Senator Kristen Gillibrand gets the Girl, You’ve Got Bigger Stones Than Me Award of the week for going head-to-head on “Meet The Press” yesterday with none other than Rep. Michele Bachmann. (Rep. Bachmann, let me remind you, refers to emergency contraception as “the morning-after abortion pill” thus conflating it with abortion, suggests the HPV vaccine can make children become mentally retarded, jokes about so-called “ex-gay” therapy and does not allow her daughters to ask boys on dates.) Somehow Sen. Gillibrand managed not to reach through the TV screens and shake her … even when Bachmann said Republicans want women to “make their own choices.”
Although the moderator was trying to get the women to discuss the recent Ann Romney/stay-at-home mom/Hilary Rosen kerfluffle, Sen. Gillibrand pivoted the conversation to Republican attacks on birth control and abortion.
“The Republican Party of the House of Representatives have made it part of their agenda that they want bosses to tell women what medicines they are eligible to take. Nothing could be more insulting. Ninety-nine percent of America’s women take birth control in their lifetime. This is a debate that has long been settled.”
Rep. Bachmann then interrupted. “That’s a false portrayal,” she said. “What we want is women to be able to make their own choices. We want women to make choices.” (And, no, it’s not an false portrayal. There was a bill introduced by Republicans in Arizona — not the federal House of Representatives — that would have allowed employers to force women to prove they were prescribed birth control for medical reasons.)
Sen. Gillibrand then interjected, “Not when your boss tells you, you can’t.”
And then Rep. Bachmann responded:
“We want health savings accounts and the ability to be able to make their own choices in health care. You see, that’s the lie that happens under Obamacare. The president of the United States effectively becomes a health care dictator. Women don’t need anyone to tell them what to do on health care. We want women to have their own choices, their own money. That way they can make their own choices for their future on their own bodies.”
Republicans want women to “make their own choices for their future on their own bodies”? That’s why frontrunner Mitt Romney said last month he would “get rid of” Planned Parenthood? Why recently-dropped-out GOP candidate Rick Santorum suggested pregnant rape victims “make the best out of a bad situation”? Why an all-male panel was convened before Congress to discuss birth control in health care reform?
Glad we’re clear on that one.
While I understand the argument Bachmann was making in the larger scope of the health care reform discussion, it is beyond laughable to me that she of all people would co-opt the language of “choice.” She is anti-abortion, anti-morning after pill, and pro-abstinence only education. (And, not to mention anti-gay and anti-gay marriage, which is another issue entirely!) I mean, crikey. When Michele Bachmann says Republicans want women to have choices, she means “choices” like the ones she believes are moral — which is no choice at all.
Contact the author of this post at Jessica@TheFrisky.com. Follow me on Twitter at @JessicaWakeman.