The second GOP debate was recently held in the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, and once again, the candidates made it clear that they didn’t really care about women’s health issues and reproductive rights.
Eleven out of the fifteen Republican candidates took the stage for the prime-time debate, and they all made it very clear that they are staunchly pro-life… well, at least when they want to be.
Several candidates talked a good deal about valuing the life of unborn children. Ted Cruz encouraged the audience to watch the “horrifying” videos of what Planned Parenthood does to fetuses, and Carly Fiorina took it one step further by daring Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama to watch a video of a fetus being kept alive for the purpose of harvesting its brain. Chris Christie called abortions “systematic murder of children in the womb,” and Jeb Bush rounded off all the pro-life rhetoric by calling himself “the most pro-life” person standing on stage that evening.
The Republican candidates are fighting hard to defund Planned Parenthood because they are strong defenders of the unborn’s right to live, but they’d like to pump more money into our military to kill men, women, and children abroad who have already been born, are living, and are completely conscious of their own existence.
See the contradiction here?
Marco Rubio even aggressively stated that the reason he voted against a “pinprick” strike on Syria was because he believed our military was built to do more than just a small strike—it was built for a full scale invasion. “If the United States military is going to be engaged by a commander-in-chief, it should only be engaged in an endeavor to win,” Rubio said. “And we are not going to authorize use of force if you’re not putting men and women in a position where they can win.”
In essence, the Republican candidates believe that, because our military is built to kill, we should kill whenever the chance arises. Yet they want to defund Planned Parenthood precisely because it “kills” fetuses. Christie even referred to abortions as “systematic murders”, but he supports American-led murders on foreign soil.
The alleged “facts” the Republican candidates offered as support for defunding Planned Parenthood were not facts at all. The particular video Fiorina dared her opponents to watch does not exist. Journalist Sarah Kliff of Vox sat down and watched all twelve videos uploaded by anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress. According to Kliff, “Either Fiorina hasn’t watched the Planned Parenthood videos or she is knowingly misrepresenting the footage. Because what Fiorina says happens in the Planned Parenthood videos simply does not exist.”
The true fact of the matter is that Federal funding for Planned Parenthood is not allowed to go towards abortion unless absolutely necessary. According to a statement released by the Executive Office of the President just a day after the GOP debate, “Federal policy already prohibits the use of Federal funds for abortions, except in cases of rape or incest or when the life of the woman would be endangered.” Contrary to what the Republican candidates want you to believe, Federal funding for Planned Parenthood actually goes towards providing “a range of important preventive care and health services, including health screenings, vaccinations, and check-ups to millions of men and women who visit their health centers annually.”
So, when Bush claimed he “misspoke” when he said that he didn’t believe women’s health issues need half a billion dollars, he didn’t misspeak at all. He meant what he said the first time around. If women’s health issues were truly important to him and his fellow Republican candidates, defunding Planned Parenthood wouldn’t even be a part of the debate.