Bigot of the Week: January 11, Reps. Marsha Blackburn and Diane Black of Tennessee

11 Jan
Bigots of the Week

Bigots of the Week

An elephant may never forget but it appears that many Republican members of Congress never learn. Two members of the House of Representatives, both women from Tennessee, have decided to renew the war on women and attack Planned Parenthood on the first day of the new Congress–always sad to see internalized misogyny. Ignoring the election’s clear message in support of policies that promote women’s health and the fact that the vast majority of Americans support Planned Parenthood for its breadth of services, Rep. Marsha Blackburn and Rep. Diane Black have both introduced bills to block use of government funds for organizations that provide abortions as even a small part of their operations.

Rep. Blackburn is the Vice Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the committee with jurisdiction over the issue. She lifted a failed bill from the last Congress written by former Rep. Mike Pence (R – IN). (He went on to be elected Governor of Indiana, the home of Richard Mourdock. Not a woman-friendly state…) The bill — clearly targeting Planned Parenthood — would restrict the use of Title X money. Says Blackburn,

As a woman, I believe America deserves better than abortion.

Rep. Black purloined the same Pence-penned poison pill and put it forth herself. Even being from the same state and the same party, these two couldn’t communicate around a single bill, apparently. In the name of scoring Tea points, they both ignore the wide range of services most health care providers offer. They ignore the fact that without Planned Parenthood millions of women would have little or no access to critical health services and that the impact would be particularly hard on minorities, the poor, and rural women — all populations present in large numbers in Tennessee. How pathetic to see such self-loathing women pursue such a hateful agenda.

Dishonorable mention this week comes courtesy of my friend Jennifer Carey, who pointed me to some additional misogyny. Odious evangelist Pat Robertson managed to outdo himself in a broadcast this week. Responding to a question from a youth who was concerned that his father was spending too much time online, Robertson laid the blame firmly on the mother.

It may be your mom isn’t as sweet as you think she is. She may be kind of hard-nosed […] It’s easy to blame the mother! You always have to keep that spark of love alive. It just isn’t something to just lie there. ‘Well, I’m married to him so he’s got to take me slatternly looking.’ You’ve got to fix yourself up, look pretty.

Just when you thought he couldn’t sink any lower, Robertson manages to astound again; this man is one big ball of crazy and hate.


16 Responses to “Bigot of the Week: January 11, Reps. Marsha Blackburn and Diane Black of Tennessee”

  1. prideinmadness January 11, 2013 at 7:21 am #

    I believe America, Canada and every country deserves better than forced motherhood, unwanted children, and the taking away of rights! Just saying….. I recently applied for a job at Planned Parenthood in my city 🙂 I think it would be an amazing place to work and I especially love being a user of their service!

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt January 11, 2013 at 7:25 am #

      You would be great! at PlannedParenthood! I hope you get the job. I love what you say about “forced motherhood.” I’m so tired of the GOP protecting the fetus at all costs, but then neglecting both the child and the mother.

      • prideinmadness January 11, 2013 at 9:55 am #

        I’ve applied before at Planned Parenthood and no luck but I’ll keep trying!

        In regards to forced motherhood. I read in Freakonomics (Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner) that inmates in a Romanian prison were born during a period of time when abortion was illegal. The numbers suggested that if women had access to abortions that their possible children would have turned out differently because they would have been wanted. (It’s a really interesting book).

        I’m also reading The Cider House Rules and the character Dr. Larch is very progressive in seeing his work as not just delivering babies but also delivering mothers. i very much like this character.

        I’ve asked pro-life people who I’ve seen wandering around the city if they would adopt my baby or help me look after it and they tell me no….to which I tell them to F off.

      • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt January 11, 2013 at 9:58 am #

        I enjoyed the book Cider House Rules, but did not care for the movie. I love that you asked people who are anti-choice about helping with a baby and their reply. You are such a good social worker–too bad you live so far.

      • prideinmadness January 13, 2013 at 8:39 am #

        I take into account I am in a city that supports me in being able to tell off some anti choice people. I would be afraid to do it in the USA, not going to lie. There are at least 3 clinics that I know of in my city, one of them was bombed a long time ago. Still, 3 abortion clinics in 1 city, that must be a world record! And Planned Parenthood isn’t one of the clinics :p

      • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt January 13, 2013 at 9:55 am #

        Let us hope that the US will become more vocal in support of women’s health rights!

  2. le artiste boots January 11, 2013 at 4:11 pm #

    It pains me to listen to the Representative from my state. And nothing nice can be said about the positions being expressed in 2013. We can only hope.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt January 11, 2013 at 11:24 pm #

      You will always have an open invitation to stay here in Portland with us! 🙂

      • le artiste boots January 16, 2013 at 12:00 pm #

        You know I just might. Have a connection in Seattle. pretty close.

      • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt January 16, 2013 at 12:01 pm #

        You know you have a standing invitation to visit us here in Portland.

  3. Christine Noble January 11, 2013 at 7:17 pm #

    Classism at its best. If any of the young women in these women’s lives were to find themselves in need of an abortion, you could be they would get one, with the Reps’ help.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt January 11, 2013 at 11:26 pm #

      Yes, Classism and amazing privilege at work here, with the unfortunate undercurrent of misogyny.

  4. mamajohnston January 12, 2013 at 5:34 am #

    I think I’m a strange breed because I’m both pro-choice and pro-life. As a Libertarian I see the smallest minority as a minority of one. That fetus may not be a “child” yet but it is a life. There are so many good people who want to adopt babies that the idea of “forced motherhood” doesn’t make sense to me. Abortion is detrimental to the mother as well as the life it kills. It is the ultimate selfish act. That being said, I am glad abortion (before 20 weeks) is legal for those who choose to do that so it can be done safely.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt January 12, 2013 at 8:36 am #

      I am troubled by your calling abortion the “ultimate selfish act,” and wonder if you know anyone who has had an abortion. The women I know that have had an abortion did so because they are selfless and knew they could not bring a child into the world yet; it was also the most excruciatingly emotional choice they made. Forced motherhood does not just mean being forced to give birth to the fetus but raising a child–potentially without resources and without the emotional tools. I thank you for your comment here and I hope it starts a meaningful and respectful discussion that both sides can learn from.

      • mamajohnston January 14, 2013 at 5:20 pm #

        Yes, I do know someone personally who has had an abortion. I understand the emotions behind it. Logically abortion is much easier than giving birth to a child that you put up for adoption (or raise). I’ve also had a child, so I understand the emotions behind that too. I know people who have adopted and know the love they have for children that are biologically not theirs.

        I believe in choice, but I also believe that stopping a healthy life from its potential is sad. There are so many other options (including contraception and minimizing risky behavior) that I don’t think abortion should be as common as it is. You are killing an embryo/fetus as well as a little bit of that woman.


  1. Bigot of the Week: January 11, Reps. Marsha Blackburn and Diane Black of Tennessee « Central Oregon Coast NOW - January 11, 2013

    […] Bigot of the Week: January 11, Reps. Marsha Blackburn and Diane Black of Tennessee. […]

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