So If At First You Don’t Succeed . . .

. . . form another select committee filled with even more bat-shit crazy right wingers to “investigate” Planned Parenthood. What could possibly go wrong, right?

The eight Republican members of the latest ship of the damned are a veritable murderers row of crazy.

Here’s the full lineup of Republicans on the committee:

Marsha Blackburn, Chairman (R-TN)
Joe Pitts (R-PA)
Diane Black (R-TN)
Larry Bucshon (R-IN)
Sean Duffy (R-WI)
Andy Harris (R-MD)
Vicki Hartzler (-MO)
Mia Love (R-UT)

Charlie Pierce has a nice writeup (with links) showing just how nutty this crew really is. And I know we’re all so proud here in Maryland to have one of our own in the clown car for this one. I personally think that Pierce is dead on with his surmise that John Boehner is just screwing with his own party on the way out the door. If there’s a better explanation, I’m not seeing it.

Anyway, something to look forward to. I really hope they televise this group’s hearings too. Because another fiasco is just what the GOP needs right now.

Dem Legislators To Hogan: Don’t Mess With Planned Parenthood

“Mess” was not my first choice of verb there, but I don’t want to get anybody in trouble for my potty mouth, so I switched it. It’s a family blog - sometimes.

Delegates Ariana Kelly of Bethesda and Shelly Hettleman of Baltimore County wrote and circulated a powerful letter to Governor Larry Hogan regarding Planned Parenthood funding in Maryland. An impressive group of 65 delegates (out of 91 in the entire Democratic caucus) signed the letter, including five committee chairs, five vice chairs, four congressional candidates, and the entire 24 member Montgomery County House delegation. Nine senators also signed the letter, including the entire MoCo delegation (and another congressional contender).

It’s a great letter, and particularly appropriate on Pink Out Day. Here’s the text in its entirety. It can also be found here.

Dear Governor Hogan:

Your office has said repeatedly that you are eager to put partisanship aside and get things done.

We are watching the Republican-controlled Congress take the federal government to the brink of a shutdown over federal funding of Planned Parenthood, and we are concerned that General Assembly Republicans have drawn inspiration from the dysfunction your office so often condemns.

Please take a public stand against these fringe tactics and commit now to funding Planned Parenthood in your FY2017 budget.

The Frederick News-Post recently reported that certain Frederick County lawmakers want to eliminate State reimbursement for the critical public health services provided by Planned Parenthood. These legislators are embracing the approach of Capitol Hill Republicans who put partisanship ahead of getting things done for our country. As Governor, you can stop this dysfunction by condemning their approach and committing to funding Planned Parenthood.

According to the Department of Budget & Management’s Funding Transparency & Accountability website, the State of Maryland made payments totaling $2.6 million to Planned Parenthood of Maryland, Inc. in FY2014. These payments were made primarily by the Department of Health & Mental Hygiene to support community-based health care, including life-saving cancer screenings, family planning services, and other cost-saving preventative health care services that strengthened the health of Maryland women, girls and the overall condition of our communities.

These services are not controversial, and it would be extremely disappointing for you to allow the radical fringe of your own Party to try to score political points at the expense of your constituents’ health. Planned Parenthood’s services are a critical component of community-based care for thousands of Maryland women and their families, and they are counting on you to protect their access to health care.

Do not let the very dysfunction your administration so often criticizes come to Annapolis. Please speak today against fringe tactics and commit to funding Planned Parenthood in your FY2017 budget.


