Andrea Mitchell & Planned Parenthood Pres in Panic Over ObamaCare Repeal

On her MSNBC show on Thursday, activist anchor Andrea Mitchell invited on her friend Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, to trash the upcoming vote by House Republicans to repeal and replace ObamaCare. Teeing up the abortion provider, Mitchell fretted: “...the winds are not blowing well for Planned Parenthood. This vote is likely to pass the House and it does defund Planned Parenthood, which means all of your clinics around the country for women's health.”

Richards proclaimed: “It’s a devastating day for women on Capitol Hill right now, not just the millions of women who count on Planned Parenthood for cancer screenings and birth control, which is what they’re trying to deny access to....We’re desperately concerned about what’s going to happen, it will create chaos for women in America who depend on us for affordable health care...” She reassured her media ally: “...we will fight to make sure that this bill never passes the United States Senate.”

Rather fact check Richards on the long-debunked claim that Planned Parenthood provides cancer screenings, Mitchell instead focused on what political maneuvers the liberal group would make: “What weapons do you have though? It's a Republican Senate, a Republican House....they may be more concerned about the budget impact of this rather than the health benefits that you’re so concerned about.”

Richards promised: “...there are many, many senators that I’ve talked to, both Democrats and Republicans, who are saying that this bill that is passing the House today will never pass the United States Senate.” She then cheered left-wing protests rising up to oppose the legislation: “They’re going to town hall meetings, they are calling – record numbers of women calling their members of Congress, saying they will not go back to a time when they couldn’t have access to reproductive health care in America.”

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Mitchell also seized the chance to bash President Trump’s just-signed executive order rolling back government restrictions on religious freedom: “...the President signed an executive order and one of the provisions included in that order does follow up on a Supreme Court ruling in the Hobby Lobby case and Sisters of the Poor cases, and restricts contraceptive advice and other aspects of women’s health – women and men’s health, I should say.”

Launching into a rant, Richards declared:

No, it’s incredible, Andrea, that this is a day – an administration that has taken aim at women’s health care from on day one. And you’re right, this executive order that the President is signing would basically put your boss in charge of whether or not you can get birth control coverage as an employee. It’s crazy.... And all of these efforts, both what Congress is doing to block access to Planned Parenthood, what the President’s doing is to make birth control less available to women, is going to takes us backwards.

Here is a full transcript of the May 4 discussion:

12:29 PM ET

MIKE PENCE: And when they vote to repeal and replace ObamaCare, we will finally defund Planned Parenthood.

ANDREA MITCHELL: Vice President Mike Pence last night at an anti-abortion group. The vote on that bill is slated for the next hour. Joining me now is Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood. Cecile, thank you very much for being with us. We’re here on the rooftop, it’s a windy day, but the winds are not blowing well for Planned Parenthood. This vote is likely to pass the House and it does defund Planned Parenthood, which means all of your clinics around the country for women's health.

CECILE RICHARDS: It’s a devastating day for women on Capitol Hill right now, not just the millions of women who count on Planned Parenthood for cancer screenings and birth control, which is what they’re trying to deny access to, but obviously 24 million people are going to lose access to health insurance coverage and a whole lot of other benefits that women have gotten over the last eight years. We’re desperately concerned about what’s going to happen, it will create chaos for women in America who depend on us for affordable health care and we will fight to make sure that this bill never passes the United States Senate.

MITCHELL: What weapons do you have though? It's a Republican Senate, a Republican House. And while Lindsey Graham has already indicated that there are some questions, they want to see the CBO score, they may be more concerned about the budget impact of this rather than the health benefits that you’re so concerned about.

RICHARDS: Well, look, there are Republicans in the United States Senate already – Senator Murkowski from Alaska, Senator Susan Collins from Maine – who’ve already expressed grave concerns about the impact of women losing access to health care at Planned Parenthood. And there are many, many senators that I’ve talked to, both Democrats and Republicans, who are saying that this bill that is passing the House today will never pass the United States Senate. But what we’re seeing, too, around the country is that women are speaking out in record numbers. Republican women, Democratic women. They’re going to town hall meetings, they are calling – record numbers of women calling their members of Congress, saying they will not go back to a time when they couldn’t have access to reproductive health care in America. And I believe it’s incredibly important that folks in the United States Senate and in the Congress listen to women in their districts back at home.

MITCHELL: Now beyond the vote that we expect in the next hour on the health care bill, the President signed an executive order and one of the provisions included in that order does follow up on a Supreme Court ruling in the Hobby Lobby case and Sisters of the Poor cases, and restricts contraceptive advice and other aspects of women’s health – women and men’s health, I should say.

RICHARDS: No, it’s incredible, Andrea, that this is a day – an administration that has taken aim at women’s health care from on day one. And you’re right, this executive order that the President is signing would basically put your boss in charge of whether or not you can get birth control coverage as an employee. It’s crazy. And especially at a time, Andrea, when we’re making such progress in America. We’re so proud at Planned Parenthood. We’re at a record low for teenage pregnancy in the U.S. We’re at a 30-year low for unintended pregnancy among women. And all of these efforts, both what Congress is doing to block access to Planned Parenthood, what the President’s doing is to make birth control less available to women, is going to takes us backwards. And I think women are simply not going to go there. We’ve seen it across the country, women are completely engaged and they’re speaking up and folks need to listen.

MITCHELL: Cecile Richards from Planned Parenthood on Capitol Hill. Thank you.

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