WASHINGTON (BP)–Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the country’s leading abortion provider, honored Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi with one of its inaugural Champions of Women’s Health awards. Pelosi is a Democrat from California.
Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards praised Pelosi for gaining passage earlier this year of a health care reform bill that will subsidize abortions in insurance plans.
“I think when the history books are written about who stood up for women when the chips were down, when a lot of folks were ready to throw us under the bus, it was Speaker Nancy Pelosi who did that work,” Richards said at the July 15 event in a congressional office building, according to Politico.com. “She’s walked across hot coals for us.”
Planned Parenthood recognized Pelosi for leading “her female colleagues in Congress as they stood strong against attempts to insert the Stupak abortion ban into the bill.”
“Against tremendous odds, she delivered the necessary 219 votes to send the bill to President Obama’s desk,” Planned Parenthood said in a news release.
The crowd at the event included 300 high school and college students in pink T-shirts and flip flops who were in Washington to lobby on behalf of Planned Parenthood, Politico said.
“We had some pretty dark days,” Pelosi told the audience. “Sometimes it didn’t look as if we’d be able to pass the bill. And sometimes people in the press said to me, This looks pretty desperate. How on earth are you going to pass this bill? And I said well, we’re going to pass it.
“And we’re going to go up to the gate and we’re going to push open the gate,” Pelosi said. “And if the gate is locked, we’re going to climb over the fence. And if the fence is too high, we’re going to pole vault in. And if that doesn’t work, we’re going to helicopter in. We’re going to parachute in. But we’re going to pass this obstacle.”
Planned Parenthood that night honored two other women with similar awards, which were created to mark the passage of the recent health care reform legislation.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D.-Mich., is a member of the Senate Finance Committee who “worked tirelessly behind the scenes” to include the state option to expand Medicaid Family Planning, the organization said.
Also recognized was Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D.-Conn., who is a member of the House Appropriations Committee where she “works to pass legislation that ensures preventative health care is affordable and accessible.”
Compiled by Baptist Press Washington bureau chief Tom Strode and staff writer Erin Roach.