Chickens are roosting in Texas, where another male Republican lawmaker has said something really stupid and totally inaccurate about women’s health.
Incumbent Texas Lt. Governor David Dewhurst and Texas State Senator Dan Patrick debated in WFAA’s studios Wednesday night for the Republican runoff for lieutenant governor. When when asked about women’s healthcare, Dan Patrick — the senator who wants to be lieutenant governor – said, “Look this is a myth that Planned Parenthood has anything to do with women’s health.”
Er, okay then. That’s totally not true. Sorta like he just claimed the earth is flat.
But this shouldn’t surprise anyone because last week, this Texas state senator said, “I don’t care if every Planned Parenthood clinic in America goes out of business. In fact, that would be a great goal. More babies would live and women would get great health care from doctors who actually care about them.”
Since Republicans have such an aversion to Google, I’ll help this poor man out. On a national level, Planned Parenthood actually does plenty for women’s health. Such as:
Planned Parenthood health centers focus on prevention: 71 percent of our clients receive services to prevent unintended pregnancy.
Planned Parenthood services help prevent more than 486,000 unintended pregnancies each year.
Planned Parenthood provides 585,000 Pap tests and nearly 640,000 breast exams each year, critical services in detecting cancer.
Planned Parenthood provides nearly 4.5 million tests and treatments for sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.
Three percent of all Planned Parenthood health services are abortion services.
Planned Parenthood affiliates provide educational programs to more than one million young people and adults each year.
Also, as the Senator should be aware, there is a law that prohibits Planned Parenthood from using government funds for abortion. This law is called the Hyde Amendment and it’s been around a long time, so there’s no excuse for the faux outrage and pretend ignorance over its existence. After all, Senators make law. That’s their job. So it would behoove them to understand existing law, and it’s a fair expectation of them by the public, since they are being paid to draft legislation and make laws.
Lastly, the very thing that Planned Parenthood does in preventing pregnancies is the number one way of reducing abortion rates. It’s tough to understand Republicans who claim to be against abortion but spend all of their time defunding the one institution that for sure reduces the rate of abortion in this country. Yes, it’s true Dorothy, it’s hard to need an abortion when you prevent an unwanted pregnancy.
This disconnect can’t keep going on forever without Republicans having to own that they are not actually interested in reducing abortions at all, or they’d have done something when they had the power to do so. No, what they are interested in is a few things: 1) A tool to activate the base to vote and get the base to donate money and b) A way to keep women in their place, especially poor and vulnerable women, who make great prey for the predatory minded.
Republicans refused to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act for a year, and instead offered up a version that was so egregious as to be fairly called the pro-Violence Against Women Act. They have worked hard to give rapists more power over the women they rape.
Texas Republicans like Senator Patrick reject medical knowledge and information as well as facts, and then expect Texas women to let them make medical decisions for them and their families. That’s like letting this guy, with his B.A. in English, operate on you because he’s a state senator.
Texas Democratic Party Deputy Communications Director Lisa Paul wasn’t going to let Dan Patrick blindly insert himself into women’s healthcare yet again, “Texas women are appalled by Dan Patrick’s deplorable statements on women’s health care providers. 158,345 Texans received preventative health care at Planned Parenthood in 2013. Republicans still don’t get it: just trust Texas women. Republicans need to trust us to make our own choices, to consult with our families and our doctors. Dan Patrick doesn’t trust Texas women, so Texas women can’t trust Dan Patrick as Lt. Governor.”
158,345 Texans received preventative health care at Planned Parenthood in 2013, but hey! “Look this is a myth that Planned Parenthood has anything to do with women’s health.”
Here’s an example of a real myth for Senator Patrick: It’s a myth that Texas will always be a given for Republicans. See: Women et al.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.