Reston, VA

Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va. 11th) called out his Republican colleagues for misogyny and disrespect in their treatment of Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards in a Capitol Hill hearing on Tuesday.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held the hearing in response to videos of released in July by a Pro-Life group in which a Planned Parenthood doctor explaining the process of providing fetal tissue to researchers.

Conservative lawmakers are seeking to stop more than $500 million in annual federal funding to Planned Parenthood.

“I hope every American woman is watching today’s hearings, because just the visuals tell you a lot,” said Connolly, who represents Reston. “My colleagues say there is no war on women. Look at how you [Richards] have been treated as a witness — intimidation, talking over you, criticizing your salary.”

“The disrespect the misogyny rampant here today tells us what is really going on here. This isn’t about some bogus video — this is about a conservative philosophy  that says we are Constitutionalists. We believe in rugged invidualism and personal liberty. … But there is an asterisk in that assertion, and that  is except when it comes to women controlling their own bodies and making their own health decisions.”

“You would never know that the Constitution, according to the Supreme Court, guarantees a right of choice,” Connolly continued. “[Republicans think] Hopefully we’re going to erode that choice and that right by using insinuation and slander and half truths to besmirch an organization whose primary role is to provide health services to women.”

Watch the rest of Connolly’s testimony in the video on The Hill’s You Tube channel (above).

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