Delegate Ariana Kelly (District 16)
Delegate Shelly Hettleman (District, 11)
Delegate Edith Patterson, (District 28)
Delegate Steve Lafferty (District 42A)
Delegate Ben Barnes (District 21)
Delegate Pete Hammen (District 46)
Delegate Barbara Frush (District 21)
Delegate Sandy Rosenberg (District 41)
Delegate Joseline Pena-Melnyk (District 21)
Delegate Luke Clippinger (District 46)
Delegate Tawanna Gaines (District 22)
Delegate Dan Morhaim (Districct 11)
Delegate Alonzo Washington (District 22)
Delegate Mary Washington (District 43)
Delegate Karen Lewis Young (District 3A)
Delegate Brooke Lierman (District 46)
Delegate Erek Barron (District 24)
Delegate Dana Stein (District 11)
Delegate Angela Angel (District 25)
Delegate Maggie McIntosh (District 43)
Delegate Dereck Davis (District 25)
Delegate Ben Brooks (District 10)
Delegate Kris Valderrama (District 26)
Delegate Eric Ebersole (District 12)
Delegate Darryl Barnes (District 25)
Delegate Frank Turner (District 13)
Delegate Jimmy Tarlau (District 47A)
Delegate Cheryl Glenn (District 45)
Delegate Anne Kaiser (District 14)
Delegate Vanessa Atterbeary (District 13)
Delegate David Fraser-Hidalgo (District 15)
Delegate Adrienne Jones (District 10)
Delegate Craig Zucker (District 14)
Delegate Nathaniel Oaks (District 41)
Delegate Kathleen Dumais (District 15)
Delegate Patrick Young (District 44B)
Delegate Eric Luedtke (District 14)
Delegate Clarence Lam (District 12)
Delegate Aruna Miller (District 15)
Delegate Cory McCray (District 45)
Delegate C.William Frick (District 16)
Delegate Keith Haynes (District 44A)
Delegate Kumar Barve (District 17)
Delegate Antonio Hayes (District 40)
Delegate Marc Korman (District 16)
Delegate Jay Jalisi (District 10)
Delegate Jim Gilchrist (District 17)
Delegate Curt Anderson (District 43)
Delegate Al Carr, Jr. (District 18)
Delegate Shane Pendergrass (District 13)
Delegate Andrew Platt (District 17)
Delegate Terri Hill (District 12)
Delegate Ana Sol Gutierrez (District 18)
Delegate Barbara Robinson (District 40)
Delegate Ben Kramer (District 19)
Delegate Marice Morales (District 19)
Delegate Sheila Hixon (District 20)
Delegate Charles Barkley (District 39)
Delegate Jeff Waldstreicher (District 18)
Delegate Bonnie Cullison (District 19)
Delegate David Moon (District 20)
Delegate Kirill Reznik (District 39)
Delegate Shane Robinson (District 39)
Delegate Diana Fennell (District 47A)
Delegate Will Smith (District 20)
Senator Karen Montgomery (District 14)
Senator Brian Feldman (District 15)
Senator Susan Lee (District 16)
Senator Cheryl Kagan (District 17)
Senator Richard Madaleno, Jr. (District 18)
Senator Roger Manno (District 19)
Senator Jamie Raskin (District 20)
Senator Nancy King (District 39)
Senator Bill Ferguson (District 46)

I Stand With Planned Parenthood

This. Every word. It’s not up for debate - you’re either on the right side or you’re part of the problem. Period.

Planned Parenthood is at the leading edge of providing the highest quality reproductive health care — including providing every new form of FDA-approved contraception and using technology to reach patients in underserved areas. That commitment has led to important health advances and helped produce the lowest rate of teen pregnancy in nearly 40 years.

* * *

One in five women has relied on Planned Parenthood for health care in her lifetime. Those women are the victims here. Planned Parenthood patients turn to us not just because they know we uphold the highest medical standards of care but also because we are part of their local community. More than half of Planned Parenthood’s health centers are in rural or medically underserved areas. And for many low-income women, Planned Parenthood health centers are their sole source of medical care. Our health centers are lifelines that our country cannot afford to cut.

The extremists will not win this battle. The goal of these attacks is to get Planned Parenthood to stop providing care — and that will never happen. We have proudly provided reproductive health-care services for 99 years, and we are only getting started.

I think we’re done here. Any questions?

Planned Parenthood

You’ve probably heard the stories or maybe even seen the latest in a string of endless sting videos by right wing anti-abortion groups, which was edited to maximum negative effect. The fact is that PP provides medical services to over 3 million women that they can’t get anywhere else.

Republicans tried to make a political issue out of Planned Parenthood in 2012 and they got soundly thrashed for doing so. Looks like we’re in for another round of the same old song. 

I’m on the board of the local DC/MD/VA affiliate’s political arm, and I am proud of the necessary and important work that the organization does. Go read this column by Petula Dvorak if you have any questions.

According to its own estimates, Planned Parenthood prevents more than half a million unintended pregnancies every year. You could say that makes it the nation’s biggest abortion foe.

After the sting video this week, the governors of Texas, Louisiana, Indiana and Georgia demanded investigations into the Planned Parenthood centers in their states. They couldn’t stand hearing the details of a legal medical procedure.

But it’s interesting that they can stand hearing another horrific fact: Texas and Louisiana have some of the country’s highest childhood poverty rates: Twenty-five percent of Texas children and 28 percent of kids in Louisiana are growing up dirt poor, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Kids Count Data Center.

How about a sting on behalf of those kids, already born and living in misery?

There is an extraordinary amount of political energy spent on trying to destroy Planned Parenthood. What happens if that campaign succeeds?

Women who rely on the group for birth control, cancer screenings and unwanted pregnancies would have nowhere to turn. And that’s not progress.