Granite State Champs and a familiar Arizona Chump
This week, we’re awarding the Champ title to quite a few people: the New Hampshire State Senate. On Wednesday, this bipartisan group of lawmakers soundly defeated four attacks on women’s health (and some by very large margins)!
The anti-women’s health bills that were defeated included a broad religious discrimination bill, a bill which places severe limits on when women can get abortion care, a mandatory 24-hour waiting period bill, and a defunding bill.
The defunding bill that was up for debate could have dealt a big blow to the state’s family planning network by excluding comprehensive reproductive health care providers like Planned Parenthood from participating in the Federal Title X program and the Medicaid program. It could have denied affordable health care to 16,000 women in the state, including many low-income, working individuals. But the New Hampshire State Senate did not let that happen. Instead, they stood up for women in the Granite State.
What was most encouraging about the defeat of these bills was the bipartisan consensus that these bills were bad for women and wrong for New Hampshire. As we’ve said many times, women’s health should not be a political issue.
Unfortunately the fight for women’s health in the Granite State is far from over. House Speaker Bill O’Brien refuses to accept the defeats and has pledged to resurrect much of this legislation in other forms. Women will be watching in New Hampshire — ready to hold leaders accountable for their positions on women’s health — and women will be supporting elected officials who support women like the New Hampshire State Senate! Major kudos to the New Hampshire State Senate, our champs of the week.
This week’s Chump title goes to Arizona Senator John McCain for calling the attacks on women’s health “ludicrous, partisan, and imaginary.”
In remarks on the Senate Floor on the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, McCain said the following:
"My friends, this supposed 'war on women' or the use of similarly outlandish rhetoric by partisan operatives has two purposes, and both are purely political in their purpose and effect. The first is to distract citizens from real issues that really matter and the second is to give talking heads something to sputter about when they appear on cable television."
But it was only a month ago, when McCain was asked on NBC’s Meet the Press whether “there is something of a war on women among Republicans,” and he responded, “I think we have to fix that.” McCain later added that Republicans “ought to respect the right of women to make choices in their own lives.”
So, while McCain had previously admitted that his party has a problem with the continued attacks on women’s health, he’s now choosing to deny that these attacks are real. To top it all off, his remarks denying the attacks on women’s health were made the same week his home state of Arizona passed two anti-women’s health bills that currently sit on the governor’s desk waiting to be signed. Perhaps McCain should look at what’s happening in his own state first. And maybe he should reconsider co-sponsoring bills like the Blunt amendment — which would have allowed any employer the right to deny coverage for ANY benefit based on a so-called “moral conviction” — that contribute to the number of attacks.
Senator McCain proved this week that when it comes to women’s health, he is completely out of touch. For his ill-advised statements on the Senate Floor, he has truly earned the title of Chump of the Week.