Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

When Politics is Personal…Really, Really Personal

Thursday night, Democratic Representative Jackie Speier of California delivered an extremely personal speech on the House floor. Although her words were poignant and powerful, they were words which she shouldn’t have had to speak… words which revealed personal information she ought not have felt the need to divulge. It speaks to the callous, unfeeling nature of politics, particularly Republican politics, that Rep. Speier felt she needed to bring a bit of humanity — and in this case, her own humanity — to the table on the fly, in order to make a political point.


Her emotional words on Republican Rep. Mike Pence’s plan to de-fund Planned Parenthood came after another Republican representative finished reading graphic passages from a controversial book by an anti-abortion activist. What she had to say ought to have shamed many in attendance…emPHAsis on ‘ought’.  

According to TheHill Blog, Nancy Pelosi was standing in the aisle when Speier began to speak, but took a seat to listen. She wanted to give her full attentions to Speier, her fellow California Representive (how lucky is CA to have these two strong women representing them?). The floor quieted as Rep. Speier spoke clearly and firmly. With great emotion and forthrightness, Jackie Speier took the floor and said,

“I really planned to speak about something else. But the gentleman from New Jersey just put my stomach in knots. Because I’m one of those women he spoke about just now. I had a procedure at 17 weeks pregnant with a child who moved from the vagina into the cervix. And that procedure that you just described is a procedure that I endured.”

“I lost the baby. And for you to stand on this floor and suggest that somehow this is a procedure that is either welcomed or done cavalierly or done without any thought, is preposterous.”


It’s worth watching.

We all ought be proud of any woman willing to put herself out there in such a public manner to fight for the rights of all women. We ought be proud, but, how shameful is it that such brave action is ever needed? Her private life, her private decisions, ought be exactly that…PRIVATE. And that is how it should be for ALL women.

The amendment in question, to be attached to a massive government spending bill, was proposed by Representative Mike Pence (R-IN), and  would remove all federal funding (currently over $300 million) from Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood serves millions of clients yearly and provides a number of services to the public, only about 2% of which include abortions. If this amendment goes through, ALL funding by the federal government will be retracted, and women’s clinics which rely on federal aid will inevitably close, leaving many women who are in need of reproductive health and maternal/child health services bereft of viable options.

Rep. Spiers was not the only Democrat to speak out against the Planned Attack on Planned Parenthood. One after the other, Dems stood to use their five minutes of allotted speaking time (under the rules of the House) to defend the funding of women’s reproductive centers….while Republicans spun filth and lies in order to justify the defunding proposed by Pence.

Rep. Paul Broun, a Republican of Georgia and a physician, and Rep. Gwen Moore, a Democrat of Wisconsin, had a particularly tense exchange.

Broun said, “We treat green turtle eggs better than we treat children in the womb.” He also argued that because most clinics are in ethnic neighborhoods “more black babies are killed” by Planned Parenthood.

Moore spoke next, countering: “I know all about black babies. I’ve had three of them. I had the first one at the ripe old age of 18.” Moore said that Republican public policy has “utter contempt for poor women and poor children.”

Rep. Stephen Lynch from Massachusetts also spoke in defense of Planned Parenthood. Although he is a ‘Pro-Life Democrat’ (big tent, anyone?) and is vocally anti-abortion, he believes in the good works of Planned Parenthood and in their efforts to PREVENT pregnancy through education.

“I’m a pro-life Democrat,” Lynch said. “We used to agree that the best way to decrease abortions is to prevent unwanted pregnancy.”

The House spent almost three hours

. . .debating Rep. Mike Pence’s (R-IN) amendment to strip $327 million from Planned Parenthood and its affiliates, raising concerns from some Democrats that the measure may be unconstitutional. Pence’s measure would specifically bar Planned Parenthood from receiving any Title X funds, even though the Republican continuing resolution (CR) would eliminate the entire Title X program.

Democrats argued that defunding Planned Parenthood would significantly hamper access to health care for lower-income Americans who depend on the organization for primary care services and insisted that the existing prohibitions against abortion funding already ensure that that taxpayer dollars don’t pay for abortions.

Think Progress

Democratic Rep Jerrold Nadler (NY) even argued that the amendment was unconstitutional.

He quoted from the Constitution “in making his point that the Pence amendment would amount to a ‘bill of attainder’ because it would seek to punish Planned Parenthood for conducting activities that supporters of the measure disapprove of” . . .

Think Progress

Planned Parenthood is already banned from the usage of Federal dollars for abortions. The efforts to defund the women’s reproductive centers has been spearheaded by Rep. Mike Pence, but the other Republican Reps (and, I’m disgusted to say, a handful of Dems as well) have backed him en masse. They are bound and determined to destroy what has been, quite literally, a life saving program for untold numbers of women. Flat out lies have been touted on the Floor (I know, nothing new). But, statements that any monies to such a women’s reproductive center are a direct funding of abortion and assertions of Planned Parenthood’s complicity if the cover up of statutory rape are LIES. LIES….plain and simple.

