DeGette Leads “Women’s Health Wednesday” Smackdown

UPDATE: Senator Michael Bennet joins the fracas. Press release after the jump.

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Via the Colorado Independent:

DeGette’s remarks as delivered differed slightly from the prepared version sent out to members of the media and reprinted below:

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to announce the Inaugural Women’s Health Wednesday. Starting today, and continuing for every Wednesday, Members of this distinguished body will take to the floor to stand against the unceasing attacks on women’s health care levied by my colleagues across the aisle and the extreme right wing across the nation. [Pols emphasis]

Mr. Speaker, I would like to kick off this first Women’s Health Wednesday by reminding everyone this is 2012, not the Dark Ages. Let me say that again: This is 2012. Yet because of the actions of this Congress, and straight up to the positions of their candidates for president, we are actually debating birth control. Birth control. 99 percent of women have used birth control at some point in their lives, including 98 percent of Catholic women, and 1.5 million women rely on it for non-contraceptive purposes to treat a variety of medical conditions.

The Institute of Medicine has determined, based upon science, that birth control is a fundamental part of women’s preventive care. Yet, here we are debating birth control.

Mr. Speaker, everywhere I go women stop me to express their disbelief and outrage that we are actually debating birth control. Birth control saves lives, helps prevent unintended pregnancies, improves the outcomes for children, and reduces abortion. Those are all good things for women; for their families; for our nation. So why on earth would my colleagues across the aisle and their party launch a massive effort to limit access to birth control? This is 2012. We all know better.

Rep. Diana DeGette’s being kind with that last, since apparently, some of them do not.

Press release from Sen. Bennet’s office:

Bennet Statement in Opposition to Blunt Amendment Restricting Access to Contraception

Bennet: Women Don’t Need to Be Told by the Government How to Make Their Own Health Care Decisions

Washington, DC – On the floor of the United States Senate, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet today voiced his opposition to an amendment, introduced by Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri, that would restrict access to contraception and other preventative health care for women. The Senate voted down this amendment 51-48.

“I have a wife and three daughters…, and one thing I know is they don’t need to be told by the government how to make their own health care decisions, nor do the 362,000 Colorado women who would be affected immediately if this amendment passed. This amendment is written so broadly that it would allow any employer to deny any health service to any American for virtually any reason, not just for religious objections.

“In my home state of Colorado, I have held hundreds of town hall meetings in red parts of the state and blue parts of the state…. They want to know why we aren’t spending our time working on how to create more jobs for them…, how to fix this nation’s debt and deficit or how we pass a bipartisan transportation bill that creates immediate jobs and fixes a crumbling infrastructure.

“[It's] another case where political games are risking our ability to provide more opportunity, not less, for the next generation of Americans. And instead over the last several weeks, we’ve continued to debate about women and whether they should have access to the health care services they need and whether they should be the ones that are able to make the decisions about the health care services they need. And we sit here and wonder why the United States Congress is stuck at an approval rating of 11 percent. Maybe it’s because we’re talking about contraception in the context of a transportation bill.”

19 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. nancycronknancycronk says:

    Thank you for your courage, Congresswoman. I am proud to live in your state!

    • But she’s up front on issues like this, and it’s a Good Thing.

      I’ll echo that thanks.  Thank you, Congresswoman DeGette.

      • SSG_Dan says:

        …for a few specific policy issues she springs to life, puts out some good hits, and fades back into DC obscurity where she cashes the checks from Big Med and Big Pharma.

        I need my Congressperson to do the job full-time, on all the issues her constituents bring to her attention, not just a tiny few.  

        • ColoDem says:

          How much did DeGette receive from “Big Med” and “Big Pharma” in the last cycle?  Can you point to a single vote by DeGette that was influenced by such donations?  

          • SSG_Dan says:

            First off, no hiding behind one election cycle. Over her career in Congress, Rep DeGette has received $537,514 from the Health Care industry, and $273,984 from the Pharmaceuticals/Health Products industry.

