Speaking Now At The RNC: Rep. Marsha Blackburn, Carrying Out a Dangerous Witch Hunt Against Planned Parenthood
Contact: Planned Parenthood Action Fund Media Office, 212-261-4433
Cleveland, Ohio — Tonight, the Republican National Convention hears from Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn, who is currently leading the witch hunt against Planned Parenthood and the health care services it provides to more than 2 million patients every year. Earlier this week, the party leadership made history by directly attacking Planned Parenthood in its party platform, so it’s no surprise that Rep. Blackburn is speaking tonight. She has quite a record.
Blackburn has repeatedly introduced and supported legislation to block access to health care services like STD testing, cancer screening, and birth control at Planned Parenthood.
In 2013, Blackburn introduced the “Blackburn amendment” to take away critical women’s preventive health services from millions of women. Under the Blackburn amendment, employers and health insurance companies could stop providing coverage for important women’s preventive health services — including well-woman exams, HPV testing to prevent cervical cancer, domestic violence screening and counseling, and birth control– on the basis of religious or moral convictions. [Blackburn Amendment to H.J. Resolution 59, 9/28/13]
Blackburn pledged to anti-abortion activists that she would block low-income patients from accessing health care at Planned Parenthood. According to an anti-abortion group’s 2014 Congressional Candidate Questionnaire, Marsha Blackburn checked “YES” in response to a question about supporting legislation to make organizations that provide abortion care “ineligible to receive federal funding” from Medicaid and Title X family planning programs. [NLRC Congressional Candidate Questionnaire, 2014]
Blackburn sponsored the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” — even though taxpayer dollars already do not fund abortion. “[Rep. Marsha] Blackburn sponsored the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act in an attempt to codify the Hyde Amendment into federal law. She also sponsored the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act of 2013, which aimed to take the federal funds used by Planned Parenthood to provide STD tests, contraception and cancer screenings, and redirect them to other health centers instead.” [Huffington Post, 10/23/15]
Blackburn has tried to ban access to safe, legal abortion in almost all cases.
Blackburn fought for a bill that would ban safe, legal abortion after 22 weeks. The bill contained what Blackburn called a “reporting requirement” for rape victims — only allowing an exception for rape victims who reported their rape to police. Blackburn even suggested the legislation would “help with getting some of the perpetrators out of the population that are committing these crimes against women and against minor females. We certainly would hope that we could rid our society of these perpetrators.” [NBCNews.com, 6/18/13]
Blackburn said abortion should only be legal if a woman’s life is at risk or if she has been raped and reported it to law enforcement. According to an anti-abortion group’s 2014 Congressional Candidate Questionnaire, in answer to the question “Under what circumstances, if any, do you believe that abortion should be legal?” Rep. Marsha Blackburn chose the answer, “To prevent the death of the mother, or in cases of rape and in cases of incest committed against a minor, if such cases of rape or incest are reported to an appropriate law enforcement agency, or the incest is reported to a government agency legally authorized to act on reports of child abuse or neglect.” [NLRC Congressional Candidate Questionnaire, 2014]
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Planned Parenthood Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The Action Fund engages in educational and electoral activity, including voter education, grassroots organizing, and legislative advocacy.