Blunt Language From Missouri Senator About Abortion

April 10, 2011 | By | 22 Replies More

I fully participated in the recent campaign to prevent the move to cut funding to the the organization that prevents more abortions than any other, Planned Parenthood. Even though Republicans held to that partisan budget pittance to the point of shutting down the government, the health services for poor women provided by Planned Parenthood will continue to get that dollar per citizen for another year. Yay.

But along the way, I wrote to my Senator, Roy Blunt. Weeks later, he wrote back. Here (in part) is his response:

“Thank you for contacting me about funding for Planned Parenthood”

“I am deeply opposed to the practice of abortion and do not support federal funding for any organization that performs or promotes abortions, which includes Planned Parenthood. An unborn child is a living human being and abortion ends the life of that child. Throughout my time in the House I worked hard to protect the lives of the unborn.

“I am proud to have the highest possible pro-life voting record according to National Right to Life, and, as I begin my time in the Senate, I will continue to support efforts to make adoption more attractive for parents and prohibit the use of taxpayer dollars to pay for abortion.”

Either he is ignorant, or tacitly lying. Three percent (3%) of Planned Parenthood’s activities are abortion related. Of those, none (0%) have ever been taxpayer supported.

The prohibition against tax money for abortions is still in effect from the 1976 Hyde Amendment. Only under very rare circumstances does this act allow any federal money to be involved in an abortion. Lawmakers can posture all they want to; it is already illegal for tax money aid poor women who must resort to that tragic choice.

I’m not a single-issue voter, nor do necessarily I oppose his position every issue. But his ignorant formula response to my request has cemented my opposition to his reelection.

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Category: Communication, Current Events, ignorance, Politics, Reproductive Rights

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A convoluted mind behind a curly face. A regular traveler, a science buff, and first generation American. Graying of hair, yet still verdant of mind. Lives in South St. Louis City. See his personal website for (too much) more.

Comments (22)

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  1. Dan,

    Just to be completely fair, what you posted as his response indicates it doesn't matter to him what percentage of the service is abortion related or even if federal dollars go to it—it says quite clearly his opposes federal funding to any organization that provides the service. Not for the service. Just if it provides it. That's fairly clearly and unequivocal and not at all hypocritical on his part.

    Just sayin'

  2. There ought to be a campaign across country with politicians like Blunt that basically runs this way:

    "I don't care what you personally believe, you asshole, the fact is you work for me. Do what I tell you or you're fired."

    I wonder if a petition phrased that way would get a lot of signatures.

  3. Jim Razinha says:

    At least you got a response to the actual question you asked. I've commented here before on how I got a letter thanking me for my concern over illegal immigration when I really asked for an investigation into rising gas prices.

  4. Dan Klarmann says:

    Mark, I noted that.

    What irks me is that his response makes no acknowledgement of the half of his constituency who disagree, including the one to whom he is responding.

    It's fine that he is firmly representing his own conscience. But shouldn't he also represent his constituents? Or at least acknowledge them?

  5. Dan Klarmann says:

    Given that he will not support any organization that in any way may support abortions, he'll have to cut finding for any organization that provides medical care or supplies.

    Halliburton transports doctors who may have to perform that procedure, so he should cut their funding.

    No one wants pregnant soldiers, and accidents do happen. Army/Navy/Marine surgeons must perform abortions.Therefore the various arms of the military should also be defunded.

    Abortions are a fact of life. Have been since Biblical times, and well before. All that banning funding does is makes them more dangerous, not less prevalent.

  6. I still recall with fondness the words of Jocelyn Elders:

    "America has to get over its love affair with the fetus."

  7. Alexandra says:

    I contacted Senator Blunt about this issue and received the same response. Over the past few months, I have contacted him about a range of issues, and I was also alarmed at his lack of interest in acknowledging those in his constituency who hold different opinions than his own. He seems to be telling me in his responses, "I don't care what you think."

  8. Tim Hogan says:

    The Republican Party, (and Senator Blunt (R-MO))despite claims to the contrary, do not promote the sanctity of life and cynically continue to attempt to manipulate voters of faith with false promises for votes, workers and cash while pursuing a radical neoconservative and corporatist agenda wholly inconsistent with a culture of life and Roman Catholic values.

