money to the Romans and let them redistribute your money to buy their votes…Jesus worked for a living and loathed sloth

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          2. 788eddie October 9, 2015

            Again, I respectfully suggest that you reread the gospels; they’re enlightening.

            And as for “didn’t preach give your money to the Romans and let them redistribute your money to buy their votes,” what I think what you’re describing is called “crony capitalism” which is what our system has developed into (some refer to it as an oligarchy).

            Reply
          3. bikejedi October 9, 2015

            I described Socialism and perfectly displayed that Jesus was not a Socialist

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