Boxer: Planned Parenthood Fight 'Not About Abortion' But 'A War on Women's Health'

August 4, 2015

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D., Calif.) said Tuesday that a Republican push to strip the nation’s largest abortion provider of federal funding was in fact "not about abortion."

Boxer said the policy effort aimed at Planned Parenthood was instead part of an ongoing war on women.

"What's next in the war?" MSNBC host José Díaz-Balart asked Boxer.

"It is a war—I'm glad you called it that. It's a war on women's health. It's not about abortion," Boxer said.

Sen. Joni Ernst (R., Iowa) and Rep. Diane Black (R., Tenn.), the Republicans leading the charge to defund Planned Parenthood, have said they are doing so because of Planned Parenthood’s abortion-related activity, namely its sale of organs procured from aborted fetuses.

Planned Parenthood has been on the defensive over sting videos released by the pro-life group Center for Medical Progress. The videos show Planned Parenthood officials discussing abortion with rare candor. They appear to haggle with prospective organ buyers (in fact CMP employees) over the price of fetal body parts. Under the law, Planned Parenthood is not allowed to sell body parts for "valuable consideration"—basically, any amount not including shipping, handling, and other administrative costs.

Boxer went on to attack the "discredited" undercover videos that sparked the Planned Parenthood fetal organ sales scandal. She told Diaz-Balart she had watched one out of the four videos released at the time, which was enough for her to make up her mind. A fifth video was released hours later.

If true, that would make Boxer one of the Senate’s most informed defenders of Planned Parenthood. Several Democratic members who voted Monday to protect Planned Parenthood’s funding admitted they had not seen any of the undercover videos.