    I live in Missouri, the Show Me State, and the GOP has controlled both chambers of the Legislature and held the Governor’s office for four years. During those four years, Democratic legislators efforts to pass an outright ban on abortions have been stalled in a GOP run House committee or ruled “not germane” by the current GOP Nominee for Missouri Attorney General, Michael Gibbons. Democratic legislators' efforts to re-instate funds cut from Medicaid if abortions increased in Missouri and which took health care from over 100,000 Missourians were stopped when the Republicans voted strictly along party lines to block the effort to continue pre-natal and infant care programs which had caused abortions to drop by double digit percentages in Missouri.

    When the Republicans last controlled the US House of Representatives, there was not a single vote on any constitutional amendment supported by the Republican majority to outlaw abortion.

    When the Republicans last controlled the US Senate, there was not a single vote on any constitutional amendment supported by the Republican majority to outlaw abortion.

    While President George W. Bush was claiming to be a “pro-life Republican” he did not send over to the House or Senate for their consideration any proposed constitutional amendment to ban abortions.

    While the former GOP majorities in the House and Senate were not the ¾ necessary to send an amendment to the states, we did see GOP support for and a vote on a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriages (that amendment failed to get ¾ of the votes for passage, to allow it to go to the states just before an election).

    If the GOP truly supported a culture of life and a constitutional amendment to outlaw abortions and wanted to capitalize on a vote just before an election, why didn’t they attempt to vote to outlaw abortion? I’m sure Karl Rove counted the votes and knew he didn’t even have a GOP majority support for any constitutional amendment to outlaw abortions, much less ¾ of either the US House or Senate.

    It's clear that Republicans are not serious about any efforts to ban abortions and that values voters have been hoodwinked for decades by Republican lies, just like those of newly elected Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO).

  9. Niklaus Pfirsig says:

    Dan,

    Here's what really happened.

    You message, was proccessed through Blunt's staff. Email messages are handled with auto responder software that looks for keywords in the message body, and fires off a canned response to the sender. Snail mail gets processed at a processing center, where poorly paid employees are allowed 20 to 30 seconds to open the mail, enter the name and address in their work station, scan through the letter for keywords to enter into the program the automatically print and mail the canned response.

    However, if the message is from someone on a list influential people in their community, the software triggers an exception and the message is fowarded to the legislator's staff. A staffer reviews the message, and depending on their mood, political view and general demeanor that day, will most likely kick off the auto response, but may actually respond on the legislator's behalf. A few messages, either from very important supporters, and from fans, will get through.

    This selection process heavily filters the bulk of the mail and email to the legislator, allowing mainly for letters that support the legislator and presenting a very distorted and misleading impression of the publics response.

    The time may be right to expose the way the lawmakers are being isolated from their constituents. We need to coordinate a prank on the system. on a certain date. We need as many people as possible to either email or snail mail their elected representatives on government.

    Topics of the messages should be patently absurd, from expressing concern over the need to amend or repeal certain laws of physics, to appeals for the release of prisoners in works of fiction. Whenever possible, use arcane language and even hand write the message, digitize it and email it as an attachment to your elected official.

    Any way you do this, save a copy of the message, and when you get the response, post your message and the response on the web for all to see.

  10. Tim,

    There are two ways to look at that. The first and simplest is that abortion is just such a fertile (pun intended) campaign issue that to finally act on it and end it would mean they would have to run on something else—and what else do they have?

    But secondly, and more complexly, is the whole after-the-fact list of consequences to an outright ban. Would the courts have to become even more activist than they are now to prosecute abortion cases? Would the police have to be given new powers of search-and-seizure to deal with clandestine clinics or investigate questionable doctors?

    The fact is the entire pro-life movement is torn about this. They actually have no answers to how to deal with the problem judicially because they really don't want to. If it becomes an actionable offense, a felony, it will fill the courts and that's the last thing they want. What they want is for it TO GO AWAY. If they actually criminalize it (and how else would it be banned?) it will never GO AWAY and they will be forced to deal with the aspects of it they do not wish to think about. We can assume Republican politicians sense this and don't want to go there. That is a can of worms that will pull them under like some Cthulhu-esque monster and forever hamper them.

    Best to just talk a good show and let the states deal with it or, better yet, "pray" something happens that they don't have to worry about it anymore.

