Ted Cruz Hands Out Water In Flint–But Only To Pro-Life Clinics

Ted Cruz speaking at the 2011 Values Voter Summit (image courtesy Gage Skidmore, available under a Creative Commons ShareAlike license)
Ted Cruz speaking at the 2011 Values Voter Summit (image courtesy Gage Skidmore, available under a Creative Commons ShareAlike license)

Earlier this week, several volunteers with the Ted Cruz campaign trooped to Flint, Michigan to hand out water–which has become more or less a commodity in the wake of that city’s water supply being contaminated with toxic levels of lead. But there was just one catch. The water only went to clinics that exist specifically to talk women out of getting abortions.

Cruz’ Michigan state director, Wendy Lynn Day, announced the drive on Facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/WendyLynnDay/posts/10153991264436614?pnref=story

On Wednesday morning, several volunteers were seen readying two-gallon jugs of water labeled with the message “God Bless Flint.”

It looks like a compassionate gesture, especially compared to how the other top-tier Republican candidates have responded. Donald Trump hasn’t said a word, while Marco Rubio openly admitted that the crisis “is not an issue that right now we’re focused on.”

But when you look closely, this isn’t really compassionate at all. These crisis pregnancy centers may look like ordinary medical clinics on the outside. In reality, they’re designed to scare women out of having abortions. They do it by giving women information that is grossly inaccurate–dangerously so in many cases.

For instance, one crisis pregnancy center in Virginia has been known to tell women that abortion and birth control pills are carcinogens, and that condoms are too porous to protect against STDs. At another center in California, a woman was told her IUD was really a baby. This nonsense was so rampant that California recently passed a law cracking down on these bogus clinics. To give you an idea of the mentality guiding these outfits, one of the bill’s opponents, state assemblywoman Shannon Grove, denounced it as an attempt to make these clinics “wear yellow stars.”

The sad part is that pregnant women are among the most endangered by Flint’s water crisis. According to the Detroit Free Press, the impacts of lead poisoning are particularly severe on the developing brains and nervous systems of fetuses. It’s what makes something Gray told Chad Livengood of The Detroit News sound particularly disingenuous.

Really, Ted? If your “pro-life values” are so strong, why only donate water to a crisis pregnancy center?

Lilli Petersen of Refinery 29 points out that only donating water to crisis pregnancy centers, at the very least it appears that Cruz “overlooks the children who have already been poisoned by toxic water.” I’d add something else. If Cruz really wanted to demonstrate his “pro-life values,” why make pregnant women have to endure scare tactics and inaccurate information to get it?

When I first read this, I immediately thought of an outrageous stunt that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals pulled in the wake of Detroit’s water crisis two years ago. When almost half of Detroit’s residents fell behind on their water bills, PETA offered to step up and pay the bills for 10 families–if they went vegan for a month. It was a cynical attempt to score political points in the wake of a bonafide humanitarian crisis. This move from the Cruz campaign is no different.

To its credit, the Cruz campaign is stepping up its efforts to distribute water in the Flint area. Day and several others left water on the doorsteps of area homes on Thursday afternoon.

And they’re going back to Flint for a broader effort next week.

https://www.facebook.com/WendyLynnDay/posts/10153996436746614

That’s good and well, but it’s really telling that they made this move after several days of being cuffed around in the press. The mere fact that Cruz even thought it was a good idea to only distribute water to pro-life clinics shows that even when he does something right, he can’t do it right.

Darrell is a 30-something graduate of the University of North Carolina who considers himself a journalist of the old school. An attempt to turn him into a member of the religious right in college only succeeded in turning him into the religious right's worst nightmare--a charismatic Christian who is an unapologetic liberal. His desire to stand up for those who have been scared into silence only increased when he survived an abusive three-year marriage. You may know him on Daily Kos as Christian Dem in NC. Follow him on Twitter @DarrellLucus or connect with him on Facebook. Click here to buy Darrell a Mello Yello.