Andy Barr Celebrates Pro Choice OB/GYN Support with Extremist “Even in Cases of Rape & Incest” Pro Life Group

On Thursday we told you about Andy Barr’s curious support from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, a group which claims to represent 90% of the OB/GYNs in America. ACOG’s support is curious because they’re in favor of the Affordable Care Act’s robust safeguards for women’s health and Andy Barr wants to repeal and destroy the ACA — and ACOG’s support is even more curious since they’re an organization committed to ensuring the safe, legal and available access for women to abortion, and Andy Barr is not simply Pro Life but also firmly believes that survivors of rape and incest should be forced by the government to carry a fetus to term against their will.

The reason for ACOG’s support? Andy Barr is for sale. They paid him to push “medical malpractice” legislation to stop “frivolous lawsuits” and that’s what Andy did — so America’s OB/GYNs apparently think avoiding a rare lawsuit is worth more than a woman’s health.

Well, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists will be happy to know how Garland H. Barr IV spent his Saturday morning: At a Pro-Life march sponsored by an “even in cases of rape and incest” group and hosted by Forcht Bank which is the bank of Karl Rove’s Super PAC, American Crossroads.

Andy’s update, featuring Forcht Bank:

AndyBarrWalkforLife

Right to Life of Central Kentucky’s exciting flyer (a Patriotic Picnic at Karl Rove’s bank!):

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And the event’s Facebook page which apparently indicates five people attended.

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So… Andy Barr, who is funded by the stridently pro-choice American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, spent Saturday morning at a fundraiser for Right to Life of Kentucky, a group that believes — just like Andy Barr — that rape and incest survivors must be forced against their will to carry a fetus to term, and as such are opposed to such things as the Morning After Pill which is taken before a woman could even know if she was pregnant. In short:

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is to Andy Barr as Andy Barr is to Right to Life of Central Kentucky.

You can read much more about the Central Kentucky Right to Life groups views on Rape & Incest on their website where they insist “every life is sacred” which is, undoubtedly, true:

Monty Python-Every Sperm Is Sacred by Monty Python on Grooveshark

Central Kentucky Right to Life’s website will also tell you that it is “rare for women who have been raped or who are victims of incest to become pregnant, yet it happens.”

It is rare, no doubt, because women’s bodies just shut down.

The fascinating views of Andy Barr and his allies know no bounds. Here’s more:

Abortion isn’t the cure for rape, only an intrusive procedure that has been found to compound a woman’s mental and emotional pain from a rape or incest situation. Two wrongs don’t make a right and this is especially true with rape and abortion.

And how about this gem…

The fact is that allowing abortion in instances of rape and incest would send a horrible message. It says that human life should only be protected if the woman consented to having sexual intercourse. This bases the protection of unborn children on the acts of the mother, not on the intrinsic value of human life.

That’s right folks… rape and incest aren’t crimes committed against women, they are the result of “the acts of the mother.” Because, you know, she was probably asking for it.

This is who Andy Barr is, who he consorts with, who supports him and who makes up his base. Andy Barr believes, like these extremists, that survivors of rape and incest must be forced against their will to give birth — and apparently that’s a politician 90% of America’s OB/GYNs have decided to support.

Oh… and that bill Barr is pushing, the one ACOG is paying him for? It’s a terrible piece of legislation that disempowers already unempowered patients… so the OB/GYNs aren’t just putting liability reform ahead of women’s health, they’re putting really bad liability reform ahead of women’s health. Read more about it here:

The bill says it is meant to improve quality of care and patient safety. In fact, the bill contemplates a system so biased and unfair that legitimate cases would never go forward for patients covered by the bill’s provisions including elderly Medicare recipients; elderly, poor and disabled Medicaid recipients; and seemingly anyone who takes advantage of the Affordable Care Act, including those purchasing private insurance through exchanges.  The definitions of “health care liability claim” and “health care provider” are broadly crafted, to include not just traditional state medical negligence claims, but also claims brought against anyone licensed, registered or certified to provide health care services such as nursing homes and long-term care facilities. When legitimate cases are blocked from proceeding and negligence in hospitals and nursing homes is not properly exposed, patient safety suffers.  We strongly oppose this bill.

