New England Face-Off: Champ vs. Chump
This week’s chump is a repeat offender; in fact, he has permanent chump status, proving time and time again he can’t be trusted when it comes to women’s health. New England resident, former Massachusetts Governor, and current Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has truly earned the much-coveted Chump of the week title.
Mitt Romney is never one to stand his ground on an issue for very long. We just didn’t think he would change his mind so quickly.
This past Wednesday, when asked on a radio show with Ohio News Network if he opposed Senator Roy Blunt’s amendment — which would have allowed ANY employer the right to deny health care coverage for anything based on “moral conviction” — Mitt Romney said, “I’m not for the bill, but look, the idea of presidential candidates getting into questions about contraception within a relationship between a man and a women, husband and wife, I’m not going there.”
So to the public it appeared for all intents and purposes, Romney was against the bill that would have restricted women’s access to affordable birth control. However a few hours (and what we imagine were a few emergency communications calls) later, his campaign issued the following statement: “Regarding the Blunt bill, the way the question was asked was confusing. Governor Romney supports the Blunt Bill because he believes in a conscience exemption in health care for religious institutions and people of faith."
He was against the bill at lunchtime and for it by dinnertime.
Our Champ this week is a New Englander of a different sort. The Democratic senator from New Hampshire, Jeanne Shaheen has been out front on the issue and from the beginning has worked to protect women’s rights. In a state where women’s health has come under attack with a number of bills moving forward in the state legislature to defund Planned Parenthood health centers and restrict women’s access to affordable care, Shaheen is doing all she can in the Senate to protect health care for all women, across the country as well.
This past week, with the Blunt amendment up for a vote, Shaheen stood strong in her commitment to women’s health. In fact, she even published an op-ed in the Concord Monitor to discuss the importance of access to affordable birth control and the politics of women’s health. Discussing the Blunt amendment, which would let your boss make your health care decisions for you, she said:
“Republicans argue that this sweeping proposal is necessary to preserve religious liberty. But this debate is not about faith. And it should not be about politics. This debate should be about access to essential health services….Instead of politics, we should be talking about policy. It was the independent, nonprofit Institute of Medicine, along with other medical experts, that recommended federal rules include contraception as a required preventive service because it is essential to the health of women and families.”
And later on the Rachel Maddow Show she reiterated this claim: “It is a continuation [of] attacks we have seen on women`s health that began with the effort to defund Planned Parenthood and then stop supporting family planning services, Title X, and now we`re seeing an effort to prevent women`s access to contraceptive care.”
The fact is, as Shaheen said “women want to make their own decisions. These are very private and personal health care decisions. Women and their doctors and their families should be making these decisions. Government should not be getting between a woman and her doctor.”
After the vote ended Shaheen took a moment to share her thoughts with MSNBC. Watch the clip below!
For standing up and speaking out to protect women’s health, Senator Shaheen deserves the Champ Crown. We need more leaders like Senator Shaheen in the United States Congress.