Sen. Murkowski, Stand True To Your Word
Many of us are counting the days down for America to be great again. I still haven’t heard an answer to the question of when it stopped being great, but being great sounds, well, great! So let’s do it.
First things first. We have got to get rid of that health care disaster that has enslaved millions of Americans by creating access to a doctor. Enough! Because of Obamacare, college-age kids have been rafted up to their parents’ policies like parasites. Those pre-existing conditions — the warning flags to companies that don’t want your sick behind dragging down their profits — are on their way back. Duh.
This week, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, drunk on politics, trotted out the “repeal and replace” mantra again. I realize this has come as quite a shock to some poor folks who were getting used to having health care, but unfortunately, stupid wasn’t covered by the Affordable Care Act. The states with the highest numbers of people enrolled are the same states that voted for Republicans — the ones that voted more than 50 times to repeal Obamacare. They don’t know what they’re going to replace it with. I’m guessing a roll of duct tape and a fifth of whiskey, but I suppose that’s better than nothing.
The House decided this bill to repeal would be a fine place to get rid of Planned Parenthood. Speaker Ryan sent security guards to deal with Planned Parenthood volunteers delivering signed petitions because determined women are so scary.
Oh, the email box on my computer has been stuffed all week with some amazing advocates for women’s health, all with their virtual hair on fire. See, Planned Parenthood is for many women the only place they are able to afford to see a doctor. They get their girly parts all checked out to make sure they don’t have cancer or STDs, and also to get birth control. They often are a refuge for abused women and children. More than 10 years ago, Planned Parenthood wrote a grant that paid for my breast cancer surgery. I’m a fan.
I hit return on a lot of those emails. Hey, we got this, I told them. Alaska’s senator, Lisa Murkowski, is not insane and she supports women’s health and Planned Parenthood. Maine has Susan Collins — a moderate — and Kentucky’s Rand Paul says he won’t vote to repeal without replacing it with something better. (I swear, that guy is like a blind squirrel when he finds a nut.) All Murkowski needs to do is call Mitch McConnell and say, “I won’t vote to repeal Obamacare if the Planned Parenthood funding is attached.” (Senator, feel free to use the last sentence as your own. No attribution needed. Thanks.)
Murkowski forgot the women who elected her and made a giant mistake a few years ago when she voted against women’s access to contraception. The backlash was intense. She apologized. She said at the time: “I have always said if you don’t like abortion the best way to deal with it is to not have unwanted pregnancies in the first place. How do you do that? It’s through contraception.” She said she thought abortion should stay legal and she didn’t always agree with her Catholic church.
See! Reasonable! Murkowski is moderate and could be a firewall between the GOP majority and millions of women getting health care. It’s really that simple.
Look, folks, I don’t pretend to be a moderate when it comes to reproductive health. You have to buy a license to catch and release trout — but not even a permit to bring another human onto the planet. I happen to believe that not wanting to be a mother is a pretty good indicator of being a potential bad parent. Planned Parenthood keeps many more abortions from happening than they provide. It isn’t “pro-life” to block cancer screenings — it’s inhumane.
I want to believe Murkowski meant it when she said she was sorry for her vote on the Blunt Amendment. If she votes to defund Planned Parenthood, we can assume she didn’t learn her lesson and bowed to her party. She has a chance to do something meaningful for not just Alaskans but for families across the country.