Nashville, Tenn. - September 19,2018 - A majority of Tennesseans hold pro-life views, but that hasn't stopped Phil Bredesen from doubling down on his pro-abortion stance.
A new story from Politico includes video of Bredesen reiterating his support for Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, receiving public funds. The move to defund Planned Parenthood has been a major issue in Congress, and is likely to reemerge in the near future.
Bredesen has been called out on his extreme views on abortion before, when he was shown to have said he supports taxpayer-funded abortions of babies with Down syndrome.
Here's the full story...
Bredesen expresses support for Planned Parenthood funding
September 18, 2018
Democrat Phil Bredesen said he had no interest in halting federal funds for Planned Parenthood in a video captured by the Tennessee Republican Party, a position that could become a flashpoint in the final weeks of Bredesen's Senate campaign.
Bredesen, a former two-term governor running in the race to replace retiring Sen. Bob Corker, has long favored abortion rights, but Bredesen has not highlighted that stance or made reproductive health a major issue in the Senate race.
"I'm not making an issue of it in this campaign, but I've always been there," Bredesen said when asked about his pro-choice stance in the video posted by the Tennessee GOP.
Bredesen said he was "fine with that" when asked about federal funds going to Planned Parenthood, saying that when it came to federal funding for non-abortion services, he had "no problem with that whatsoever." When asked specifically about abortion services, Bredesen said: "I don't have a problem with them doing it" and called himself "pro-choice," but emphasized again that federal funds aren't used for that purpose.
"I'm not the least bit interested in defunding Planned Parenthood," Bredesen said.
Bredesen's stance on abortion is a stark contrast with his opponent, GOP Rep. Marsha Blackburn, who is staunchly anti-abortion and an ardent opponent of Planned Parenthood. Blackburn led a House inquiry into Planned Parenthood in 2015 after covert videos shot by a conservative journalist showed the organization allegedly discussing the sale of fetal body tissue. Planned Parenthood denied wrongdoing, and never faced any criminal charges. Blackburn highlighted her role in that investigation in her Senate campaign launch video, which Twitter subsequently removed after the social media platform said it contained inflammatory language.
Since then, neither candidate has made abortion a central issue in the Senate campaign, however. Last week, when discussing the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, Bredesen said the judge's position on abortion and Roe v. Wade is "certainly not as important to me as it is for some Democrats," according to The Tennessean. Earlier this month, The New York Times reported that abortion has been mostly absent as a campaign issue for Blackburn despite her long-held views.
Still, the video shows Republicans view the issue as a potent attack against the Democrat.
"A majority of Tennesseans believe life should be protected at every stage, and the fact that Phil does not shows just how out of touch he is," said Scott Golden, the Tennessee Republican Party chairman.
Bredesen's position is consistent with the one he held as governor, when Planned Parenthood received state funds that were prohibited from being used for abortion services.
Republicans in the state legislature attempted unsuccessfully to strip that funding out of the state budget when Bredesen was governor. After Bredesen left office, the legislature successfully diverted state funds away from Planned Parenthood to the state Department of Health in 2011.
"As he says in the video, Tennessee voters have long known that Gov. Bredesen believes that a woman's decision about her body is a personal decision that belongs to her in consultation with her family, her doctor, and her pastor," said Alyssa Hansen, a spokeswoman for Bredesen.
Read more at Politico.