Chump of the Week: Newt Gingrich
We’ve had quite a few Chump contenders this week — especially after Wednesday night’s Personhood USA presidential forum — but at the end of the day, former House Speaker and lifelong historian Newt Gingrich takes this week’s Chump of the Week (COW) crown.
Newt is known for writing alternative histories, so perhaps it’s fitting that we imagine a world where Newt Gingrich actually wins the 2012 election. Taking into account the past week’s events alone, we know just how frightening a world it would become.
For starters, Newt’s presidential plans call for defunding Planned Parenthood “sometime early in 2013.” Where would the money go? Redirected to adoption services. Of course, that only makes sense as a policy if you believe Senator Jon Kyl’s “not intended to be a factual statement” statement that abortion is “well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does.” The reality is that adoption organizations, while vitally important, don’t provide the essential preventive health care which makes up more than 90 percent of Planned Parenthood health center services, so Newt’s plan would dramatically reduce preventive care and lifesaving cancer screenings that so many women, men, and teens expect from Planned Parenthood.
In a world where Newt is president, women could have restricted access to common forms of birth control, lifesaving health care and in vitro fertilization — all as a result of the “personhood” measures he supports. At the Personhood presidential forum Wednesday, he reiterated his support (in the erudite way that only Newt can), stating: “We are fully human upon conception because all of the genetic patterns needed are in existence at that moment and therefore the rights should attach at that moment.” Need a translation?
According to Newt, “If you can save a majority, then you do it, even though it’s not perfect.” So what does this mean for women? Well, in a world where Newt is president, women would be denied comprehensive health services and abortion care even in cases of rape or incest (a position he's long held).
Newt says he wants to “give young women the choice of life,” but it doesn’t really seem like he wants to give anyone a choice at all.
But what put Newt over the top is that he earned the endorsement of now former presidential candidate and featured chump Rick Perry. Not really a good reflection on Newt, if the guy who slashed funding by 2/3rds for Texas’ women’s health programs and greatly diminished their access to reproductive health care endorses him. We figure that counts for at least a few points.…
Photo Credit: Nathan Gray/The Independent-Mail/AP