Jansing and Co | March 19, 2012
>> gloria felt is the former president of planned parenthood
and the author of "no excuses: nine ways women can change how we think about power." gloria , thank you for being with us today. now you have been toe to toe right here with the senator on this issue going back to the days when he was in congress. not a senator. and this is a change.
>> oh, well, i want to say welcome back, john. this is pretty much what he said when i first met him. i was at the time in arizona myself, and i met him just after he was elected. he had -- his instincts were to say women should have the right to make their own childbearing decisions. but i have to tell you that he has a 100% anti-choice, anti- anti- family planning voting record, and that is the problem. wait, wait, wait.
>> but he didn't mince words here.
>> he didn't mince words but that's the problem for most of the republicans is what his contraceptive coverage issue has smoked out is just how anti- women their voting records have been over the years, and i think women are beginning to take notice in a way they really haven't in the past.
>> so when you see senator mccain here in no -- in very simple terms, just saying, no, we need to change the narrative here, does this mean you think there will be other republicans also following that line regardless of what their reputation is or what their record is?
>> i certainly hope so but, you know, this is march. november is a long way off. and i think just the discussion you had about gasoline prices, the same will hold true for contraceptive coverage. it's up to women . it's up to women who know that access to contraception is what gives us the power and the ability to determine the rest of our lives. we have to tell republicans, democrats, independents, everybody, that in no uncertain terms and that we will only vote for people who will support women 's right to make their own childbearing decisions.
>> it appears that message is getting through at least when it comes to fund-raising. emily's list, they say fund-raising in the first quarter was one of the best ever according to emily's list. do you think this will translate to votes since you were alluding to that just now?
>> it translates to activism and activism is what gets the voters out to vote. there's no question that the majority of americans support women 's right to get contraception and the latest bloomberg poll was very clear that 70 some odd percent of voters --
>> 77% is the number that we have from the bloomberg poll.
>> thank you.
>> say this should not be a topic.
>> exactly, exactly. and so what we need to do is we need to have women out there actively voting. i have to tell you, there have been moments i wanted to go hug rush limbaugh 's neck for laying bare what this issue is really all about. and it really is about whether women are going to have an equal place in this world and whether women are going to be able to be equal citizens and that too often gets obscured in the rhetoric about birth control .
>> i'll get to rush in a second. you're saying you agree with that poll that 77% say it should not be a political topic. but hasn't it aided that movement? hasn't it brought attention to a major point that is being discussed for social conservatives and the rest of the electorate?
>> it has brought attention to it. the republicans want to dance away from it as fast as they can. the democrats will want to keep it an issue because they're on the winning side of that one and they know it. so i think we will see this continue --
>> are you glad this debate is here now front and center?
>> i believe one of the power tools i talk to women this my book "no excuses" is we need to learn not to run away from controversy, to ride into the wave of it because it's a teacher. it gives people an opportunity to think about the issues and clarify what they really believe about it.
>> makes you talk about it.
>> it makes you talk about it. when it comes to contraception used by 99% of the american public, male and female, it gets people to really recognize, hey, i don't want somebody telling me i can't get access to birth control , to plan and space my family responsibly.
>> so we got the money coming out. you're glad that this issue is now front and center. you have written about it. there's a piece today coming out in "the nation."
>> you talk about rush in that. tell me what it's about.
>> the debate at "the nation" is whether it's appropriate or not to ask the federal communications commission to investigate rush limbaugh and ascertain whether he crossed the line when he called sandra a slut and said he wanted to see her sex tapes in exchange for contraceptive coverage. we think, i think, it was way over the line. and having had to deal with that kind of attack, that personal attack , i know that while i am a total believer in freedom of speech , there are limits.
>> yeah, nobody has come out to defend him on his comments but you are putting in question here the freedom of speech .
>> well, i think --
>> and i know in your writings you said that was one of the issues. you thought back to the day you had to think of women 's issues and freedom of speech .
>> absolutely. i've been on the frontline protecting women 's freedom of speech and freedom to access birth control and information about birth control .
>> so why is it okay here then?
>> because what i was doing, i was trying to expand women 's freedoms and their ability to have opportunities to make their own choices in life. what rush limbaugh is doing is creating a culture of hatred, where women are denigrated. since i have borne the brunt, also, of that kind of attack and i know it's not long after that you begin -- i began personally to get death threats. when you create a culture of that kind of hatred, that is the fine line . it's just like you can't yell fire in a crowded theater. there are limits on freedom of speech .
>> do you think that the movement, the energy that's hyped this right now is great enough to actual ly remove rush?
>> rush may be removed faster by the economic boycotts that are going on right now and the fact that his advertisers are getting bombarded with requests from people who say he should rush away. we may never get to that.
>> outside of that, though?
>> there's a good chance if the fcc looks at the pattern of hate speech that rush limbaugh has used year after year after year and after a while it really begins to take the toll and when you look at the data, the fact that two women are raped every minute in the united states and the fact that there is a culture of acceptance of commodifying women 's bodies, there is a connection between the words we say and the actions that we take.
>> if he corrects this sort of action in the future, if he doesn't make such statements in the future, okay to stay then?
>> absolutely. i think he should absolutely mend his ways. redemption is always possible.
>> gloria feldt, appreciate your time