THE BLOG
03/24/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Jane Norton, Marilyn Musgrave a 1-2 Punch Against Women's Health Care

Anticipating political comeback, in mid-January Marilyn Musgrave embarked on a "whirlwind tour of press conferences covering nine media markets" in the districts of 14 pro-life congressional Democrats in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana. Her "battle between good and evil" aims to mobilize anti-abortion constituencies of Democratic representatives who voted for the House Stupak Amendment, in order to ensure their opposition to the "abortion-for-all health care reform plan."

Musgrave invited anti-choice activists to join her on the "battlefield for the unborn in the most important war the pro-life movement has faced since Roe v. Wade."

The Susan B. Anthony List, formed in 1993 to fund candidates dedicated to "saving unborn children," contributed $50,000 in radio ads to persuade constituents to lobby representatives, supplemented by robo-calls soliciting donations for Musgrave's "battle plan."

Perpetuating the conceit that pregnancy is not a health issue for women, the Susan B. Anthony List website admonishes: "ABORTION IS NOT HEALTHCARE: DON'T ALLOW YOUR TAXES TO PAY FOR ABORTION."

Naming the Colorado senate race its top priority, Susan B. Anthony List announced their first 2010 candidate endorsement - Jane Norton, "an amazing pro-life woman leader who is on fire in Colorado!"

Susan B. Anthony List praises Norton for her 1999 role as Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Health and Environment when she cut off "state funding for abortion-provider Planned Parenthood." The Alan Guttmacher Institute relates that as the newly appointed head of the state health agency, Norton changed the interpretation of the 1984 state constitutional amendment that banned use of state funds for abortion, ruling that family planning agencies that also provide abortion services are ineligible for state family planning funds, even when those services are incorporated as separate entities.

Acting on the assertion that Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains charged an abortion provider below-market rates for facilities it rented from the family planning agency (PPRM stated it was charging the abortion provider the maximum amount it could without jeopardizing its property tax exemption as a nonprofit agency), the state cut off $380,000 in family planning funds to PPRM in 1999. Planned Parenthood reported that the cut would affect free family planning services to 13,000 low-income women who would subsequently be charged fees, pushing those unable to pay into county health departments. The Boulder County health director noted that the county's clinics, already operating at capacity, would be unable to absorb an estimated 2,500 women who had been obtaining free care through Planned Parenthood.

The Guttmacher Institute wrote that such efforts by anti-abortion activists target much more than abortion, and are in fact "a full-scale assault on family planning--not only on certain of its providers but also on the women across the country who depend on them." At the time, Guttmacher reported that Planned Parenthood accounted for three-quarters of all U.S. health care facilities that provided nearly one million women with contraception and other preventive health care, including breast and cervical cancer screening and testing for STDs.

In the guise of opposition to abortion, the Marilyn Musgraves and Jane Nortons wage open warfare against women's access to health care.