A day after saying he’s “not sure we need half a billion dollars for women’s health issues,” Jeb Bush is quickly moving to clarify that he actually he loves women’s health. He’s women’s health’s biggest fan. He has all women’s health’s albums. Pap smears, breast exams, all those things, he thinks they’re whatever combination of words won’t make you mad anymore.
Bush made the remarks at a Send North America, a Southern Baptist Convention, on Tuesday, telling a moderator, “You can take dollar for dollar — though I’m not sure we need half a billion dollars for women’s health issues — but if you took dollar for dollar, there are many extraordinarily fine organizations ... to provide quality care for women on a wide variety of health issues.” A tough sentence with many cul-de-sacs, but the general idea is certainly there.
This morning, Bush’s camp says he meant to jump on the Planned Parenthood-bashing conservative bandwagon, but in fact accidentally exposed his boredom and contempt for the very idea of women. I mean, he misspoke. He misspoke. From his website:
“With regards to women’s health funding broadly, I misspoke, as there are countless community health centers, rural clinics, and other women’s health organizations that need to be fully funded. They provide critical services to all, but particularly low-income women who don’t have the access they need.
“I was referring to the hard-to-fathom $500 million in federal funding that goes to Planned Parenthood – an organization that was callously participating in the unthinkable practice of selling fetal organs. Democrats and Republicans agree we absolutely must defund them and redirect those funds to other women’s health organizations.”
The federal funding he’s referring to comes from Medicaid reimbursements for women who choose Planned Parenthood as well as Title X family planning funds, and when you take it away and redirect it elsewhere—as Texas tried to do—it doesn’t work. Unless your objective is to decrease the number of women getting contraception and increase the number of unplanned pregnancies, in which case it works great.
Jeb or a very salty intern is also engaged in a Twitter battle with Hillary Clinton on the issue:
This is going to be such a long, long year.
Bush dunks on an imaginary Planned Parenthood. Image via AP.