Lexington Herald Leader Endorses Elisabeth Jensen for Congress

In his first term, Republican U.S. Rep. Andy Barr has excelled at self-promotion and collecting money from the financial industry.

That’s how the Herald Leader’s endorsement of Elisabeth Jensen begins and it only gets clearer from there just how out of touch Barr is and how in-touch Jensen is, and it ends:

Jensen would serve the 6th District as a practical, compassionate advocate. Voters should send her to Congress.

In between is a clear explanation of Jensen’s background and of Barr’s “achievements” in his first term, which number in the threes and involve protecting Wall Street, protecting Predatory Payday Lenders, and serving other groups who’ve given heavily to his campaign rather than serving the people he represents.

If you’re a normal person, you wouldn’t appreciate paragraphs like this being written to describe you:

Barr also is one of the House’s far-right ideologues. He voted a year ago for the government shutdown that drained $24 billion from the economy. He voted against aid for Hurricane Sandy victims and defended as “compassionate” his vote to slash food stamps because it would push people out of dependency. The vast majority of food stamp recipients live in households with children, seniors or disabled individuals.

But if you’re Andy Barr, you probably think that was the greatest, most complete articulation of your extremist political platform and you’re giving your campaign staff hell for not coming up with it first.

READ IT ALL HERE.

Find out more about Elisabeth here:
Elisabeth Jensen for Congress

Oh… and for all you conservative knuckleheads that want to complain about the Communist Party’s control of all media, the Herald Leader also endorsed Hal Rogers in the 5th.

Andy Barr Working to Pay Back $30,000 in Loans from Predatory Lenders

“As I always tell you, I assume people donate to someone because they agree with their policy positions.”

That’s what Andy Barr’s spokesperson told the Herald Leader on Thursday in response to a John Cheves report on Andy’s work to defend and protect the Predatory Payday Loan Industry which has heavily funded the freshman Congressman’s campaign.

This is the same spokesperson who told the same paper last May that it was “Absurd!” to call Andy Barr “the Wall Street candidate.”

Here is just part of what Cheves reported in the Herald:

Barr, a House Financial Services Committee member, had taken at least $334,666 in campaign donations from the banking, finance and investments industries as of June 30, including payday lenders and major banks that have financed them, such as Wells Fargo and Bank of America. PNC, the bank that in March confirmed getting subpoenaed under Operation Choke Point, has given Barr $9,500.

….Payday loan chains with names like Cash America, Advance America and First Cash Financial have shared in billions of dollars in financial backing from major banks, including Wells Fargo, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Capital One and Citibank, according to a study last year of the banks’ required public disclosures by Reinvestment Partners, a Durham, N.C., group that opposes payday lending.

Payday Lenders maintain deep institutional ties to the Too Big To Fail Banks which have long run and funded Andy Barr’s campaign. As Cheves notes, Barr has taken at least $334,666 from the banking, finance and investments industries as of June of this year. But the Payday Lenders have money of their own to give as well.

Cheves highlights that some of that money — he puts it at $22,700 — comes directly from Payday Lenders. But that total, it seems, is actually much higher now, thanks to Andy Barr’s most recent FEC filing which was released on Wednesday.

Cheves doesn’t delineate exactly how he got to $22,700 but based it matches up with my own count. As of the end of this June, I was able to find $21,200 in contributions from players in the Predatory Payday Loan industry. That’s a $1,500 difference which is likely either a single donation, two donations or three donations — but it doesn’t really matter, because it is more than safe to defer to Cheves on the number.

If Andy Barr has taken $22,700 from Predatory Payday Lenders through the end of June… how much has he taken since then? 

As with my earlier search, it is easy to underestimate the total because so many of these Predatory Lenders operate under multiple names or as subsidiaries of more legitimately named companies — or in some cases, the other way around.

Take David Fisher of Chicago, for example. Fisher wrote Andy Barr a check in July for $1,000. Fisher’s occupation is listed simply as “Executive” of a company named “Enova.” But Enova isn’t just some company, it’s the online lending arm of the Predatory Lending giant Cash America.

