Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, sent an email to her supporters on Monday, complaining of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) campaign against the abortion-funding health care bill. Richards begged for quick action from abortion supporters to counter the bishops’ influence and push the bill through Congress.
Richards’ attack was spurred by the nation-wide campaign the USCCB has recently launched, seeking to mobilize parishioners and clergy to call their representatives and senators to defeat the abortion-funding health care bill in Congress.
In the email, Richards breathlessly avers that “every group opposed to a woman’s right to choose is pulling out all the stops this week to bring all the progress we’ve made on health care reform to a grinding halt.”
She then urges abortion supporters to contact their senators and representatives and tell them to continue to work for the health care bill. “I know that you’ve likely e-mailed and called before,” she writes, “and I’m asking you to do it again today – and it won’t be the last time.”
The email links to tools to help supporters of abortion contact both their senators and their friends. The form email to representatives and senators urges them to protect the “current House bill [that] ensures access to reproductive health care.”
However, the statement from Richards appears to clash with the earlier denials by President Obama, members of Congress, and Cecile Richards herself, that the proposed health care bill would not bring about federal funding of abortion. In early August, Richards wrote that it was a myth that “taxpayer money would be used to pay for abortions in the public plan.” At the same time, however, Richards is now bitterly fighting the U.S. bishops’ campaign against the abortion-funding provisions in the bill, despite the fact that the bishops have expressed support for healthcare reform without abortion funding.
In addition to urging pro-aborts to lobby Congress, Richards goes on to say that the U.S. bishops “don’t speak for all Catholics.” She then includes a quotation from a “Catholic” supporter of abortion, saying that “hundreds of thousands” of people die because they lack insurance, and that the Catholic bishops “don’t represent me, and they don’t represent my beliefs. I’m speaking out, and I’m asking my Catholic friends and family to do the same.”
Richards then goes on to urge any Catholics who disagree with their bishops to speak to their legislators.
Richards has previously attacked the U.S. Bishops in a similarly hyperbolic fashion. In an August 18 editorial in the Huffington Post, Richards accused bishops of endangering “millions” of women’s lives with their “hard-line opposition the women’s rights,” and said that if they had their way “the national health care system would make American woman second-class citizens.”
Richards ends her most recent email by assuring Planned Parenthood supporters that they are “doing all we can.”
“Every time a group tries to limit the care and rights of women and their families, we will be here for them,” she writes. “And we know that you, too, will be right here with us.”