About a week to keep the government open, and 30% of this week's top bills aim to restrict reproductive rights. pic.twitter.com/rOKvYTouiG
— Erin Matson (@erintothemax) September 22, 2015
On this very day in 2015 there are still liberals who cling to the belief that the anti-abortion stance is merely a ploy by wily “establishment” (whatever the hell that means) Republicans to keep the rank-and-files docile and the campaign coffers full. I, of all people, still hear this claim constantly from I know! “They’ll never overturn Roe! They need abortion as a wedge issue too much!”
Au contraire, mes amis they don’t! Consider the willingness of Republicans in the current Congress to shut the government down over Planned Parenthood. Stan Collender of Forbes, who is good at these things, predicts a 75% chance that the GOP majority in Congress will do just that.
Consider the following, all of which happened over just the past few days.
The 40 or so Republican conservative representatives from the so-called Freedom Caucus who have been threatening to unseat House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) significantly increased their insistence that the continuing resolution (CR) needed to avoid a shutdown not be considered if it includes continued funding for Planned Parenthood…
…In the face of the House and Senate leadership’s effort to come up with a compromise, many primarily Republican anti-abortion groups intensified their demand for a shutdown aimed at defunding Planned Parenthood, even if it ultimately won’t be successful.
House GOP leaders offered to provide ways other than through a continuing resolution for members to demonstrate their opposition to Planned Parenthood, but the Freedom Caucus and its supporters rejected those options as meaningless gestures. The prospect of voting on these alternatives (one of the votes happened in the House last Friday) didn’t stop the shutdown talk and may have further infuriated those opposing funding for Planned Parenthood…
…Adding to the forces working against a CR, Texas Senator and GOP presidential contender Ted Cruz vocally and vociferously supported a shutdown over Planned Parenthood funding during last week’s Republican presidential debate while the three other Republican senators also running for president – Lindsay Graham (SC), Marco Rubio (FL) and Rand Paul (KY) – either said nothing or were far less strident about it. Cruz’s position put significant added pressure on the other three either to support a shutdown or cede ground in the GOP presidential nomination with a key group of Republican voters. If, as is likely because of Cruz, all four oppose a CR, McConnell’s position on the issue will become untenable.
Why, I do declare, these people appear to be willing to do anything, up to and including calling to a screeching halt a whole bunch of government services and paychecks and benefits to millions of people, over their anger at women getting respectful health care while being sexually active. They’re for real, guys. It’s not merely an electoral gimmick. They also narrowly missed cloture on a national 20 week ban that would make first degree murderers of doctors found in violation of it* today.
EDIT: Oh wait, sorry, that’s another bill, the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which is also scheduled for this week.