Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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March 12, 2011

MURKOWSKI, COLLINS REJECT HOUSE GOP FAMILY PLANNING CUTS.... With House Republicans crusading against family planning funds, the support of a couple of Senate Republicans is most welcome.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska has come out in opposition to the House's attempts to defund Planned Parenthood, making her the first Republican senator to specifically support the beleaguered organization.

"I believe Planned Parenthood provides vital services to those in need and disagree with their funding cuts in the bill," Murkowski wrote in a letter to Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) and Vice Chairman Thad Cochran (R-Miss.). "I ask you to consider these programs going forward to determine if there is room for allowing continued funding."

Murkowski's move follows that of Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who last week came out against the House vote to defund Title X, the only federal program dedicated to reproductive health issues.

"Sen. Collins is a longtime supporter of the Title X family planning program, and she believes the House's decision to completely eliminate the funding is unwise," Collins spokesman Kevin Kelley said. "The program has successfully reduced the number of unplanned pregnancies, therefore helping to reduce health care costs."

Both Murkowski and Collins are right, and their support for family planning funds, in the face of sharp opposition from members of their own party, may even help make a difference as budget fights continue.

But it's also worth pausing to note that the House GOP spending bill -- the one including brutal domestic spending cuts -- eliminated every penny of federal funding for Title X and Planned Parenthood, and Murkowski and Collins just voted in support of the House Republican proposal.

They're clearly on the correct side of this debate, but that makes their vote in support of H.R. 1 that much harder to defend. The House bill would deny family planning and contraception to Americans who need the aid. Murkowski and Collins knew the legislation would fail, but they voted for it anyway, basically because their party told them to.

Steve Benen 9:50 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (11)

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Curious, is it not, that so many MEN have an inordinate interest in the reproductive parts of women?

I'll bet my shiny, new quarter, that if men suddenly were able to conceive a child, "Pro Life" would focus more on the life of whomever was carrying that child. . .

Posted by: DAY on March 12, 2011 at 9:56 AM | PERMALINK

"...their party told them to." When it's time to vote and not just posture, the Tea Party frightens the panties off both of them. Murkowski had a near death experience with the Alaska right. Snowe cannot win a Republican primary in Maine against the right. Just take a look at the Republican governor of Maine. They both are today's Nelson Rockefeller in Goldwater era.

Posted by: E L on March 12, 2011 at 10:05 AM | PERMALINK

E L - dunno. What does Murkowski care? She is on a new 6 yr term, from AK, where people sometimes don't care about the party; maybe they actually have a principled stance on the topic ....

Snowe, Collins, Murkowski, Brown ... any other possible apostates on the Planned Parenthood issue?

Posted by: bigtuna on March 12, 2011 at 10:08 AM | PERMALINK

Murkowski and Collins knew the legislation would fail, but they voted for it anyway, basically because their party told them to.

Not unlike the several Dems who voted against the Dem proposal because they knew it would fail.

Oh, wait...

Posted by: chi res on March 12, 2011 at 10:10 AM | PERMALINK

This is an example that not only do Republicans value party over country, but over their own gender as well.

And DAY, if men got pregnant, not only would abortions be easy to obtain, but they would be free.
And abortion clinics and PP facilities would outnumber Subway sanwich shops, which has now surpassed McDonald's as the worlds largest franchise.

Posted by: c u n d gulag on March 12, 2011 at 10:12 AM | PERMALINK

Hey, it says "Murkowski, Snowe reject House GOP family planning cuts" on the article itself and "Murkowski, Collins reject House GOP family planning cuts" at the top of this comment page.

Posted by: navamske on March 12, 2011 at 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

Every white Christian male in our country knows that it is the role of white Christian women to have more children. Every white Christian male politician knows that the only reason to have sex with his wife is to procreate. We need more white Christian children in OUR country to counter the growing hoardes of brown and black children.

Every white Christian male in OUR country knows that women are subservient to men and that white Christian males should have the final say on reproductive decisions of women.

Posted by: ChristianPointOfView on March 12, 2011 at 10:24 AM | PERMALINK

"There comes a time when silence is betrayal!" -Dr. King

Now more than ever, moderate Republicans who still remain in our government must step up and show some profiles in courage! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on March 12, 2011 at 10:48 AM | PERMALINK

Thank GOODNESS Murkowski is supporting Planned Parenthood! Alaska has the highest rape and violent abuse statistic in US.Someone has to help these victims.

Posted by: ML Johnston on March 12, 2011 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

Does anyone have any data about preventing abortions? I had understood that the kids will have sex regardless of protection, and thus access to birth control would theoretically reduce abortions. However:

Posted by: Nat on March 12, 2011 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

If the LSM would pickup on the fact that restricting women's health care and reproductive care means restricting prenatal care, which means restricting health care to that fetus the Retros love that in inside the woman they hate, - It could turn the debate around at least as far as insuring decent prenatal from mother and fetus.

Posted by: Marnie on March 13, 2011 at 10:42 PM | PERMALINK



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