During a community gathering in Fairview, Tenn. organized by Rep. Marsha Blackburn on Tuesday afternoon, a young woman bravely shared her story about how Planned Parenthood saved her life. The Republican congresswoman from Tennessee’s 7th District opposes the healthcare organization receiving federal funds.
“I was a college student, I was a sophomore, I was uninsured, my parents were undocumented, I worked tirelessly to pay for my college tuition, and I couldn’t going anywhere else,” the young woman said. “Community health centers kept turning me away, the health department kept turning me away, there was no sliding scale that was applicable to me.”
She says she needed her first pap smear at age 21. “I went in and Planned Parenthood was compassionate, they were nonjudgmental, and they were there for me. I had no money in my pocket and they told me I could have a pap smear for free.” The Pap smear came back abnormal and the woman needed to have a colposcopy right away. Now, the woman serves as a community organizer for the nonprofit.
“I stand firmly in my belief that taxpayer funds ought not to be used for abortion services,” Rep. Blackburn said in response to the young woman’s testimony. Her statement was met with a chorus of boos, shouting “they are not!” in unison. The Hyde Amendment passed in 1976 bans the use of federal funds for abortion services except in cases of rape, incest or the life of the mother is in danger.
Blackburn was previously a member of President Donald Trump’s transition team.