By Jim Sedlak
In all probability, Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s president, Cecile Richards, hasn’t had a really good night’s sleep since the November elections. Her world collapsed as Donald Trump was elected the new president instead of Hillary Clinton. Since then, Cecile has been traveling across the nation giving speeches and trying to bolster the morale of supporters and employees of Planned Parenthood.
This week is especially trying for the Planned Parenthood boss. First, there is the reconciliation bill making its way through the House of Representatives. You see, Cecile and her friends Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer are used to the slow pace of Washington politics. Once a bill is introduced, it takes months to get through committees. Then there’s a vote and maybe six months later the bill either gets killed or becomes law. But things are not “business as usual” in DC these days. We have a president who likes to see things get done. When he says he will do things immediately, he actually means immediately. Just look at all he has done in his first 60 days in office.
Well, Cecile, who used to be deputy chief of staff to Nancy Pelosi, is not used to this kind of fast pace. Here are some excerpts from an e-mail she sent to Planned Parenthood supporters this week:
Health care for millions—including the future of health care access at Planned Parenthood health centers—is at stake when the House votes on Paul Ryan's ACA repeal bill. This is a big moment to make our voices heard, and we need to make it count.
It's been just two weeks since House Republicans introduced their disastrous health care legislation, and during that time, they've done everything they can to force this through as quickly—and with as little debate—as possible.
But even secret backroom meetings, 27-hour markup marathons, and shady procedural tricks can't hide the truth about the health care havoc this bill would wreak on Americans. This bill could block millions of patients from accessing care at Planned Parenthood health centers. . . . A vote for this bill is cruel and wrong.
Remember that this bill, in addition to repealing some of the mandates and other aspects of Obamacare, will take federal money away from Planned Parenthood for, at least, the next year. It is no wonder that Cecile is upset.
This reconciliation bill is not the only reason Cecile is upset this week. There is the matter of the next Supreme Court justice. Trump nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch is appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee this week to answer questions. At the end, the committee will vote on whether or not to present Gorsuch to the full Senate for a confirmation vote.
Gorsuch is not the kind of justice Planned Parenthood likes. He actually believes in the United States Constitution and further believes judges should interpret existing law, not make new laws. In addition, in a case where the state of Utah wanted to take funding away from Planned Parenthood, Gorsuch voted in favor of Utah and against Planned Parenthood. When Gorsuch was nominated in January, Cecile made a statement on the nomination. Here are excerpts from this statement:
We have a message for members of the Senate on Judge Gorsuch: opposing Roe v. Wade is a disqualifier. . . . There has never been a more important Supreme Court nomination. It has become crystal clear that the courts are going to be the last—and sometimes only—line of defense against dangerous and unconstitutional attacks on basic rights. . . . President Trump’s nominee, Neil Gorsuch, has an alarming history of interfering with reproductive rights and health. Planned Parenthood calls on every United States Senator to uphold a fundamental standard: if you oppose Roe v. Wade and women’s access to basic health care, you are not qualified to sit on the Supreme Court of the United States.
Thus, you can expect that Planned Parenthood will be at the forefront of the effort to block Gorsuch’s confirmation. But it is clear that the Trump administration is dedicated to getting Gorsuch confirmed.
Planned Parenthood has a right to be worried. Its entire world seems to be crumbling. But this is not the time for those opposed to Planned Parenthood to be complacent. This is the time to increase our efforts against the nation’s largest abortion chain.
Future generations will celebrate our efforts to successfully remove Planned Parenthood from our nation.
Jim Sedlak is executive director of American Life League and founder of STOPP International. He has been fighting Planned Parenthood since 1985.