Five thousand six hundred twenty-six. That’s the number of people who stand to lose access to healthcare through Planned Parenthood if Rep. Erik Paulsen’s efforts to defund the organization prove successful.
The Planned Parenthood Action Fund and creative citizens here in the Third Congressional Distinct expressed their disapproval of Paulsen’s position by creating a chain with 5,626 paper links. They delivered the paper chain to Paulsen’s office in Eden Prairie earlier this month.
But Paulsen’s hostility to women’s rights and family planning isn’t limited to opposing Planned Parenthood.
Back in April, EMILY’s List, the pro-choice Democratic women’s organization, blasted Paulsen in a damning editorial. “Congressman Paulsen has consistently supported an extreme Republican agenda that ignores the needs of women and families,” said Stephanie Schriock, president of EMILY’s List.
Paulsen has also opposed legislation that would close the gender pay gap and promote fair pay for women. He voted against both the Paycheck Fairness Act and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, two bills designed to address wage discrimination. In 2012, Paulsen called the fair pay lawsuits that inspired these acts “frivolous.”
Last year, Sacha Haworth of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said, “By opposing legislation that ensures equal pay for equal work, Erik Paulsen is perpetuating the gender pay gap, which is hurting women, their families, and Minnesota’s economy.”
As if that wasn’t bad enough, Paulsen has also twice supported an abortion ban. According to EMILY’s List, “ In May 2015, Paulsen voted for a bill that would prohibit abortions in cases where the probable age of the fetus is 20 weeks or later and would impose criminal penalties on doctors who violate the ban.” He previously voted for a similar bill in 2013.
Paulsen’s constant opposition to women’s rights and gender equality is fundamentally un-American. Next year’s midterm elections can’t come quickly enough.
Featured image via YouTube.