Tonight is the fourth GOP debate in the ever-shifting race for President. With the past three stages crowded by the numerous candidates, this event will feature only eight candidates.
On the main stage tonight, you will find real estate mogul Donald Trump, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, former CEO of HP Carly Fiorina, and Ohio Governor John Kasich. Should you tune in earlier in the evening, you’ll see New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, former Arizona Governor Mike Huckabee, former Senator Rick Santorum, and Louisina Governor Bobby Jindal.
The focus on economic issues in the third debate was refreshing, with a substanttive discussion on issues such as tax and entitlement reform, immigration, and foreign policy. This was a dramatic shift from prior debates that included highlights like litmus tests for defunding Planned Parenthood and overturning Roe v. Wade.
While we were all relieved that such rhetoric was absent from the third debate, we know women’s reproductive health is an important economic issue for American families. We hope if these issues surface again the contenders will focus on positive, sound solutions like teen pregnancy prevention programs and increasing access to contraception.
The debate will air on the Fox Business Network and is sponsored by The Wall Street Journal. Reports indicate that it will focus on jobs, taxes, the U.S. economy as a whole, domestic policy, and international policy. We hope the candidates will debate with facts and not with fiction.
Don’t forget to follow along with RMC’s live debate coverage and commentary on our social media pages — Primarily twitter(click here for the link) and Facebook (click here for the link). If you miss out tonight check back on our blog tomorrow for a re-cap of the night’s highlights.
As we approach the third GOP debate, recent polls show Donald Trump and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson running far ahead of their more conventional rivals. And not surprisingly, both candidates have made headlines this week, not for their polling success, but for their arguments about abortion rights. This is not the first time Carson has garnered media attention for his extreme comments on abortion. He supports overturning Roe v. Wade and opposes exceptions even for women who become pregnant as a result of rape or incest. This week, Carson went as far as to compare abortion to slavery.
Alarmingly other top candidates are taking similarly extreme positions, including Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who said he would force all women to bring their pregnancies to term, “irrespective of the conditions by which that life was conceived or anything else.” This is an extreme position, even for these anti-choice contenders. Polling shows 83% of voters, including 76% of Republicans, object to this position and believe women should have the right to have an abortion if the pregnancy is caused by rape or incest. Others in the GOP have responded with similar concerns, including South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham who recently said, “Anybody with that position will get creamed,” and Trump who said, “That’s an unusual stance.”
Barely free of a summer full of scandal, this top tier GOP infighting only contributes to the continued perception of the Republican Party as being both anti-women and obsessed with women’s reproductive health (and parts!) Over and over we hear anti-choice candidates pontificate about stopping abortion — yet they refuse to take proven effective steps towards reducing the rates of unintended pregnancy and abortion. Instead these politicians use women’s health to score points, while simultaneously targeting programs that would actually help women and families. Programs like the Title X family planning program and the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs ensure that low-income women have access to preventive family planning services, and that at risk youth have proper education on sexuality and contraception (that yes, includes abstinence!) In the past year, some Republicans have targeted these programs for drastic funding cuts in the 2016 budget.
The good news is RMC is on the Hill non-stop, educating Republicans about the real solutions to high rates of unintended pregnancy and abortions. We are armed with facts on the social AND economic impact of preventive reproductive health policies. And more and more Republican Members of Congress are getting it – they are recognizing that women’s health is NOT just a ‘social issue.’ And that women’s health is not just abortion. Women’s reproductive health is a pocket book issue. Women are increasingly the heads of the Household in the U.S. They are providing for their families, working their family budgets, and fighting to make ends meet. They are the ones making decisions about when and whether to grow their families, about what birth control they need, and what to teach their children about sex. These are their decisions to make. The Republican Party is the party of family values and fiscal responsibility. It’s time for these Republican candidates to drop the anti-choice war cry and start focusing on the solutions.
Rather than focusing on policies that will help put American families back on track, anti-choice members of the U.S. House of Representatives have once again shown how little they understand the economic impact of access to preventive health care.
On Friday the House voted to block all federal funding for all Planned Parenthoods unless the reproductive health provider stops offering abortion services. It is already federal law that NO federal funds can be used for abortion so this cut would only effect the preventive health care for millions of families.
Mainstream Republicans fought back working to again bridge the gap between the extreme wings of both parties.
Congressmen Charlie Dent (PA-15), Robert Dold (IL-10), and Richard Hanna (NY-22) understand the critical importance of reproductive healthcare for all women and families and voted to protect Planned Parenthood funding.
As Real Republicans, we know investing in family planning programs has social and economic benefits for all Americans. Just one dollar invested in contraceptive care saves over $7 in TAXPAYER dollars. It’s time for our political leaders to stop using women’s health to score political points and put families first.
Said Congressman Hanna this week, “The American people are fed up with inaction and political theater. So am I. Washington needs to grow up, stop deceiving the American people and do its job.”
We couldn’t agree more.
Join RMC in saying thank you to these leaders. They need to hear from YOU.
Show your thanks on Twitter, share this message on Facebook or call the Congressmen personally today. They need to hear from you!
“Thank you for voting against the House effort to Defund Planned Parenthood, and for recognizing that access to reproductive health care is fundamental to women’s lives and prosperity.”
Representative Charlie Dent (202) 225-6411
Representative Bob Dold (202) 225-4835
Representative Richard Hanna (202) 225-3665
Help RMC say Thank You!
Anti-choice members of Congress continue to push to strip funding for family planning providers and programs. Today, anti-choice members of the U.S. House of Representatives voted to defund Planned Parenthood. But, what you won’t see in the headlines are those working behind the scenes, Real Republicans who once again stood up to the mob and said ENOUGH.
Congressmen Charlie Dent (PA-15) and Bob Dold (IL-10) led an effort this week to protect Planned Parenthood funding and ensure women and families retain access to the important preventive health care services they provide– from family planning options to cancer screenings and STI testing and treatment.
Help RMC say THANK YOU to these Republicans who put their values first. They need to hear from you. They need to know there are Republicans across the country that will stand behind them and support these efforts.
The recent controversy should not come at the expense of the millions of women who rely on Planned Parenthood for fundamental health care needs. These leaders know that investing in preventive family planning programs provides long term cost savings for taxpayers and has social and economic benefits for families nationwide. Join RMC in saying thank you today!
This week a Republican lawmaker in Arkansas has taken the lead on a sex-education bill that would require community colleges and universities in the state to create a plan to combat teen pregnancy. The plans would be required to include medically accurate information about pregnancy prevention approved by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists – including but not limited to abstinence education. Led by Republican state Representative Robin Lundstrum, this bill passed the Arkansas state House 87-2 on Tuesday. The bill mimics similar legislation that passed in Mississippi in 2011. Evidence-based comprehensive sex-education has proven to reduce teen and unplanned pregnancy rates across the country, and RMC is thrilled to see Republican legislators advancing such commonsense initiatives.