Jeb Bush's Words On Women's Healthcare Points To A Larger Problem
There's a magic word in politics that can seemingly undo any ridiculous, moronic thing you have said. Especially if said comment has received public backlash.
What's the magic erasing-zinger? "I misspoke."
Every major politician or public figure has probably had to say it at least once in his or her career. Just yesterday Kelly Osbourne blamed a "poor choice of words," for saying there'd be no one left to clean his toilets if Donald Trump deported all Latinos.
And on August 4, following the denied Senate bill that would revoke $500 million yearly in federal funding for Planned Parenthood, 2016 presidential candidate Jeb Bush said women's healthcare was currently overfunded.
When speaking at a Southern Baptist Convention in Nashville, Bush said:
I’m not sure we need half a billion dollars for women’s health issues.
After backlash from Democrats, including mocking tweets from presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and former senior Obama adviser Dan Pfeiffer, Bush retracted his statement and said he misspoke.
According to a statement on Bush's website:
With regards to women’s health funding broadly, I misspoke, as there are countless community health centers, rural clinics, and other women’s health organizations that need to be fully funded […] I was referring to the hard-to-fathom $500 million in federal funding that goes to Planned Parenthood – an organization that was callously participating in the unthinkable practice of selling fetal organs.
So Planned Parenthood should be defunded for selling fetal organs and we shouldn't defund Republican-backed candidates, who hold religiously provoked ideals that abortion is sin?
Planned Parenthood is a non-profit organization that provides a variety of affordable healthcare services for women, men and teens, including STD testing, STD treatment, vaccines, LGBT services, pregnancy testing and general healthcare.
In anticipation of the now debunked Planned Parenthood Supreme Court case, an anti-abortion group released undercover videos with actors posing as "buyers" gaining details on the distribution of fetal organisms to medical research centers.
The group used the videos and the hashtag, #PPSellsBabyParts to urge voters to cut federal funding. And of course, looking at the hashtag alone, selling removed fetuses is an alarming and unsettling talking point.
But the impact of monetary gain on this practice is slim to none in the grand scheme of Planned Parenthood funding. The pro-choice organization isn't hawking off fetuses to random bidders with the highest bargaining chip -- it's distributing to medical centers with the goal of cancer and disease research advancement.
In one video, senior director of medical services at Planned Parenthood, Deborah Nucatola, reveals point-blank what her company profits from distributing fetuses for medical research:
It's probably anywhere from $30 to $100 [per fetal specimen], depending on the facility and what is involved.
These aren't really staggering numbers, especially considering Planned Parenthood is a not-for-profit organization.
In fact, Factcheck.org completely demolished this theory, citing Sherilyn J. Sawyer, the director of Harvard University and Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s “biorepository,” who said:
There’s no way there’s a profit at that price.
According to Vox, fetal tissue transplants and research have contributed to major medical breakthroughs, including the polio vaccine, which virtually eliminated the disease in America and is still in use today.
There is clearly a need for women-specific healthcare initiatives. One in five women have used or will use Planned Parenthood services at some point in their lives -- and the group does so much more than provide abortion services.
Bush's comment also rides on the coattails of his other notable controversial statement. You know, that time he proposed shame for unwed mothers his 1995 published book, "Profiles in Character."
In the book, Bush wrote:
One of the reasons more young women are giving birth out of wedlock and more young men are walking away from their paternal obligations is that there is no longer a stigma attached to this behavior, no reason to feel shame. Many of these young women and young men look around and see their friends engaged in the same irresponsible conduct.
According to Bush, if a woman finds herself pregnant and alone and gets an abortion, she should be shamed. But if she keeps the baby with no support from the baby's father, etc., she should also feel shame.
After backlash, Bush went on once again to say he misspoke — er — miswrote … in print … after editing and countless revisions. Bush told MSNBC:
My views have evolved over time, but my views about the importance of dads being involved in the lives of children hasn’t changed at all.
In politics, it's a fact that candidates also swap their views on hot-button issues after being faced with the situation themselves.
Just look at Dick Cheney's ease up on LGBTQ rights after his daughter came out of the closet, or Republican Senator Rob Portman, who reversed his opposition to same-sex marriage, after his son came out as gay.
But unfortunately for American women, male presidential candidates will never know what it's like to be pregnant and alone, or faced with the daunting task of scrapping for funds to road trip to a state where abortion is legal.
Male presidential candidates will never know what it's like to be told, because they can't afford an abortion, women should just figure out a way to support an entire life for 18 years.
Or, as Jeb Bush put it himself, as proved by Politifact, women should just find a husband: the other magic word for having all problems disappear.