            (source – OpenSecrets.org here: http://www.opensecrets.org/pol

            For some perspective, it was a campaign issue when Bob “Big Oil” Schaffer ran for the Senate, and he only got $337,576 from the Oil & Gas industry. Unlike Big Oil Bob, Rep DeGette has won industry recognition for her efforts in Congress to keep them rich.

            The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) has named Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D, CO-1) as a “Legislator of the Year” for 2005-2006.

            Congresswoman DeGette received the BIO Legislator of the Year award this afternoon in a meeting with representatives of the biotechnology industry from Colorado, including Denise Brown, Executive Director of the Colorado BioScience Association.

            http://www.bio.org/media/press

            I can point to many votes that Rep DeGette either did or said nothing, esp during the heated debates during the ACA votes, all well documented on this site. Again, she seems to discover she’s in Congress on a tiny few issues, only to go back undercover once they’ve been hooted about.

            NOT what I want from my Congressperson….

            • ColoDem says:

              DeGette helped pass the public option through the Energy and Commerce Committee and the entire House:

              http://degette.house.gov/index

              Our friends in the “Upper Chamber” killed the public option.  

              The voters in Denver don’t consider DeGette’s leadership on choice, the public option, consumer product safety, food safety, stem cell research, drug shortage legislation, wilderness, the DREAM Act, etc. to involve “a few tiny issues.”

              • SSG_Dan says:

                and not just for a few select events where money is raised. Why is it that this thread has such a long list of comments? It’s because Rep DeGette weighs in SO LITTLE that when it happens it’s newsworthy

                And changing the subject doesn’t mitigate the fact she’s talking massive amounts of cash from two industry segments. Again, if it’s an issue with Dems that “Big Oil Bob” got paid by the Oil and Gas Industry, which shouldn’t it be an issue with Big Med/Big Pharma?

  2. divergent_tdog says:

    I don’t know, there were an awful lot of facts in that speech. Is she sure it’s 2012?

    • JeffcoBlueJeffcoBlue says:

      When I count up the Republicans voted out of office in November.

      • MADCO says:

        It ain’t over yet.

        • ArapaGOPArapaGOP says:

          As much as you would like the election to be about rubbers, it’s not going to be about rubbers. There are much more important matters before the nation.

          • divergent_tdog says:

            So how come all the GOP can talk about is rubbers? (Actually, they’re not, they’re talking about birth control pills, not rubbers,since men are in charge of rubbers but not birth control pills)

          • AristotleAristotle says:

            and the Democrats will win.

            But don’t kid yourself; your party’s obsession with reestablishing the patriarchy and the Old Order is going to cost you votes, too.

            • ArapaGOPArapaGOP says:

              I’m not sure what that means, but I doubt it will fit on a bumper sticker. Or win many hearts and minds.

              • ColoDem says:

                Ask any female independent voter between 18 and 35 what it means.  She will tell you.

                And while you’re at it, ask her how she feels about the Republicans’ efforts to allow employers to deny employees insurance coverage for birth control pills based on alleged moral beliefs.  And then try to convince her “there are much more important matters before the nation.”  (Is one of those important matters abolishing the separation between church and state?)

              • BlueCat says:

                the fringe’s obsession with imposing religious patriarchy (even if you don’t know what that means) isn’t a winner. Since it is all we see coming from GOP legislators at both federal level and in so many red state legislatures and from GOP Govs, you’re kind of stuck with it. Dems didn’t force GOPers to give top priority, while ignoring any meaningful addressing of job creation, to things like forced transvaginal ultrasounds for non-medical reasons or taking us back to the fifties over birth control.  

                And It’s awfully hard on poor Mittens. So confused, he broke his own turn around time record on an issue today and the best he could come up with was some incoherent nonsense about thinking he was being asked about some else. Keep up the good work, Repugs.

              • AristotleAristotle says:

                THAT fits better on a bumper sticker*, and without any of them thar big college words that flummox the GOP base. Much snappier, too.

                Either way, social cons have run amok in the GOP and it’s just one more front on which you’re losing.

                * If you think “reestablishing the patriarchy” doesn’t fit on a bumper sticker, you must be one of those country club types who won’t actually rub shoulders with those bumpkins (your attitude, not mine) in the tea party – you’d see how wordy they can get.

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