Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Democrats sink Planned Parenthood; so what do we do about this?

I presume you are all in shock, as I am, that THREE Democrats voted to take the Title X contract to provide reproductive health services away from Planned Parenthood and give them to Christ Community Health Centers

First, let's give props where they are due: Chairman Sidney Chism, along with Commissioners Henri Brooks, Walter Bailey and Melvin Burgess stood with Planned Parenthood and voted not to do this.  Sidney, if you run for General Sessions Court Clerk, I want a sign for my yard.

Who split and voted with the GOP contingent? James Harvey (apparently still looking for relevance after having been soundly rejected for Mayor of Memphis), Justin Ford (who apparently was LYING to Planned Parenthood supporters), and.........

Steve Mulroy.

Let that sink in for a minute.

Steve Mulroy.

How many progressive women (and men) worked their asses off to elect him TWICE to this Commission, gave him money, stood behind him when he made curious votes, and thought he would be a great candidate for higher office?  A hell of a lot.

He put a note on Facebook last night explaining his decision.  Go read it, I will wait.  Also, read the comments afterward.  He called me last night; I won't go into what we said, and I didn't ream him out, I was still in shock.

What he says is interesting, what he DOESN'T say moreso.  He does NOT say that he voted for the prevailing side in order to maintain vigilance in monitoring so that the contract may be revisited.  What does that tell me?

That he hedged.

On arguably the most important vote he has made as a Commissioner, he hedged, turning his back on women who supported him, many of them former (and, in some cases, CURRENT) patients of Planned Parenthood.  This is not going to be forgotten any time soon, if ever.

I understand his vote would not have flipped the result, and that he and James Harvey are term-limited, and we really have to live with them for the next three years.  But the symbolism of Steve Mulroy, darling of the Democrats, voting to pull the contract away from Planned Parenthood, is overwhelming.

And Steve is a smart enough guy to understand this.  THAT'S why a lot of us are stunned and hurt right now.

Oh, and Justin Ford? Do not EVER run for anything outside your little corner of Southwest Memphis again, pal; we will come AFTER you.


Given that Mayor Mark Luttrell (who is taking his cues from ALEC, the Koch Brothers-funded plan to gut government) is telling the Health Department what to do, it would not surprise me if it is their plan to do this so that the funds will be lost.  (Hey Democrats that voted for Luttrell, how ya feelin' right now? Sick as a dog? GOOD, because it's YOUR fault he is in there.)

My Aunt Kathy noted very succinctly that "many supporters of Planned Parenthood were there and their concerns do not seem to have been heard."  Exactly.  They and the thousands of women who depend on Planned Parenthood were cast out yesterday, with people who asked for their vote (and GOT IT) helping to cast them out.

This will not be forgotten, Commissioners.

UPDATE: Preach it, Aunt B.


Anonymous said...

Did Mulroy express any concern about first amendment issues? Is he not worried about sending non-Christian women to an explicitly Christian organization to receive healthcare?

Steve Steffens said...

He never mentioned anything about that when he called me last night; to be honest, I was so mad I failed to ask him about that, my error.

RHBD said...

I say we mirror what Wisconsin and other states are doing by forcing a re-vote through protests. If those same politicians buckle again, we kick them out of office before their tenure ends. We should not have to suffer through this level of discontent & disrespect by our so-called Representatives who we put in office & they turn around & so boldly side against the voters' best interests.

Divers and Sundry said...

"...sending non-Christian women to an explicitly Christian organization to receive healthcare"

and not just an explicitly Christian organization but one explicitly opposed to some of the covered services. this is one of my concerns.

Anonymous said...

I just went and pulled the auto-response from Mulroy. Anyone who emailed in regards to Title X got it: "I agree that this contract for womens' reproductive services warrants a close look. I plan to decide based on who will provide the best women's health services, putting politics
aside." Clearly politics means something different to him than it does to me.
Also, Ford? Meh. It has become evident, even to my addled pea-brain, that banging one's head against a wall is a more rewarding action than voting for a Ford.

Freedonian said...

RHBD, there might be a little something like that in the works. Watch this space, as I will make certain that my brother Cracker is among the first to know.

Anonymous said...

I like it when Steve gets mad.

Anonymous said...

Beyond pissed off right now. I'm really, really disillusioned in the political system that doesn't protect the rights of half the population, aka, "womenfolk."

Maybe some people think it's okay that those dirty sluts will now get a good talking to about their lifestyle choices when they go to get their birth control, but I think even poor people deserve to get the health care they need without sermons. And I include "women" in that category "people," though apparently that's not something that is universally agreed upon.

Just really, really disappointed in Mulroy. Whoever it is he's serving, it's not the people who elected him. Like "yeah & another thing" said, I expect this type of bullshit from a Ford, but coming from someone like Mulroy, it really hurts. I just don't think there are any elected officials we can really trust.

Andy Axel said...


Since when can you spend Title X funds on an evangelical organization?

fancycwabs said...

Have you considered voting them out of office and running someone with your core principles in their place? No?

The thing that consistently surprises me about Memphis politics is the inability to find someone competent, ethical, and principled to run for a single public office, from the mayor on down.

stapletondia said...

I agree.