  11. Mike M. says:

    "the fact is you work for me"

    "But shouldn’t he also represent his constituents? Or at least acknowledge them?"

    I wish an Easter Bunny would hop across my back yard and deliver brightly colored eggs and candies to me.

    The previous sentences are all examples of utopian delusions and wishful thinking.

    My current opinion: The political system of the United States (which is an Oligarchy, not a Democracy), and the politicians who comprise this system, do not care about you as an individual and do not care about your …

    You are a distraction to them, an annoyance, that they must pay "lip service" to and pretend to represent. Representational government is an archaic and quaint concept which may have been viable in the horse and buggy days, but is a fraudulent mirage and bad joke in the internet connected global village of 2011. Elected government officials do not represent you, they represent the powers that they are beholden to – which would be Big Banks and Big Business. Politicians represent the entities which had funded their elections and rise to power, and the entities which benefit from having their "agent" placed within the US Government to do their bidding. Politicians have been compromised and paid for, and only the hopelessly romantic and naive continue to believe otherwise. If a politician can shove through laws and policies which also conform to their religious or personal beliefs without compromising their BB masters, well then that's just a bonus for them. The cherry on a cake that's been designed and paid for by the elite powers that truly run this country.

  12. Niklaus Pfirsig says:

    Mike,

    I think our current government could best be described as a "Managed Democracy". What has been happening over the recent 40 years, the Republican party has become the voodoo economics cult. This cult has several strange beliefs.

    First and foremost among these beliefs is the idea of economic Darwinism. This is the belief that the poor are poor because they don't want to be rich, and the rich are superior to the poor because that have willed themselve to be rich.

    Another strange concept is that each individual of a society is entirely representative of that society. Several Republican politicians seem to honestly believe that their personla beliefs precisely mirror the beliefs of the people who voted for them. For many, this means they don't need to have the people tell that what the people want, they believe they already know.

    The next weird belief in this cult is that greed, er, the profit motive, can be used to magically fix the ills of society.

    They believe the civil service is evil, populated by overpaid slackers who can't be fired from their jobs.

    They believe that anyone who disagrees is either stupid, of an evil socialist who is UnAmerican.

    They beieve a whole lot of other stupid crap,

    The corporations, have managed, over the last few decades, to covertly fund candidates whose beliefs would elimiate the barriers to corporate profitability. It is more effectine to have true believers in office than to have someone who might sell out to a better offer. These lawmakers then surround themselves with a staff of other true believers who effective isolate the lawmaker from his constituents.

    So we have a bunch of Bozos who honestly believe that taking from the poor and giving to the rich, exporting jobs overseas, taking healthcare and retirement funds from the poor and the elderly, while absolving corporations from all liability, is good for the nation.

  13. Mike M. says:

    "I think our current government could best be described as a “Managed Democracy”.

    OK, but managed by who? (or more accurately, managed by 'What?'). Where are YOU in this process? And by 'You' I mean 'Joe Citizen'. How do you factor into the equation? I contend that you don't factor in, at all, other than in the role of a spectator in the game. Look at the evidence… of all the politicians proposing changes that do not reflect the will (or current whims) of the majority of citizens within this "managed democracy." We have no pull, and no power other than to scream from the sidelines. We are the spectators– we pay for the seats, we wear the team colors (in this case Red White & Blue) and buy the souvenirs, we cheer and boo various actions of The Players on the field, and imagine that each team member playing the game is "one of us", and represents us. It is very very much like the delusional sports fan who goes to the office on Monday morning complaining about how WE lost, or ecstatic that WE won, when in reality they had nothing to do with any of the actions on the field at all, at all.

    • Erich Vieth says:

      Mike M.: Well stated. I wish I didn't have to agree with your assessment. There do seem to be two governments out there. The one that begs us to vote so that we have the illusion of being empowered, and the other, which proceeds to ignore us after the elections.

  14. Mike M. says:

    Erich: Believe me, I wish I didn't have to agree with my own assessment either. When the surface anger and frustrations dissipate, I'm left with a free-floating fundamental sadness with where we are as a country in contrast to where we could be. I get this same sort of heavy, visceral emotion when I think about the assassinations of Jack and Bobby Kennedy. To me it's a sense of golden opportunity lost, of bright hopes snuffed out, and a feeling of edgy concern that somehow we've allowed the worst among us to gain control of our political agenda.