Other donors are more obvious. Abby Jones of Cleveland, TN is the “Government Relations Manager” for a company called “Check into Cash,” another online lender. Jones wrote Andy Barr a check for $1,000 in early August.

William C. Pruett of Texarkana, AK wrote Andy Barr a check for $2,500 on the last day of September. He’s the owner of DMP Investments — but as B&P has noted, William Pruett of Texarkana also appears to be the man behind payday lending outposts in Arkansas.

On August 8th, Andy Barr took a $1,000 check from Encore Capital Group in San Diego. That’s a debt collector that’s been the subject of numerous lawsuits over its collection tactics which apparently include robo-signing.

At the end of July, Garland H. Barr IV collected a $2,500 check from the Community Financial Services Association PAC. That group, which represents the biggest players in the Predatory Payday Lending Industry, had already given Andy $2,500 this past February, so this brings their total to $5,000. The Community Financial Services Association, the trade group of the payday loan industry, is the central force behind a lawsuit against the U.S. government concerning “Operation Choke Hold.” This Thursday, the same day Cheves’ report appeared on Kentucky.com, Andy Barr co-authored a letter to the Department of Justice doubling down on his contention that any government attempt to protect consumers — largely working families and members of the military — from these predators is an example of oppressive overregulation. Andy Barr is fighting to defend Payday Lenders, not to protect Kentucky families.

Those totals — and as with the earlier ones, there’s really no telling how many other contributions are going under the radar unless one were to cross reference every single one of Barr’s innumerable out-of-state donors — come to an additional $7,000 if you don’t count Encore… and $8,000 if you do (and if you were to go back and re-count Barr’s larger totals, the number of shady debt collectors would balloon his overall take here).

Either way, what you are looking at is clear. Andy Barr has taken roughly $30,000 that we know of from the Predatory Payday Loan Sharks for his re-election campaign and now, just weeks before Election Day, Andy Barr is actively pushing protections for the industry that’s handing him the cash.

Andy Barr’s spokesperson told the Herald Leader, “I assume people donate to someone because they agree with their policy positions.”

That’s an absurd proposition under any circumstance, but when you’re talking about Predatory Payday Lenders… it’s simply insane.

As anyone who’s ever gotten caught up in the Predatory Payday Lending Debt Cycle could tell you, these guys don’t give you $30,000 and expect nothing in return.

They will bleed you dry.

And apparently, so will Andy Barr.

***FOR MORE ON THIS***

The Payday Loan Industry preys on working class families (and very often, members of the military), offering them easy cash in seconds but charging them exorbitant interest rates on the backend. This usually creates a cycle of debt from which the borrowers struggle to emerge — they have to borrow more money to cover the cost of the initial loan, and so forth.

This business model has been condemned by a broad coalition of Kentucky groups, from the Kentucky Baptist Convention to the Catholic Conference of Kentucky, Habitat for Humanity and AARP. With the government finally trying to crack down on their predatory practices after more than a decade of free-wheeling, the Pay Day Loan Industry is flush with cash and buying up politicians like Andy Barr to do their bidding.

Read more here: Will the Government Finally Regulate the Most Predatory Industry in America?

Interesting: Rand Paul Takes Money from Racist Republican Abortionist

Here’s the cover of this week’s Time Magazine:

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I haven’t read it. Nor can I find a link to it. I’m sure it’s interesting.

But here’s something that’s more interesting: Rand Paul is an “even in cases of rape and incest” Republican (here, here). The Senator who believes the big bad government is out to ruin every single facet of your life also believes that the big bad government has the right to force survivors of rape and incest to give birth against their will.

Even more interesting… in the final days of his 2010 election, Rand Paul took a check from the one of the nation’s leading for-profit abortion providers, Edward C. Allred.

AllredPaul

Allred is a gambler and owns race tracks (you’ll see he put that down as his occupation and not “Abortionist”) — but for decades he also ran the biggest for-profit chain of abortion clinics in California.

But he’s not your average abortion provider. What’s even most interesting here is that Rand Paul’s donor, Mr. Allred, is also a noted racist.

