Penny Nance, the pro-life leader of Concerned Women for America, faced off today against former Planned Parenthood president Gloria Feldt in a several minute debate on MSNBC.
MSNBC asked Nance what the new chairman of the health subcommittee that will begin the review and potential dismantling of the abortion-funding ObamaCare bill meant to the pro-life movement.
“Joe Pitts will be the new chairman of the health subcommittee and you’ve got to understand that Joe has the job because American women by 15 points swung in this past election for this Congress,” the CWA leader said. “We have a pro-life House of Representatives. We have a pro-life House leadership. And we have 12 new senators who are pro-life.”
“Yes that’s going to change the dynamics on Capitol Hill,” Nance added. “It’s a new day in America and we can’t continue to fund Planned Parenthood.”
Feldt claimed the election results don’t show any indication the country is moving the pro-life direction.
“The electorate speaks every couple years. the electorate spoke in loud terms in 2008,” she said. “So what we’ve seen is a swing that will auger badly for women’s human rights to make our own childbearing decisions without government interference.”
“And that’s really what we’re going to find out,” Feldt said of the upcoming Congress. “I think the voters weren’t keen on that issue, they were keen on the economy. They were keen on many other things. They were frustrated I think with lack of leadership on the part of the Obama administration.”
Feldt claimed Pitts “really is about defunding health care reform by any means. That has really been his strategy and I’m sorry to say that it’s women’s bodies, and women’s lives who are bearing the brunt of it.”
“Joe Pitts is clearly in the pocket of big pharmaceutical companies and big insurance companies,” Feldt claimed, “and for example, he even voted to prevent Medicare plan “d” from being able to negotiate lower prices for people like me for our drugs. This is much bigger than the abortion issue. The abortion issue is a whipping girl, I’m afraid to say.”
Nance rebutted Feldt remarks, saying, “If you’re defining help for women as abortion and federal funding for abortion, yes. That’s going to be a problem for you.”
“Joe Pitts been a champion for American women and the unborn. We pushed very hard for him to have that slot. It’s very important we have people in the slot who understand that we can’t afford $300 million a year to pay for organizations that promote abortion, like Planned Parenthood,” Nance added. “We have a $14 trillion debt hanging over the head of every man, woman, child in this country. We don’t have luxury to pay for things [like abortion].”
As the MSNBC host asked Nance another question, Feldt interrupted.
“There’s no funding for abortion. Let’s get clear about that,” she claimed.
Nance responded: “There’s plenty of funding for abortion. It’s wink, wink, nod, nod, from Planned Parenthood. The vast majority of what you do is abortion. You get $300 million a year of our tax dollars that we cannot afford.”
The host turned to Feldt to let her continue and she backpedaled from her affiliation with Planned Parenthood.
“First of all, I am here as a spokesperson for myself as a women’s right advocate of long standing. You are welcome to have somebody from Planned Parenthood to address those issues,” she said.
She added: “I am going to talk about what I think the real issues are. What you will be seeing from this Congress is not just attacks on the right to choose when it comes to abortion. What you’re going to see from this Congress is a re-institution of the global gag rule, a tax on family planning preventive services — that’s different from abortion.” [related]
After an exchange on birth control, Nance concluded the debate.
“Look, this battle is not over birth control,” Nance said. “This battle is about abortion and how our tax dollars will be spent going forward. We are telling you we can’t afford it. This is the message that Concerned Women for America will be giving to Congress.”