May 18, 2018

Republicans and Trump just cannot get enough control over women's bodies. Today the administration rolled out a federal domestic gag rule on abortion. Any group that refers women to providers that perform abortions or abortion-related services will lose its government funding. This is how Trump is gonna be great for women's health - just like he promised on the campaign trail.

You know. How he likes Planned Parenthood, but wants to defund it. Because millions of women are helped by it. He's gonna be good for women's health.

TRUMP: Planned Parenthood has done very good work for some -- for millions of women. We're not going to allow and we're not going to fund as long as you have the abortion going on at Planned Parenthood. I'm going to be really good for women. I'm going to be good for women's health issues.

ALSO TRUMP: I would defund it because I'm pro life. But millions of women are helped by Planned Parenthood.

On "The Beat," Ari Melber had Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL, and Wendy Davis, Texas State Senator, to discuss the Republican plan to decimate choice for women. Hogue explained why she thought they were doing it - to play to their base for the midterms. She predicts it's a grave miscalculation, though, and that they're "hemorrhaging women voters from their party."

Then Melber played a clip of Cecile Richards describing a discussion she had with Middle East Miracle Worker Jared Kushner (he's also doing health care?) in which he told her he could guarantee PP funding if they stopped performing abortions. Richards was like, "Bye, boi."

Davis then laid it out in the starkest of terms. She has actual experience with this plan that is being rolled out.

DAVIS: I mean basically what's happening here, Ari, is that there are over 4 million women in this country, low income women, women of color, who rely on Title X funding for their reproductive care. For their birth control, for their preventive care and for their well woman care. They are at risk of losing that care. If you need to see what it looks like to actually carry through the kind of defunding that's being talked about at the federal level, you need look no further than my state. That happened here in 2011. Over 80 clinics closed. Not all of them were Planned Parenthoods. And none of them were providing abortion services. And in the process --

MELBER: Let's pause on that. I want you to continue, but just to be clear, you're saying that a version of this at the local level acted to close 80 facilities that provided only health care and not actually abortions.

DAVIS: That's exactly right. And the consequence of that in Texas, which we know we're going to see at the federal level as well if this is carried an increase in teen pregnancy rates. Right now in this country they're at an all-time low. We had an increase in Medicaid births and the subsequent cost to taxpayers for those births. And we had an increase in maternal mortality. That same consequence is being seen because of the global gag order that the Trump administration is now talking about putting in place domestically here.

MELBER: So, Wendy, let me -- women are going to be hurt.

Let me ask it this way because you're really laying out the actual microcosmic results of this in a place where it was tried. There's a constitutional question about whether something that the Supreme Court says is a right in this country, people can debate it, but women have a right to this choice under the current law and the second is the actual impact. What you're proposing for you and for Ilyse as well, weigh in, on the narrower question of the results, this kind of thing can increase the number of teen pregnancies when applied.

DAVIS: No question, because when you remove people's access to contraceptive care, they have more unintended pregnancies. It's just a natural consequence.

After laying out the tangible effect this would have on women's access to healthcare - please allow me to reiterate and emphasize: 80 clinics closed in Texas, and NONE OF THEM provided abortions - Ilyse Hogue highlighted the moral hypocrisy of the Republican position of backing this abhorrent policy:

HOGUE: I think the third piece we haven't yet talked about but is equally important is that not only does this limit service and have devastating health care effects, in fact counter to what they say their goal is, but what should really send a chill up people's spines is that this is massive government overreach into the kind of information that we can receive from our medical professionals. And that is because they know if women have the truth about our options, their agenda folds. And we've seen them looking for ways to lie and deceive women every which way they can. We've seen the scorched earth approach not only in Wendy's and my home state of Texas, but under Vice President Pence in Indiana. Not only did teen pregnancy go up when they closed all the health clinics, but HIV rates went up, and maternal outcomes went down. So no price is too high for these people to pay in their quest to end legal abortion and control women's lives.

This from the party that wants government to mind its own business and stay out of our lives.

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