After sitting through a lengthy hearing in the House on Tuesday about Planned Parenthood’s use of federal funds, the organization’s president, Cecile Richards lambasted the way Republicans’ ran the hearing during a Tuesday night interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow.
“This whole hearing — I’m being generous calling it a hearing — I think the whole purpose of this hearing was to convince themselves that it was OK to deny women the ability to go to the health care provider of their choice, because 2.7 million women and men choose Planned Parenthood, and they were trying to say they wanted to take that choice away from them,” Richards told Maddow.
During the hearing, the chair of the House Oversight Committee, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) repeatedly interrupted Richards as she attempted to answer his deluge of questions.
Richards said that most of the questions she was asked did not center around Planned Parenthood’s involvement in fetal tissue research. Republicans have called for an end to federal funding for the organization following sting videos from an anti-abortion group.
“Most of the conversation today was about members telling me in particular that they didn’t believe that abortion should be legal, and that they didn’t believe that Planned Parenthood should be able to serve people, primarily because we provide abortion, which is a legal service in America,” Richards told Maddow.
Chaffetz also grilled Richards on her salary during the hearing, which Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) later slammed as “totally inappropriate and discriminatory.”
Maddow asked Richards if she felt those questions were sexist.
“I don’t really know. I do think some of the comments were pretty sexist, but actually I think it was because they didn’t have anything else to talk about,” she replied. “It seemed like they didn’t want to talk about any issues that were relevant to the topic at hand. And frankly, I was a bit dismayed at how little many members of the committee even knew about women’s health at all.”
Watch part of Maddow’s interview with Richards via MSNBC: