This week the Seattle Times finally acknowledged that Rep. Dave Reichert is conservative, “maybe too conservative for his district,” and that was brought home again yesterday when Reichert voted for a Republican-backed amendment that would have cut off Title X funds for Planned Parenthood. The amendment was defeated 231 to 189.
“Congressman Reichert was one of 189 House members voting for this mean-spirited amendment,” said Karen Cooper, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Washington. “The Title X program provides birth control to low-income Americans and Planned Parenthood clinics play a key role in actually delivering those services,” Cooper said. “There are already a number of restrictive policies in place that ban any federal money from being used to pay for abortion care, and the notion that law makers would also try to deny low-income people birth control is very troubling,” she added.
“Millions of Americans rely on Planned Parenthood clinics for basic health care services every year,” said Cooper. “I find it unconscionable that Reichert and his anti-choice cronies in Congress tried to single out an organization that provides cancer screening, breast exams, and birth control and target them for a ban on family planning funding just because some Planned Parenthood clinics also provide abortion care,” she said.
“Reichert’s vote in favor of the Pence amendment was just another reminder of how truly out-of-step he is with the pro-choice voters of the 8th Congressional District,” Cooper said. “It is clearly time for a change,” she concluded.
I’ve been told that polling conducted in the wake of the 2006 election showed that a substantial proportion of pro-choice 8th District voters were not aware of Reichert’s staunch anti-choice/anti-birth control stance on reproductive issues. I’m guessing voters might be better informed next time around.