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Huff Post

Posted: 03/20/2012  9:37 am


Mother; Planned Parenthood patient

Like so many young women in this country, when I was 19 years old I went to a Planned Parenthood health center for a routine pap test.

The test detected cervical cancer, but because the cancer was caught early, I was able to get treatment and now three decades have passed.
Planned Parenthood saved my life.

So you can imagine my surprise when Mitt Romney said, “Planned Parenthood, we’re going to get rid of that,” during a discussion about the federal budget.

I wanted to share my family’s story with him. I wanted him to understand what’s at stake.

So I sat down and wrote to him. This is the letter I sent him:

Dear Governor Romney,

I don’t ordinarily write letters to politicians. We’ve never met. I’m a single mom living in Florida, and you have a pretty full plate.

My teenage daughters are on Spring Break this week, and I want to spend all the time I can with them. But first I’m reaching out to you because I am so troubled by comments you made this week. I was surprised and alarmed to see video of you saying, “Planned Parenthood, we’re going to get rid of that,” during a discussion about the federal budget.

Governor Romney, Planned Parenthood saved my life. I know what it would mean to “get rid of” Planned Parenthood.

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Washington Post / The Plum Line

By

Posted at  09:02 AM ET, 03/14/2012

Pop quiz: What do the following two events that took place yesterday have in common?

1) Rick Santorum wins the Alabama and Mississippi primaries, with Mitt Romney coming in third in both.

2) Romney tells a local TV station in Missouri that he would “get rid” of Planned Parenthood.

Answer: Both suggest Romney may remain trapped for months in a political dynamic that could damage him among key swing constituencies in advance of the general eleciton.

Romney won the delegate count last night, and by all accounts he moved closer to the nomination. But Santorum’s wins all but ensure that this contest will drag on into June, forcing Romney to continue embracing positions that appeal to the GOP voting blocs he’s been struggling to connect with but could also alienate independents and women. The pressure on Romney to do this could intensify if Santorum is able to unite conservatives behind his candidacy.

In an example of just such a position, Romney  said this in an interview with Missouri’s KSDK-TV in Missouri: “Of course you get rid of Obamacare, that’s the easy one. Planned Parenthood, we’re going to get rid of that.”

This is exactly the sort of comment Dems are hoping Romney will be forced to keep making as the GOP nomination battle drags on. The DNC rushed out a video on Romney’s comments, highlighting the cancer screenings and birth control services that Romney would eliminate. The Obama campaign put out a statement arguing that Romney would eliminate “a vital health care provider for millions of American women.”

This comes as a new Bloomberg poll finds that an overwhelming majority, 77 percent, believe birth control should not even be “part of the national political debate.” It also finds that 62 percent think the contraception battle is “a matter of women’s health and access to birth control,” the Dem framing of the issue, while only 33 percent believe it’s about “religious liberty.” Fifty-three percent think Rush Limbaugh should be fired for his “slut” comments.

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Huff Post- Posted: 2/7/12  |  Updated: 2/7/12

By- Laura Bassett

Karen Handel, vice president for public affairs at Susan G. Komen for the Cure, resigned on Tuesday following public outcry over the announcement Komen would pull funding from Planned Parenthood. After Komen reversed its decision, The Huffington Post reported that Handel drove the decision to defund Planned Parenthood over abortion politics and crafted the strategy to clean up the public relations mess that ensued.

Although she acknowledges her involvement in the Planned Parenthood decision in her resignation letter, she also decries what she calls “gross mischaracterizations” of the situation and maintains that the decision was not about politics:

I am deeply disappointed by the gross mischaracterizations of the strategy, its rationale, and my involvement in it.  I openly acknowledge my role in the matter and continue to believe our decision was the best one for Komen’s future and the women we serve.  However, the decision to update our granting model was made before I joined Komen, and the controversy related to Planned Parenthood has long been a concern to the organization.  Neither the decision nor the changes themselves were based on anyone’s political beliefs or ideology. Rather, both were based on Komen’s mission and how to better serve women, as well as a realization of the need to distance Komen from controversy.  I believe that Komen, like any other nonprofit organization, has the right and the responsibility to set criteria and highest standards for how and to whom it grants.What was a thoughtful and thoroughly reviewed decision — one that would have indeed enabled Komen to deliver even greater community impact — has unfortunately been turned into something about politics. This is entirely untrue.  This development should sadden us all greatly.

Komen has maintained that it pulled funds from Planned Parenthood because of a routine change in criteria for who is eligible to receive grants — not because of pressure from anti-abortion activists over the fact that Planned Parenthood provides abortions. But a Komen insider told HuffPost on Sunday that Handel, who ran for governor of Georgia in 2010 on the promise to defund Planned Parenthood, has been pushing to drop the organization from grants since she was hired in April 2011.

In her signoff, possibly as an acknowledgment of the public outrage toward her, Handel waives her right to a severance package:

“Just as Komen’s best interests and the fight against breast cancer have always been foremost in every aspect of my work, so too are these my priorities in coming to the decision to resign effective immediately,” she writes. “While I appreciate your raising a possible severance package, I respectfully decline.  It is my most sincere hope that Komen is allowed to now refocus its attention and energies on its mission.”

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Reid says GOP threatening shutdown over family planning funding, Boehner avoids talking specifics

by Jed Lewison for Daily Kos

Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 11:32 AM EDT

In separate statements late this morning, both Harry Reid and John Boehner agreed that we are very close to an agreement to prevent a federal shutdown, but said an agreement had not yet been reached.

Reid said both sides had agreed on the numbers, but that Republicans continued to insist on banning funds for family planning and Planned Parenthood.

Boehner’s brief statement offered no specifics on the state of negotiations other than to say that he believed we were on the cusp of a deal. He offered platitudes about cutting spending, and urged the Senate to pass the House’s so-called “troop funding bill.” Boehner’s statement, which amounted to no more than three or four sentences, seemed to be focused more on keeping up the appearance of brinksmanship and maintaining support from his caucus than on actually addressing whatever issues remain outstanding.

For his part, Reid said he was “appalled” and “personally offended” that Republicans continued to insist on the Planned Parenthood funding ban. “Men and women should be outraged,” Reid said. “Republicans only have a few hours left to look in the mirror and realize how shameful it wold be” to block a deal over family planning and women’s health services funding. “The tea party is trying to move its extreme social agenda, issues that have nothing to do with funding the government. They are willing to throw women under the bus, even if it means shutting down the government.”

Reid said tea party opponents of Planned Parenthood and family planning funding had a right to debate their views, but that holding the government hostage was unacceptable.

Assuming that a deal is reached today (and I bet there will be one), what will probably happen is that the Senate will take up the so-called “troop-funding” bill that House Republicans passed yesterday, and substitute a “clean” CR to keep government open for a few more days while the details of the deal are written into legislative language. Democrats have already put the House bill into the Senate calendar, making it clear they are contemplating this course of action. If the Senate passed the a clean CR, it would head back to the House, which could pass it later today.

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