Champ and Chump of the Week: Mitt Romney Needs a Lesson from Texas Women
Our chump this week is obvious; it’s none other than Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
Asked in an interview what programs he would eliminate to reduce the federal deficit, Romney replied: "Of course you get rid of Obamacare, that's the easy one, but there are others," he said. "Planned Parenthood, we're going to get rid of that."
Really? The way Governor Romney so casually suggested eliminating funding for an organization that provides preventive and lifesaving health care for nearly three million people was nothing short of “chumptastic.”
One in five American women has relied on a Planned Parenthood health center at some point in her life. They aren’t going there to make a political statement. They are going there for reliable and affordable care. But Mitt Romney doesn’t get that.
He only has to look to what’s going on in Texas to know just how much these health programs mean to the communities they serve, and what happens if politicians try and take these services away.
In Texas, women have been speaking out to defend women’s health and the women, men, and teens who count on Planned Parenthood. After Governor Rick Perry decided to effectively sabotage the Medicaid Women’s Health Program, thereby denying more than 130,000 women affordable health care, Texans have come together to tell these anti-women’s health politicians: stop playing politics with women’s health.
Thousands of women (and the men who care about them) showed Governor Perry just what he’s up against. From Brownsville to Austin, the Women’s Health Express traveled the state stopping in more than 15 cities to bring attention to what these health care programs really mean to Texas women.
Their voices were heard loud and clear, and even prompted Governor Perry to respond and announce he’ll find a way to fund the program. We’re not that optimistic about his commitment (especially considering his past record of slashing the women’s health budget by two-thirds in the last legislative session), but the fact that he made this announcement to fund the program shows what happens when women speak out. What these women did was not only important to the women of Texas, but also to women throughout the nation who saw what dangerous polices pushed forward by an extreme politician like Governor Perry can mean for their health care.
Perhaps Mitt Romney should take a lesson from Texas women — don’t play politics with women’s health.