Often times when Anti Choice zealots make arguments against a woman’s right to choose what happens to her own body, they dredge up murky claims of racist intent behind the abortion movement as though the entire notion of abortion had been cooked up to kill Black and Hispanic people. This is insane except for one thing… that’s exactly what Mr. Allred has argued in explaining why he thinks abortion’s so great, and Mr. Allred is often the person these Anti Choice zealots point to to prove their case that abortion is really a ploy by liberal white women to kill off other races. Here’s the actual quote from Mr. Allred:

Population control is too important to be stopped by some right-wing pro-life types. Take the new influx of Hispanic immigrants. Their lack of respect for democracy and social order is frightening. I hope I can do something to stem that tide. I’d set up a clinic in Mexico for free if I could. Maybe one in Calexico would help. The survival of our society could be at stake.

….When a sullen black woman of 17 or 18 can decide to have a baby and get welfare and food stamps and become a burden to us all, it’s time to stop. In parts of South Los Angeles having babies for welfare is the only industry these people have.

That’s the racist rant of an abortionist who supports the deeply interesting Rand Paul.

And that’s not all…

While Pro Lifers love to point to Allred as proof of a liberal conspiracy to commit a racial holocaust… Allred is a Republican who has spent decades funneling his for-profit abortion money into the pockets of pro-life Republicans like Rand Paul.

AllredRandPaul

And in fact, often times the presence of this racist abortionist who may actually have spent years targeting black and hispanic communities based on an ideological belief that it would weaken the Black community and stem “illegal immigration” while using that money to fund Pro Life Republican causes (he was a donor, alongside Mitch McConnell and other highly prominent Republicans, to an American Spectator dinner in 1995 honoring Ronald Reagan) has created problems for the politicians who take his donations — and some of these Pro Life Republicans have subsequently returned Allred’s money.

So what’s interesting here is that Rand Paul — who has a long history of racist associations — has taken money from a noted racist who also happens to have spent decades providing abortion services despite the fact that Rand Paul firmly believes that abortion should always be illegal, even in cases of rape and incest.

Rand Paul is trying to court social conservatives in Iowa and South Carolina — and this association isn’t likely to help.

Rand Paul is also, interestingly, trying to court Black voters and convince them he’s truly on their side… and like the rest of his racist associations, this quote from his donor, Mr. Allred, won’t likely help:

“When a sullen black woman of 17 or 18 can decide to have a baby and get welfare and food stamps and become a burden to us all, it’s time to stop. In parts of South Los Angeles having babies for welfare is the only industry these people have.”

Rand Paul is also courting the Hispanic vote… and this quote really won’t help:

“Population control is too important to be stopped by some right-wing pro-life types. Take the new influx of Hispanic immigrants. Their lack of respect for democracy and social order is frightening. I hope I can do something to stem that tide. I’d set up a clinic in Mexico for free if I could. Maybe one in Calexico would help. The survival of our society could be at stake.

And, oh yes, Rand Paul’s racist abortionist donor who wants to abort Black babies to help end welfare and thinks setting up an abortion clinic at the Mexico border is necessary for the “survival of our society” is also a 7th Day Adventist and has a wing of a business school named after him.

That Rand Paul. He’s just so interesting. 

 

Heartless: Andy Barr Works for Predatory Lenders, not Kentucky Families

Good lord. This is either terrible timing for Andy Barr… or it’s yet another example of his extremist, out of touch way of doing the people’s business.

The Herald Leader late yesterday afternoon dropped a thorough, heavy report on Andy Barr’s dealings with Predatory Payday Lenders. This report follows Andy Barr’s Predatory Payola scheme in which the Predatory Lenders give the 6th District Republican a load of cash and he pushes legislation to benefit their industry and protect the Payday Lenders from regulation… rather than protect Kentuckians from these predators.

PredatoryBarr

The story, from the excellent John Cheves, follows the money on an attack from Barr’s opponent, Elisabeth Jensen. Last week, Jensen hit Andy over a letter he’d sent a year ago to the Department of Justice on behalf of “online lenders” in a move to protect them from regulation. But Jensen’s attack only scratched the surface, and Cheves has dug much deeper here — and you really must read the entire report:

In April, as part of Operation Choke Point, federal prosecutors announced a $1.2 million civil settlement with Four Oaks Bank & Trust in North Carolina. Prosecutors said the bank ignored evidence of fraud and allowed online payday lenders to process $2.4 billion in unauthorized transactions from depositors’ accounts. Two other banks, PNC Financial Services Group and Zions Bancorp, have disclosed in public filings that they are cooperating in similar investigations.

