Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) became very angry Wednesday during a hearing about a bill that would prohibit abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected. He called Star Parker, a pro-life advocate and president of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education (CURE), ignorant because she told him it was “disingenuous” to equate abortion with other challenges facing poor communities as he did in his earlier questioning.
“If you believe in life you should believe in Medicaid, healthcare, nutrition for people who are here,” Cohen asserted during the hearing, “and preventing the eventuality of backroom abortions and where only the wealthy can afford to go where they may be legal, making poor women even more poor.”
“When it comes to mixing the abortion issue with the challenges that we face in many of our hard-hit communities,” Parker said later in response, “I feel it disingenuous that the issues of Medicaid would come up and other opportunities for us to readdress what has happened and broken down in our most distressed zip codes, the way that Planned Parenthood specifically targets these particular zip codes with abortion.”
“Abortion is the leading cause of death in the black community today,” she pointed out. “Since Roe v. Wade was legalized, 20 million humans have been killed inside of the womb of black women and then on Halloween Planned Parenthood tweets out that black women are safest if they abort their child rather than bring it to term.”
Rep. Cohen responded to Parker saying with a raised voice, “I am not disingenuous about anything I say about Medicaid, Medicare…or SNAP programs and to suggest that I’m disingenuous shows your ignorance or your absolute inability to deal with Congress people the way they should. I believe in those issues and I think that they’re proper and to say I’m disingenuous is wrong and I expect and apology.”
Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) responded to Cohen’s outburst by saying that he should apologize to Parker for calling her ignorant, arguing that she had “more knowledge and wisdom.”
“She’s ignorant about me,” Cohen replied.