Doug Cox uses tornado to defend Planned Parenthood funding

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doug_cox-planned_parenthood-322px.jpgState Rep. Doug Cox (RINO-Grove) is using the aftermath of a disaster to gain a national platform from which he can heap scorn on his fellow lawmakers and his fellow Oklahomans in order to support Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider, from whom he received a national award this year (pictured right) as a "pro-choice" Republican.

Under the guise of mourning the loss of 24 lives in this week's storm, he's promoting an organization responsible for the deaths of 3,316,822 by abortion procedures over a 12-year-period. Over the same period, Planned Parenthood made 25,846 adoption referrals, a ratio of 128 babies killed for every baby saved.

Cox is the member of the Republican caucus most likely to oppose a pro-life bill, and he's been an unreliable vote for the conservative cause on other issues as well. His 2012 conservative rating by the Oklahoma Constitution newspaper was 29%, lower than that of many Democrats. Cox and State Sen. Brian Crain have teamed up in support of Obamacare's Medicaid expansion in Oklahoma. This article ought to be the final straw to prompt the Republican caucus to give him the heave-ho and to take away his chairmanships. If the Oklahoma Republican Party stands for anything, they ought to be recruiting and preparing a primary opponent right now.

Cox attacks "multiple bills [moving through the legislature] with the sole purpose of blocking women's access to preventive health care." Here's the beginning of his Huffington Post op-ed:

The eyes of the entire country have turned to Oklahoma this week in the wake of Monday's devastating tornado. The tornado tore through seventeen miles of ground, destroying homes, schools, and hospitals in its path. Twenty-four lives have been lost, including 10 children.

It is these kinds of tragic disasters that bring people together. As a physician, as a parent, as a state legislator who takes my oath to put my constituents interests first, I can't be silent when -- at a time of need for care, empathy, and community -- my colleagues in the Oklahoma state legislature are using the last days of session to further restrict Oklahoma women's access to health care. In these final days of session, my colleagues in the state legislature will consider multiple bills with the sole purpose of blocking women's access to preventive health care.

Cox refers obliquely to two bills but omits the bill number, perhaps so we can't see if he's accurately depicting their content. SB 900, which has emerged from a conference committee, sets priorities for family planning and counseling funding, putting public agencies at the top of the list followed by hospitals and rural clinics, with private clinics at the end of the line, and HB 2226, which requires a prescription for the Plan B abortifacient drug for girls 16 and under, but allows it to be sold over-the-counter for ages 17 and up.

Both bills are common-sense measures. SB 900 has been reported out of conference committee and has passed the Senate. The conference committee report on HB 2226 has passed both houses and is on the governor's desk.

The overwhelming majority of Oklahomans, regardless of political affiliation, oppose abortion. Oklahomans have elected overwhelming majorities of pro-life legislators, pro-life statewide officials, and a 100% pro-life congressional delegation. We don't want our tax dollars going to organizations that perform abortions or lobby for abortion rights. Oklahomans, in overwhelming majorities, believe that sex is for marriage, and we don't want our tax dollars going to organizations that publish websites for children as young as six that encourage teens to experiment sexually. We believe that children should be protected from sexual predators, and we don't want our tax dollars going to organizations that shield statutory rapists from the legal penalties they deserve.

If Planned Parenthood wants Oklahoma taxpayer dollars for their medical clinics, they should stop performing or referring for abortions, stop lobbying for abortion rights, and stop promoting sexual irresponsibility among teenagers in the name of sex education. Money is fungible, and anything PP receives from state government for non-controversial activities frees up funds for controversial activities.

Cox represents an unfortunate phase in the development of a Republican majority in the Oklahoma legislature. Well-known local civic leaders who seemed conservative but who hadn't been active in Republican politics were recruited to run for open seats in Democratic-dominated districts. Unfortunately, we later learned that some of these legislators hadn't been involved in Republican politics because they don't hold Republican views. With massive majorities in both houses, the GOP legislative caucuses should consider taking chairmanships away from those members who consistently work against core Republican principles.

UPDATE 2013/05/24: SB 900 passed today and is on its way to the governor.

UPDATE 2013/05/29: Cox has an op-ed in today's Oklahoman, in which he deliberately blurs the distinction between contraceptives (means of preventing conception) and the Plan B "morning after" chemical abortifacient. From his rhetoric in this piece, it appears he believes that the best protection society can offer 12 - 14 year old girls is condoms and Plan B. If only people like Cox were as serious about protecting the innocence of children as they are about protecting them from smoking and bad nutrition.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on May 23, 2013 7:44 PM.

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