They play fast and loose with the rights of women, cavalier in their efforts to shut down women’s reproductive clinics coast to coast. Defunding Planned Parenthood is NOT defunding abortions…those are already held exempt from Federal dollars…what they are defunding is the other 98% of what Planned Parenthood provides. Contraception, STD testing and treatment, cancer testing and screening, and pregnancy/prenatal/midlife/infertility care. These clinics take care of women…take care of children…and the Republicans want to pull 1/3 of their funding based on politics and lies. Fuckers.

Well, at least we men are taken care of. We know that once we are old(er) our penises will be well cared for. Federal dollars fund Medicare/
Medicaid and through them we can get Viagra…or, if that is not enough to get the blood pumpin’ proper, we can get a penile pump…or, last resort (way last resort I assure you) we can have a penile prosthesis. Yup, Federal dollars cannot fund the care of women before/during/after pregnancy…but, those dollars sure can be used to help us impregnate ’em! Fucking ridiculous.

It never ceases to amaze me when men decide they have a right to decide what is best for a woman’s body/mind. When men decide that they have a right to pick and choose what rights a woman ought have. The way I see it, we are welcome to our opinions…but, those opinions have naught to do with a woman’s right to choose what is best for her body and her mind. I have an opinion, and it only really matters to one woman…but, even with her, my opinion would NEVER be what determines/makes her decision…it is, and always will be, HER CHOICE. And, if I cannot, should not, make such a decision for my own wife…how in the bloody hell should I have control over that decision for any other woman? Really does fucking disgust me to see crowds of people screaming at women that they ought not have a choice…but it near makes me blind with rage when I see the men in the crowd. Buncha limpdicked cowards.

What is even more horrifying, imo, is how views have changed across the spectrum in the past couple of decades. For whatever reason, and I truly do not know the reason, support for a woman’s right to choose has declined in a rather shocking manner (again, imo).


I think what surprises me the most is how far it has declined amongst young women. The very ones that I would have thought to be the biggest and most vocal supporters.

Somehow, support is slipping and we need to figure out why…and fix it. A woman’s right to choose ought not be something we are still fighting over in the 21st century. It is shameful that it is still an issue to be ‘fought’ over and used as a wedge (it is THE wedge issue, imo) by our politicians. And it is shameful that, because 2% of the services they provide are abortion related…Planned Parenthood will likely be defunded by the House of Representatives.

~~It should be noted that in the time it took me to pull together this diary, the cowardly bastards in the House…mostly Republicans…with the help of some really sleazy Democrats… passed the amendment to strip federal funds from Planned Parenthood.~~

Rep. Jackie Speier ought be given a roaring round of applause and the heartfelt thanks from women nationwide. She was willing to share of herself in a very public manner…it took courage and and nerve and I hope her efforts are remembered. I do hope that some of those fighting for defunding had the good sense to be ashamed…I just highly doubt it. Bunch of fucking asshats. I wish I could have been there…decorum would have gone right out the window and I would have cheered her. Though, truth be told, had I really been there, decorum would have long since gone out the window as I explained (quite politely, I’m sure) to Rep.Pence and the rest of his cronies what they could do with his bill, and where they could store it for safe keeping. So, three Moose cheers for Rep. Speier…her constituents must be a proud lot. I know I am.

Lastly, since the amendment has now passed…and it will come up again in the Senate, please please please call your Senators. Tell them of the many many women and children Planned Parenthood has assisted over the years…tell them to continue to fund the women’s reproductive clinics coast to coast…ask them to vote to protect and care for women. Ask them to stand up for women and vote Rep. Penis’s Pence’s amendment out of the spending bill.

It should not be a legal fight…but it is.

Fight for a woman’s right to choose.

Fight for women’s rights, period.

Fight the good fight.



  1. Kysen

    disgusts me. The blatant politicking under the guise of good faith efforts to help our nation is appalling. Be it the attempts to defund Health Care, defund Planned Parenthood, changing the language of set law to weaken women’s rights…none of it helps anyone…it only has the potential to HURT many.

    Where are the jobs, Boehner?

    How does defunding women’s reproductive clinics across the nation create jobs?


  2. sricki

    Bleedin’ brilliant!

    Republicans want to pull 1/3 of their funding based on politics and lies. Fuckers.



    I’ll be back for more later, but I gotta go fix dinner.


