Last week, a teenager from Tucson, Arizona, took Republican senator Jeff Flake to task in a town hall for his support of a bill — signed into law by Donald Trump later that same day — that gave states the right to deny Title X funds to Planned Parenthood and other abortion-providing organizations.
“Jeff Flake, my name is Deja Foxx and I’m a 16-year-old from Tucson,” the straight-talking teenager began. “I just want to state some facts. So, I’m a young woman, and you’re a middle-aged man. I’m a person of color, and you’re white. I come from a background of poverty, and I didn’t always have parents to guide me through life. You come from privilege, so I’m wondering, as a Planned Parenthood patient and someone who relies on Title X, who you are clearly not, why it’s your right to take away my right to choose Planned Parenthood and to choose no-co-pay birth control, to access that.”
While accepting that he had “a lot of advantages that others haven’t,” Flake suggested that his support of the bill was somehow related to helping people “realize the American dream,” although he did not offer clear reasons as to how preventing women from accessing health care would achieve that.
Foxx, for her part, wasn’t willing to let Flake’s response stand. Her dream, she suggested, was to complete a higher education degree — a goal that the support of Planned Parenthood had helped her move towards.
“I am a ‘youth on their own’ — meaning I don’t live with my parents or have a permanent home,” said Foxx. “So when I needed birth control and reproductive health care, I didn’t have anyone to help me navigate the healthcare system.”
Unable to access her state insurance card, she said, all her health care coverage came from Title X funds.
“Why,” she asked, “would you deny me the American dream?”
Watch Foxx and Flake square off below.
Later, Foxx appeared on CNN to talk about the epic showdown with the senator, and explained what inspired her to get up and speak the way she did. “I can’t sit idly by while women like me are countlessly and constantly being ignored on Capitol Hill,” she told Don Lemon. Watch her complete interview below.
— CNN Tonight (@CNNTonight) April 15, 2017
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