  15. Niklaus Pfirsig says:

    Mike M.

    In answer to you questions

    Our democracy is managed by (and for the benefit of} the ultra wealthy, be they corporate board members, or billion brothers controlling a privately held conglomerate.

    My position is that of a single member in the politically invisible majority, not poor enough to be blamed for pulling down the economy, and certainly not wealthy enough to have open access to my representatives in Washington.I am like a grain of sand in a great sandbox of humanity called the market by the greedy bastards we call corporations, part of something to be exploited, trickled and dumped upon as the cowardly captains of industry insulate themselves from accountability through the limited liability of their companies.

    However, grains of sand can be shifted to weaken the foundations unser those ivory towers and bring them crashing to the ground, but only if we all work together.

  16. Mike M. says:

    "The third president, Thomas Jefferson, had a vision of America. He believed that this whole new country, this giant unformed continent offered a chance to start again. The premise was very simple. That human beings acting in a sense of enlightened self interest are smart enough to do the right thing and know the truth. America could have been a fantastic monument to all the best instincts of the human race. Instead, we just moved in here and destroyed the place from coast to coast like killer snails."

    ~Hunter S. Thompson

  17. Niklaus Pfirsig says:

    A quick explanation of "enlightened self interest" for the lurkers on this blog is in order.

    Jefferson believed in the concept of the common good. The enlightened ones (those that understood the concept of the common good) would see as self evident that anything that benefited the community, or the people as a whole also benefits the self interests of each and every member of the community. A rising tide floats all ships.

    The politically right has twisted and inverted the concept to mean that whatever benefits the individual also benefits the community. This is obviously not true.

    Consider that the laws of our Democratic Republic should be crafted in a manner that they can be applied to everyone equally. The laws should reflect the common good.

    Blunt and his ilk, prefer rule by exception, the idea that laws must be selectively applied to groups of persons to deny equality to that group.

    Blunt is not fundamentally against abortion, but against women's right to equality in self determination. Blunt is against planned parenthood, not because they include abortions but because their other services threatens male domination of women.

  18. MamieFarish says:

    Of course Planned Parenthood is the largest provider of abortions. They sell contraceptives. Contraceptives "fail." Former PP director says, "When I was volunteering, I had gotten hooked in because Planned Parenthood said that they wanted to reduce the number of abortions. Yet, through my own experience contracepting, having two unplanned pregnancies, and twice having an abortion, this didn’t make sense. When I started working there in 2005 as a paid employee, almost all of the women who I counseled were contracepting, yet were having abortions. It didn’t make sense to me. It didn’t seem like their goal of expanding the use of contraception was reducing the number of abortions.

    • Erich Vieth says:

      MamieFarish: I don't follow your logic at all. Just because many women having abortions were using contraception doesn't meant that they get pregnant at the same rate as women who don't use contraception. Your conclusion is based upon the false premise that contraception doesn't work at all.

  19. MamieFarish,

    Something wrong with your arithmetic. If 35% of PP services is contraception and only 3% are for abortions, then obviously more contraceptives are working than you suggest. Read the labels, all contraception has a "failure rate" depending on many factors, including user malfunction. Studies have been done indicating one of the main factors in this is inconsistent or inappropriate use of contraceptives by the users themselves. (Seems biology is devious and there's an unconscious effort on the part of our own biologies to subvert our efforts to avoid pregnancy.) So if you take the 35% and consider that as your baseline for contraceptive use, making it the total, then roughly, if the abortions provided are only for women whose contraception has failed (which it's not, but for the sake of argument let's assume), then you'd have a ten percent failure rate. That's still a far cry from "everyone using contraception ends up getting an abortion" that you seem to be implying. That would mean a 90% success rate for contraception. Posted failure rates on different contraceptive methods range from 1% to 15%, so tweaking the numbers a bit would put this within the range for reliability as advertised.

    But still, more than half those abortions are for women coming in for the first time, which means the contraception being provided by PP in likely 95% effective.

    Now, since you've used personal anecdote to make your case, I'll counter with mine—out of all the women I've ever known who used contraception (and that's almost all the women I've ever known) only one got pregnant "by accident." The rest all chose to become pregnant and subsequently stopped using contraception. So anecdote for anecdote, it would seem to be a wash.

    But your arithmetic is still wonky.

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