  3. DTOzone

    the baby was diagnosed with a severe birth defect where there was no skull and part of the brain was missing. The baby was alive…barely…but would have likely died and my mother’s help would have been compromised if the pregnancy went any future, so she terminated it and had this procedure. It tormented her and my whole family for years. I remember the pain in my dad’s voice having to tell me and my sisters that our little brother/sister wasn’t going to come home and having to beat around the bush as we asked why, too young to understand the truth.

    Ironically, that’s what made me fairly conservative on the issue. I was quietly supportive of the Stupak amendment. I was disgusted when a couple of girls in high school who were having unsafe sex acted like an abortion would be just as much a solution as a condom. Of course, that doesn’t mean I reject a woman’s right to choose, but I tend to be more quiet.

    Planned Parenthood should be the pro-life person’s best friend. They don’t push women to abortions, they help women get through issues like what my mother went through. They help them choose, to have the baby or not. If they choose to have the baby, they’re there too. Most of all, they help women prevent getting pregnant in the first place. Less unwanted pregnancies mean less abortions by choice.

    What this shortsighted plan does is reinforce everything I hate about Republicans…that their base is misinformation and ignorant and those in the party like it that way and do not seek to change it. It’s getting harder and harder for me to see them as anything more than rotten human beings.

  4. with Planned Parenthood as they endorsed the candidate for whom I was employed.  A wonderful group of women in my state and they not only endorsed by reached out to their members.  

    Thanks for this diary.  I need to give PPP a call and see what type of organizing they are doing so I can lend my support.

  5. was just… awesome and tragic on so many levels. here is the argument in a nutshell:

    guns= no of yo’ business

    a women’s womb= some bumfuck hillbilly’s concern

    and i am reluctant to say this, so as to not offend, but i must – when these pricks keep resurrecting decades-old arguments that most of the western world has put to bed a long time ago, it really makes me wonder about the future of my beloved US.

  6. Kysen

    It = something that makes Kysen cheer

    A Bush Rule on Providers of Abortions Is Revised

    I like the way Jed Lewison over at DKos put it:

    On the one hand, you’ve got House Republicans working themselves up into a lather passing symbolic bills to ban abortion and restrict access to contraception, bills that they will never see the light of day outside of the House.

    On the other hand, you’ve got President Obama, who is actually going ahead and using the power at his disposal to protect reproductive freedom in a meaningful way.

    Good on ya, Mr. President.

  7. DeniseVelez

    bloom.  Saw a Chris Matthews Hardball segment where the anti-Planned Parenthood guest kept bringing up “the videos” as if that proved something.

    She was referring to the video scam set up by Lila Rose, partner of James O’Keefe who set up the Acorn scam sting.

    Glenn Beck just devoted a full hour to pushing this crap:

  8. Kysen

    Speier served as a congressional staffer for Congressman Leo Ryan. Speier was part of the November 1978 fact-finding mission to investigate allegations of human rights abuses by the Reverend Jim Jones and his Peoples Temple followers, almost all of whom were American citizens who had moved to Jonestown with Jones in 1977 and 1978. Speier was one of only two members of the mission who were concerned enough about potential violence to make out a will before traveling to Jonestown. Several Peoples Temple members ambushed the investigative team and others boarding the plane to leave Jonestown on November 18. Five people died, including Congressman Ryan. While attempting to shield herself from rifle and shotgun fire behind small airplane wheels with the other members of the team, Speier was shot five times and waited 22 hours before help arrived. The murder of Congressman Ryan was the only assassination of a Congressman in the line of duty in the history of the United States. That same day, over 900 of the remaining members of the Peoples Temple died in Jonestown and Georgetown.



  9. sricki

    The GOP of the last decade defined itself by its so-called war on terror. This decade’s GOP, by contrast, is defining itself by something far less noble: a war on America’s women.

    The previous salvos in this war were hard-hitting enough: as originally written, H.R.3 not only would have outlawed federal funding for abortion services as outlined under the Hyde Amendment, but would have expanded that to disallow taking tax credits for any businesses that purchased a health insurance plan that covered abortion services–thus inserting the iron fist of government into a health insurance marketplace that conservatives hypocritically love to claim should be more free from government interference. And if that weren’t bad enough, it would have narrowed the exemptions to the Hyde ban.

    The Hyde ban has always provided exceptions for victims of rape or incest. (Apparently, in the mind of conservative Republicans, a fetus is an innocent child whose life we must protect, unless that fetus was conceived through rape, in which case it’s no longer an innocent life. In the conservative mind, it seems to be perfectly acceptable for an innocent child to pay for the sins of the father.) However, in its original version, H.R.3 would have restricted that exemption to rapes deemed “forcible”–because if you didn’t die fighting, well, you must have wanted it.

    Pretty good post — read all of it.

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