Stuart Delery, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s civil division, told a House committee in July that Operation Choke Point is focused on “specific conduct, based on evidence that consumers are being defrauded” through unauthorized withdrawals from their bank accounts.

The crackdown has angered payday lenders, who have given at least $22,700 for this election to Barr’s campaign. They say banks are being pressured by the government to stop financing them and to cut off their access to borrowers’ accounts for repayment of their short-term loans. The industry’s trade group sued federal bank regulators this summer to halt Operation Choke Point.

The story gets worse from there for Barr (and for working Kentucky families) as Cheves digs into the obscene interest rates these shady institutions place on these loans and on their aggressive tactics to siphon money back out of borrowers bank accounts.

At the same time this story was breaking on Barr, an entirely new letter from Andy Barr to the Department of Justice on the very same issue was released. Check this one out:

OCP_Letter_to_DOJ_IG_10_16_2 OCP_Letter_to_DOJ_IG_10_16_2-B

The letter is signed by a small group of Representatives all on the Payday Lending payroll including Andy Barr:

PredatoryBarr2

Barr’s defense on this issue, and the argument in both that letter and the one he sent in August 2013, is that the Predatory Lenders he’s defending actually provide a vital service to “underserved communities.” Without these predatory lender, the folks who are forced to frequent them because they’re having a hard time paying bills and feeding their families wouldn’t be able to get banking services… which is, in itself, an obscene proposition since the way the Payday Lending industry works is to trap borrowers in a cycle of debt and not let them out — hence the legal action against the Payday Lending industry that Cheves details and that Barr and his crew are trying to curtail.

Andy Barr’s letter above, which was sent the same day as Cheves’ explosive report in the Herald, argues further that regardless of the literally ungodly APRs these institutions charge their borrowers (often as much as 400%, sometimes 600%, sometimes even more), they are legally allowed to do whatever they want to consumers because… free enterprise! And the government has no business seeking to protect regular Americans from a multi-billion industry that’s feeding profits up the chain to the nation’s largest banks.

Here’s more from Cheves:

Barr, a House Financial Services Committee member, had taken at least $334,666 in campaign donations from the banking, finance and investments industries as of June 30, including payday lenders and major banks that have financed them, such as Wells Fargo and Bank of America. PNC, the bank that in March confirmed getting subpoenaed under Operation Choke Point, has given Barr $9,500.

….

Payday loan chains with names like Cash America, Advance America and First Cash Financial have shared in billions of dollars in financial backing from major banks, including Wells Fargo, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Capital One and Citibank, according to a study last year of the banks’ required public disclosures by Reinvestment Partners, a Durham, N.C., group that opposes payday lending.

You do not want to miss the rest of this damning look at how Andy Barr is using the power of his office.

Barr apparently refused to comment directly, but did send out his spokeswoman — and her explanation of what’s happening here would be laughable… if it wasn’t completely insane:

“As I always tell you, I assume people donate to someone because they agree with their policy positions,” Gatewood said about the campaign donations to Barr from payday lenders and banks.

You got that?

“I assume people donate to someone because they agree with their policy positions.” 

This is the Andy Barr experience.

And even if that absurd explanation were true — even if the Predatory Payday Lending industry were heavily funding Andy Barr only because he independently chose to defend them — what does that say about Andy Barr’s personal political beliefs and priorities?

Thousands of Kentuckians use these services because they have no other option for paying bills and feeding kids — and Andy Barr has independently chosen to side with the groups exploiting those people.

At least if Andy Barr admitted he only did it for the money, you could then imagine he has some sense of compassion. Based on his spokeswoman’s explanation, Andy Barr is just heartless.

Which brings us back to the timing of this latest letter’s release. Either it is a pure coincidence that at the same time Cheves was investigating Andy Barr’s deep ties to the Predatory Payday Loan industry, Barr was getting ready to send a letter to solidify his reputation as a sell-out and the two events just happened to coincide… or Barr pushed this offensive new letter out because, as is his usual tactic, he believes it’s better to go more extremely into the wrong than it is to admit he was wrong.

