Martin Bashir | February 29, 2012
>>> how we go back to washington and gop leaders were on the floor of the senate just an hour ago. tomorrow's vote on an anti- birth control amend would mean defeat of the white house is compromise.
>> it's not about a specific procedure. it's about a faith principle that the first amendment guarantees. but --
>> but their democratic counterparts got in front of this issue today. two hours earlier, they drew a ? line in the sand on senator roy blunt 's amendment .
>> it is pure partisan politics and we are here today to say it is not going to pass. the right wing of the republican party does not speak for most of the women in this country.
>> joining me now is democratic senator barbara boxer of california who was at the democratic news conference today. senator, good afternoon.
>> good afternoon, thomas.
>> tell us all a little bit more about the impact of the blunt amendment , that it would have on women 's health care in this country.
>> the blunt amendment is a radical amendment . it would not only take away the ability of women to get contraception through their insurance, but it would threaten every single essential health care service, every single preventive health care service. if your employer or your insurance company had a moral objection. so let's say you work for someone who believes prayer is the answer to all diseases. you won't have any insurance. it is a radical departure from what we've always done in this country which is to give a conscience claus exemption to religious institutions and religious affiliated institutions. but not allow someone to say, for example, you know i think if somebody is overweight and they get a heart attack , that's their problem and i have a moral objection. therefore, to making sure that they can get health care after a heart attack . this is how radical the blount amendment is. but here's the thing i want america to understand. we are on a highway bill , a transportation bill . a bill that has come out of four committees with strong ? bipartisan support. 2.million jobs are at stake. there are so many construction workers out of work because of the housing downturn. we want to put them back to work. and what's the first amendment that republicans put up? a contraception amendment , which they say is about religious freedom which has nothing to do with it because president obama has taken care of that. in a grand compromise which catholic charities support and the catholic health organizations support and catholics united superior. so that's taken care of. they're just radical and going after women 's health. that's the truth.
>> obviously, the conversation is offtrack when you talk about the promising conversations, the bipartisan support for the highway bill that you mentioned. senator murray is promising failure for the blunt amendment coming up tomorrow. i want to let everybody know in virginia , the governor there, with a watered down the ultrasound bill. there was a house hearing on that mandate yesterday that featured three women , one of whom was for the mandate. do you think that this conversation is one for the win column yet?
>> the conversation on going after birth control or which conversation? or forcing women to undergo procedures not medically necessary and taking that away from them and their doctors? are you asking me if this attack on women 's health care is going to continue? is that your question?
>> basically. is this attack on women 's health care going to continue? is this conversation not going to be forded by polittefication of women leaders on the right and left? you want to get the conversation back on track to important measures like the bipartisan support for the highway bill . so why is washington so distracted and states like virginia so ? distracted by this conversation?
>> because all you have to do, for example, is look at the republican presidential election . the republicans are caught up in this right wing ideology. and they can't stop themselves. honestly, until women just get their attention as they did in virginia where they backed off of actually mandating an invasive procedure , they finally had to back off of that. some politician there said his wife threatened him she would never talk to him again or something if he did this. the fact of the matter is, these republicans can't help themselves. they've turned into a right wing party. it's fanatical. it's turning on the women of this country. when you have senator snowe saying what she did and she is a moderate republican , the last of the wonderful breed of people that i've worked with for many years on many issues saying that these polarizing issues have no place in these debates, she's absolutely right. by the way, today she came out against the blunt amendment . i'm so happy about that.
>> senator, while you can respect the colleague that he senator snowe has been to you, do you look at this as an opportunity for the democratic party ?
>> well electorally absolutely, outside of senator snowe , the other republicans as i understand it who are running represent that right wing, that's declared war on women 's health, war on workers' rights, war on the environment. i think we democrats there have a very good chance because it is quite a good democratic state . but you know, the most important thing to the people there, they're not partisan. they want to know, are you going to fight for our families and going to fight for our children. are you going to stand up ? for the 99%, are you going to protect our rights. and i think in the case of that election without senator snowe in there, we should pick up that will seat. it's always a fight, but i think we should.
>> senator barbara boxer , thanks for making time for us. i appreciate it.