A Philadelphia woman says her call with a staffer of U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) ended abruptly after she, having called Toomey’s office to voice her disproval regarding the likely repeal of the Affordable Care Act and defunding of Planned Parenthood, used the word “menstruation” and was chided for her “graphic” language.
Nina Starner, 26, called Toomey’s Philadelphia office on Thursday evening and was connected with the unnamed staffer. The conversation, Starner says, began with her request to know what Republicans planned on implementing in place of Obamacare. The conversation, which she admits was terse, didn’t yield answers, so she then asked about federal funding of Planned Parenthood, which Toomey has been outspoken against and will likely be cut with the ACA later this month.
The Philly Voice reports:
Starner says the staffer sidestepped when she pointed out that federal funds are not allowed to go toward abortions under the Hyde Amendment. According to Starner, the staffer countered that the funding could easily be diverted to community health centers, but he wouldn’t provide details on how those centers would be able to account for the services provided by Planned Parenthood.
At some point, the staffer asked to take down her name and ZIP code, and Starner obliged, saying she’d love to call back every day to talk to Toomey about her reproductive system and her period.
That’s when the staffer suggested that the next time she calls, she shouldn’t “be so graphic,” Starner says.
Starner says she then told the staffer that Republican lawmakers “should understand workings of reproductive systems since they’re legislating on them.” Again, she alleges, the staffer told her to stop being “graphic” and ended the call.
“I am one of his constituents; it’s my right to voice my dissent, especially since I didn’t vote for Sen. Toomey,” Starner told the Philly Voice. “I feel I have the right to go to a staffer in a frustrated tone of voice.”
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Jezebel has contacted Toomey’s Philadelphia office for comment. We will update if they respond.