Either way… it’s likely a gift to the Lexington Herald Leader’s Sunday edition.

***

EARLIER: Awash in Predatory Payday Lending Money, Andy Barr Does Payday Lenders Bidding (against G-d’s will)

 

Pro Abortion OB-GYNs Give Big $$$ to “Even in Cases of Rape & Incest” Andy Barr (or: “Baby Killers” for Barr?)

BabyKillersForBarr

That’s a $2,500 contribution from the Political Action Committee of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The Washington-based ACOG PAC has given Andy Barr $7,500 so far in this election — despite the fact that ACOG works to protect the safe and legal availability of abortions, and Andy Barr believes abortion should be illegal even for survivors of rape and incest.

Rape and incest, folks — that’s who Andy Barr is… and that is who the American Congress of OB/GYNs is supporting.

It’s shocking that a group of medical professionals who’ve made it their life’s work to protect the health and well-being of women would support a man who is anti-woman almost across the board.

Andy Barr is opposed to Equal Pay for women, claiming that it’s not a real issue that women are paid 72 cents on the dollar for doing the same job as a man.

Andy Barr supported and celebrated the Hobby Lobby case, which allows employers to determine the birth control methods of their female employees. Women are chattel, their uteruses belong to the CEO, Andy Barr’s all for it… and the Congress of OB/GYNs is giving Andy Barr $7,500.

BabyKillersForBarr2

Andy Barr has viciously attacked Planned Parenthood, calling it an “abortion factory” when in fact, as ACOG should well know, such services make up just 2% of Planned Parenthood’s overall operation — and 0% of their operation in Kentucky. The vast majority of what Planned Parenthood does provide is general OB/GYN services to women in desperate need of such.

One would think that ACOG would support Planned Parenthood. Instead, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which represents 90% of the OB/GYNs in America, is supporting Garland H. Barr IV.

Andy Barr wants to completely abolish the Affordable Care Act. Andy has repeatedly attacked the ACA, has fallaciously claimed the health care law “destroys jobs”, and Andy Barr’s big plan for Kentucky is to repeal Kynect and kick over 500,000 now-insured Kentuckians to the curb.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists support key elements of the Affordable Care Act that Andy Barr would destroy.

  • ACOG supports maternity coverage for all women in all plans; Andy Barr would repeal it.
  • ACOG supports coverage of women’s preventative health services under all plans; Andy Barr would repeal it.
  • ACOG supports the end of pre-existing condition exclusions; Andy Barr would repeal it. 
  • ACOG supports the end of gender rating, the end of coverage rescissions, and the end of annual and lifetime benefit caps; Andy Barr would repeal it.

This list goes on. In fact… while Andy Barr is pushing for the extreme and total repeal of the ACA, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is worried that the in places, the ACA doesn’t go far enough. But ACOG PAC has given $7,500 (at least) to help re-elect a congressman who would repeal the law in its entirety, ripping it up — like Mitch McConnell — root and branch.

In Kentucky, ACOG PAC is aggressively backing an anti-woman candidate whose positions on issue after issue are antithetical to the very mission of America’s obstetricians and gynecologists.

ACOG is actually a big supporter of Planned Parenthood, writing amicus briefs on PP’s behalf, even joining Planned Parenthood and other “pro-abortion” forces in objecting to the ban on federal money going to Planned Parenthood. Andy Barr calls Planned Parenthood an “abortion factory” and ACOG, which supports Planned Parenthood, gives $7,500 to Andy Barr.

This hypocrisy cuts both ways. For ACOG’s members it should be galling that their organization would fund an anti-woman candidate who believes rape and incest survivors should be forced by the government to carry a fetus to term. For Andy Barr’s virulent extremist base, the fact that Barr is taking money from “baby killers” who have joined forces with Planned Parenthood to publish a “study” on the efficacy of RU-486 should make them see blood on Andy’s hands. (When will Barr’s far-right wing extremist “even in cases of rape and incest” base call on him to return this “blood money”?)

