At one point during Tuesday’s interminable congressional hearing over federal funding for Planned Parenthood, Democratic Rep. Brenda Lawrence of Michigan exclaimed in exasperation, “I know my colleagues are more intelligent than this.”
She was referring specifically to how her Republican colleagues were pretending not to understand that Planned Parenthood’s federal funding primarily comes from billing Medicaid for services rendered – but the quote could’ve referred to any one of the incredibly stupid arguments Republicans lobbed at Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards, who was testifying about her organization.
Here are some of the dumber ones on display.
Because boobs, or something.
One of the GOP Congress members’ favorite talking points Tuesday was that Planned Parenthood doesn’t have any mammogram machines. They considered this a killer “gotcha” line, for some reason, even though Planned Parenthood is a family planning clinic focused on sexual health care: STI tests, contraception and other services to make it easier for sexually active people, mostly premenopausal women, to have a healthy sex life. Breasts, while surely a favorite of many a Congressman, are not really part of Planned Parenthood’s core agenda, which is more focused on below-the-belt stuff.
While Richards tried to get that point across repeatedly, pointing out that the group’s clinics refer women for mammograms, her Republican detractors refused to hear it.
Just get your Pap smears from the Boys and Girls Club.
Many Republicans Tuesday invoked a variety of things they wished they could spend Planned Parenthood’s federal funding on. Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah dropped giant crocodile tears during his opening statement, saying, “Cancer in this country kills about 1,500 people a day,” with the implication being that women are somehow helping kill those people by using up precious research dollars on their birth control pills. Other Congressmen recommended spending the money on “counseling” for the more or less non-existent trauma of abortion regret and, in one case, on the Boys and Girls Club.