Equity Forward’s Friday Hypocrisy Round-up

Disregard for pregnant women from SBA List, Azar’s remarks at ALEC, silence on family separation crisis mark week of hypocrisy from “pro-life” forces

08.10.18 – From politicians and administration officials to anti-choice organizations, those who proclaim themselves “pro-life” and work to restrict access to the full range of reproductive health care services were full of hypocrisy this week.  Specifically:

SBA List has remained silent in the face of women miscarrying in ICE detention and the maternal mortality crisis, yet continues to call itself a “pro-life” group

Despite proudly claiming itself “pro-life,” the Susan B Anthony (SBA) List continues to show that it does not stand for the lives and well-being of women, including pregnant women, and should instead call itself what it is:  an organization dedicated only to ensuring that abortion is made illegal. The SBA List has strong ties to the Trump administration and is one of the most vocal and well-funded organizations leading the charge to overturn the landmark ruling in Roe v Wade.  This week, they launched a “media blitz” pressing Democrats in Republican and Republican-leaning states up for re-election this fall to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court — and yet they still remain silent on real issues facing women in this country, including women reporting miscarrying in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention and our country’s shocking maternal mortality crisis.

While pandering to right wing organization ALEC, HHS Chief Alex Azar bemoans that state & local regulations are impeding health care — except when it comes to abortion

Yesterday, Alex Azar spoke at the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), an organization dedicated to advancing conservative priorities in states through model legislation.  At least 98% of ALEC’s budget comes from corporations, including Eli Lilly, where Azar was President for nearly a decade before joining HHS.

In his speech, Azar, while encouraging states to ease burdens on health care delivery said, “I would urge all of you to take a look at how state and local regulations can be impeding healthcare competition, raising costs for American patients, and depriving them of choices.”  Azar’s comment is remarkable considering that state legislation requiring onerous licensing and regulation of abortion providers and clinics has forced many facilities to close, others to not open and denied doctors the ability to practice abortion care. The very regulations Azar is cautioning against have forced many health care consumers — women seeking abortions — to shoulder extra cost and time when they need to access health care, often forcing them to travel great distances.  Abortion care is over regulated, especially given its enviable safety record; indeed, studies find that state laws that excessively and needlessly overregulate abortion can actually make it less safe.  Azar’s comments are remarkably hypocritical considering he’s staffed his department with known anti-reproductive health care appointees and has taken sharp aim at family planning providers in the Title X program.

Self-proclaimed “strong supporter of the pro-life cause” and fourth most powerful Republican in the House Cathy McMorris Rodgers does next to nothing to remedy family separation crisis

Cathy McMorris Rodgers is the fourth highest ranking member of the House of Representatives and sits on the Energy & Commerce Committee, which has direct oversight responsibilities of Health and Human Services (HHS) and its Office of Refugee Resettlement, the entities responsible for caring for and housing the children separated from their families due to the Trump administration’s cruel and inhumane “zero tolerance” policy. While McMorris Rodgers has said she’s opposed to the administration’s actions, she has not conducted any meaningful oversight of the crisis or held any administration officials accountable for their conduct.  Her near-inaction on the family separation crisis stands in stark contrast to the lip service she pays to her “pro-life” bona fides.  Today, Equity Forward launched a six figure TV ad buy calling on McMorris Rodgers to hold the administration accountable for the family separation crisis.

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