Elizabeth Warren (Credit: AP/Charles Dharapak)

Elizabeth Warren humiliates Senate GOP: "Did you fall down, hit your head, and think you woke up in the 1950s or 1890s?"

Planned Parenthood vote is "a piece of a deliberate, methodical, orchestrated, right-wing attack on women's rights"


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Scott Eric Kaufman
August 4, 2015 10:04PM (UTC)

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren was none too pleased with Republican's attempt to grandstand on the issue of women's health as the first GOP primary debate approaches, and she voiced her displeasure to her senate colleagues in no uncertain terms on Monday.

"I come to the Senate floor today to ask my Republican colleagues a question," she began. "Do you have any idea what year it is? Did you fall down, hit your head, and think you woke up in the 1950s? Or the 1890s? Should we call for a doctor?"

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"Because I simply cannot believe that in the year 2015, the United States Senate would be spending its time trying to defund women’s healthcare centers. On second thought, maybe I shouldn’t be surprised. The Republicans have had a plan for years to strip away women’s rights to make choices over our own bodies."

Warren explained that in 2013, the GOP threatened to shut down the government if they couldn't change the Affordable Care Act in a way that would allow employers to deny access to birth control. In March 2015, they stopped a bill that would've curtailed human trafficking because it could have allowed for the private funding of abortions. In June, Republicans passed a budget that eliminated Title X.

Moreover, she said, "over the past few years, Republicans have voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act more than 50 times, including the portions that require insurers to cover contraception."

"Just to be clear," Warren continued, "even though the abortions performed at Planned Parenthood are safe and legal, the federal government is not paying for any of them. Not -- one -- dime."

Warren noted that it's not just the House and Senate that are involved in this effort, but state legislatures too. "This year alone," she said, "Republican state legislators have passed more than 50 new restrictions on women's access to legal healthcare."

"The Republican scheme to defund Planned Parenthood is not some sort of surprised response to a highly edited video," she said. "Nope! The Republican vote to defund Planned Parenthood is just one more piece of a deliberate, methodical, orchestrated, right-wing attack on women’s rights."

"I’m sick and tired of it," Warren added. "Women everywhere are sick and tired of it. The American people are sick and tired of it."

"Scheduling this vote during the week of a big Fox News presidential primary debate, days before candidates take trips to Iowa or New Hampshire, isn’t just some clever gimmick," she said. "This is an all-out effort to build support to take away a woman’s right to control her own body and access to medical care she may need."

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Warren concluded by returning to her opening rhetorical gambit, addressing her anachronistic senate colleagues from the firm ground of the present. "I want to say to my Republican colleagues -- the year is 2015, not 1955, and not 1895. Women have lived through a world where backward-looking ideologues tried to interfere with the basic health decisions made by a woman and her doctor, and we are not going back. Not now, not ever."

Watch her entire speech below via the senator's YouTube channel.


Scott Eric Kaufman

Scott Eric Kaufman is an assistant editor at Salon. He taught at a university, but then thought better of it. Follow him at @scottekaufman or email him at skaufman@salon.com.

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