A Republican state congressman from Oklahoma wrote a blistering critique of his party’s actions regarding reproductive health in a column for The Daily Oklahoman published on Wednesday.
“What happened to the Republican Party that I joined?” state Rep. Doug Cox (R) wrote. “The party where conservative presidential candidate Barry Goldwater felt women should have the right to control their own destiny? The party where President Ronald Reagan said a poor person showing up in the emergency room deserved needed treatment regardless of ability to pay?”
Cox, a practicing physician, wrote that while he would never perform an abortion, he could not convince his colleagues that one way to prevent the need for one without passing legislation was increasing access to contraception, knocking state Republicans’ attempt to bar Medicaid funds from being used to cover the “Plan B” pill.
“Denying access to this important contraceptive is a sure way to increase legal and back-alley abortions,” Cox wrote. “Moreover, such a law would discriminate against low-income women who depend on Medicaid for their health care.”
Think Progress reported on Wednesday that Cox was honored by Planned Parenthood this year for his work on reproductive health issues despite his party affiliation.
“What happened to the Republican Party that felt that the government has no business being in an exam room, standing between me and my patient?” he wrote in the Oklahoman. “Where did the party go that felt some decisions in a woman’s life should be made not by legislators and government, but rather by the women, her conscience, her doctor and her God?”
[Image via Oklahoma State Legislature]