By Emily R. West
At Rep. Marsha Blackburn’s town hall in Williamson County this week, one Franklin woman took on one of the Brentwood Republican’s top issues –– Planned Parenthood.
The organization has been under fire in recent years with a Congressional investigation led by Blackburn over the question of what happens to fetal tissue. The Tennessee Seventh Congressional District representative opened her town hall with comments. In the past, Blackburn has been steadfast on her belief that taxpayers’ dollars shouldn’t go toward any organization that provides any woman with an abortion.
In her tearful testimony as one of the last to ask Blackburn a question, Franklin’s Grecia Magdaleno said she grew up the child of undocumented parents. She is an American citizen, but had trouble finding affordable health care options. She said that through Planned Parenthood, she was able to receive her first pap smear, which came back irregular.
“I just couldn’t afford to go anywhere else,” she said.
Magdaleno said that was a large part of why she addressed Rep. Blackburn on the topic and what led to her becoming an advocate for the organization.
In response, Blackburn said she stood firm in her belief, as the crowed reacted and pressed for her to further address Magdaleno’s story in contrast to her concern about Planned Parenthood’s option to provide women with abortions.
Her question to Blackburn –– what did she have to say for the women who use the organization for life saving care?
“Thank you for being courageous in asking your question,” Blackburn said. “I would like to see greater outreach in women’s health. I am one of those who stand firm. Taxpayer funds ought not be used for abortions. I stand firm. I stand firm. I stand firm.”
Magdaelno said she ultimately didn’t answer her question, but she did hope it left an impression. One she hoped would linger past that moment at her Fairview town hall.
“I have a feeling that it won’t change her mind,” she said. “You heard her. She said she stands firm on her stance. But I hope she remembers me. I hope she remembers my story. That she remembers more people like me and my mother who are at risk who come from low income communities of color who go to Planned Parenthood consciously and that are proud to go there for their health care.”