The Colorado Times Recorder reported last September that Colorado’s Republican Senator Cory Gardner had voted nine times to strip federal funding Planned Parenthood since he’s held federal office.
Now, it’s ten.
Last Thursday, Gardner joined the majority of his Republican colleagues in the Senate in voting to strip federal funds for the nation’s largest women’s health care provider. The measure was soundly defeated, with Republican Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska joining the entire Democratic caucus in voting no.
Despite the longstanding prohibition on federal funding for abortion, many Republicans argue that the money given to Planned Parenthood is fungible and that therefore it indirectly funds abortion services, not just the other services the organization provides, like STI testing and contraceptives.
In January, the question of whether tax dollars inadvertently fund Planned Parenthood’s abortion services came before Colorado’s Supreme Court, which decided that defunding the organization would lead to an “absurd result.”
Gardner’s most recent vote shouldn’t come as a surprise given his record of siding with the anti-choice movement. But it might frustrate some, given that he was so dismissive of issues surrounding reproductive choice during his senate campaign, and has a history of tip-toeing around reporters when questioned about the matter.
If you were paying attention in 2014 during Gardner’s senate campaign, you remember that his Democratic opponent Mark Udall was outspoken in his support for reproductive choice and used Gardner’s extreme record on abortion as his main line of attack. For example, Udall highlighted Gardner’s support for fetal personhood, which would have banned some contraceptives and all abortion, even in cases of rape.
Gardner reversed his personhood stance a few months before the election, but continued to sponsor federal personhood legislation. When pressed about the hypocrisy, however, he claimed that the bill didn’t exist. And, acting as if it were a fringe issue, Gardner said that abortion and contraception weren’t “top of mind for people” and that his opponent was “trying to distract voters” by highlighting his record on reproductive choice.
Now, any reasonable person would surely agree that with President Trump’s repeated attacks on abortion rights and the high likelihood that he’ll nominate a U.S. Supreme Court Justice who will weaken or overturn Roe v. Wade, abortion is very much top of mind for people.
Support for Roe is at an all-time high, according to a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. Seventy-one percent of American voters, and a majority of Republican voters, believe that a woman’s right to an abortion should not be overturned, according to the poll.