Down the line, this unholy matrimony does not make sense. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists was “profoundly disappointed” by the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision… but they’ve given $7,500 (so far, and that we know of) to Andy Barr who praised the decision to subjugate a woman’s body to her employer as a win for “religious freedom.”

The list, sadly, goes on.

So I asked ACOG PAC why they were supporting an Anti-Woman Congressman who is part of the small and extremist “Even in Cases of Rape & Incest” wing of the Republican Party.

Why would a group that represents 90% of the OB/GYNs in America and which proclaims “the availability of safe, legal abortion remains of vital importance to the health of women” throw its support behind a man who has famously used his infant child in an anti-choice campaign mailer?

You can read ACOG’s official statement below, but what it boils down to is this: Andy Barr’s office is for sale.

Andy Barr will do the bidding of the highest bidder. We have seen this in his work to defend and protect the interests of Too Big To Fail Banks and shady hedge funds on Wall Street, and we have seen it in Andy Barr’s work to protect and defend this nation’s fleet of Predatory Payday Lenders.

In the case of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, their press people say they are supporting Andy Barr because he is pushing supposedly “bipartisan” legislation (it has 1 Democratic co-sponsor and 19 Republicans) which would address so-called “frivolous lawsuits.” Medical “liability reform” is a big topic for doctors (that’s part of why if you have any procedure done they always make you sign a waiver that says if they kill you accidentally you can’t sue them) and it’s a cause regularly championed by pro-business Republicans. What’s strange is that, whatever you think of medical liability reform, ACOG is choosing to place their interests in liability reform above their interests in caring for women and ensuring laws and policies that protect women’s health.

In fact, on their website ACOG lists their legislative priorities and if you look at it, “liability reform” comes in below their more important mission of protecting women’s lives… a slew of priorities Andy Barr has opposed entirely in his two-year-old congressional career.

Here’s the official statement from ACOG on why they’ve given Andy Barr $7,500:

Ob-GynPAC is bi-partisan and works to elect candidates from both political parties, and maintains balance in its political giving.  Ob-GynPAC works with all candidates and elected officials to advance the interests of our specialty, regardless of political party. Republican and Democratic candidates are important to our specialty, often on different issues, and seats of power shift between the parties. Our PAC protects our profession, not a party.

Ob-GynPAC is our specialty’s PAC, and since its earliest days has adhered to a policy of not including any specific issue as a litmus test, including abortion votes, in our decisions to support or oppose candidates for elected office.

Rep. Andy Barr specifically has been an outspoken champion for medical liability reform alternatives, and is an original sponsor of “Saving Lives, Saving Costs,” a medical liability reform Safe Harbors Bill. Our statement in support of that bill can be found here: http://www.acog.org/About-ACOG/News-Room/Statements-and-Advisories/2014/ACOG-Statement-In-Support-of-the-Saving-Lives-Saving-Costs-Act

I followed up by asking if their stated mission of being “bipartisan” and “not supporting a party” meant that they had also given money to Barr’s opponent, Elisabeth Jensen. Jensen is an advocate for women’s health and has been one of the only Democrats in the entire country to run on the importance of the Affordable Care Act, specifically its protections for women’s health and OB/GYN provisions.

Here’s what ACOG had to say:

Unfortunately, we have not been able to support her financially. Because we represent the only specialty dedicated to women’s health, we can’t focus on only one issue, no matter how important an issue it is. Medical liability reform is one of many key areas of focus for members of Ob-GynPAC.

 That is unfortunate.

ACOG, which has given heavily to such prominent pro-choice candidates as Wendy Davis in Texas, has placed its interest in “medical liability reform” above their interest in protecting women’s health and women’s rights.

If I were a member of ACOG, this would be a good time to call the head office — and an even better time to offset their insane, anti-woman support of noted misogynist Andy Barr and instead give some money to his opponent, Elisabeth Jensen.

Help Alison ditch Mitch by helping Elisabeth Jensen The 6th District's Anti-Barr.

Help Alison ditch Mitch by helping Elisabeth Jensen
The 6th District’s Anti-Barr.

Andy Barr’s for sale… and it’ll only cost you some women’s rights.