Montana Politics

Warburton Defends Defunding Planned Parenthood With Debunked Evidence

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During the protracted debate over the budget in the Montana House today, the Montaniban decided to defund Planned Parenthood to meet the needs of their ideologically-driven, logic deficient constituents. Among those most excited about the action, which will jeopardize access to a wide array of healthcare needs of Montana women, was Havre’s own Wendy Warburton, who was so excited that she posted about it repeatedly on Twitter.

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Pretty exciting stuff for Representative Warburton, who partially justified her vote by citing an article from the Daily Beast by Fox New Democrat Kirsten Powers:

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As I pointed out at the time, and others have noted subsequently, Warburton is relying on an article that is so factually challenged that the author had to offer the most complete retraction I have ever seen. Powers wrote:

Author’s Note: I made a serious error in reporting this column that undermines the conclusion I drew. I compared statistics on contraceptive use from a January 2011 Guttmacher Institute fact sheet to a year 2000 study on the same issue.  However, I did not realize that the 2011 fact sheet derived its statistics from the year 2000 numbers, so my argument was not supported by the data. I am deeply sorry for the error, which invalidates my piece.

That’s the kind of decision making the Republican Party is bringing to Montana. On a close vote, they passed devastating cuts to Planned Parenthood, based in part on an absolute distortion of the truth. If Representative Warburton has any honor at all, she will retract her remarks tomorrow and apologize, both to the Legislature she misled and the Montana women this vote will do real harm to.

Somehow, I don’t see that happening.Do the right thing, Representative Warburton. Maybe it will set a precedent for the rest of the session.

About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is a eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it’s a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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