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Meet the three GOP women leading the charge to defund Planned Parenthood

So far, as my colleague Mike DeBonis notes, men have been the primary voice of incredulousness in Washington over Planned Parenthood and three undercover videos that show the organization's officials casually discussing the procurement of fetal organs.

Incensed anti-abortion-rights advocates are raising questions about whether Planned Parenthood broke any federal laws related to late-term abortions and selling fetal tissue. The organization maintains it hasn't done anything wrong, and the videos are out of context.

Either way, there's a renewed push in Congress to take away some or all of the $500 million in federal funds that goes to Planned Parenthood -- none of which, we should note, is legally allowed to pay for abortions.

GOP leaders are smartly letting women in Congress lead the way. Male lawmakers dominate both the party's congressional contingent and the two bills introduced this week to defund the organizaton, but anti-abortion-rights advocates are hoping these three Republican women become the movement's faces.

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa)

Who she is: If her name rings a bell, it's because Ernst was one of the star GOP recruits for the 2014 midterms. With her "let's make 'em squeal" ads talking about castrating hogs on her family's farm, Ernst beat Rep. Bruce Braley (D) to win the open seat in Iowa and help Republicans take control of the Senate for the first time in seven years.

Her anti-abortion creds: Enough to be on a receiving end of a $450,000 ad campaign against her from Planned Parenthood in 2014. As a state senator, she voted to defund the organization and cut off state funding for abortion as well as grant legal protections for a fertilized egg.

In the Senate, Ernst was recently the lead signer of a congressional letter to the Department of Health and Human Services asking it to conduct a formal review of whether Planned Parenthood broke any laws. On Tuesday she introduced legislation to defund the organization. Of her 19 co-sponsors, only one is a woman (we'll get to her in a minute).

"Ernst is a pro-life champion who puts an excellent face on the issue," writes the anti-abortion Web

What she's saying about Planned Parenthood: "As a mother and grandmother, I find this footage of Planned Parenthood’s role in the harvesting of the organs of unborn babies morally reprehensible and vile."

Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.)

Who she is: The freshman senator won a tough primary over two more-heralded male opponents in 2012 thanks in part to an endorsement from Sarah Palin, who called Fischer a fellow "Mama Grizzly." She went onto to win the general election as the first female senator from her state since 1954.

Her anti-abortion creds: Fischer said she'd make an exception to her abortion stance only if the life of a mother was in danger. Like Ernst, as a state legislator she supported legal protections for fertilized eggs and cutting off public funding for organizations like Planned Parenthood.

"Fischer’s election would be a huge advancement for pro-life women leadership on Capitol Hill," LifeNews wrote during her 2012 campaign, noting that before Fischer, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) was the only "solidly pro-life" female in the U.S. Senate.

What she's saying about Planned Parenthood:  "What is especially shocking is the lack of compassion towards women and unborn children."

Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.)

Who she is: A nurse by trade and third-term congressman (you read that right; Black is one of three female members of Congress who self-identify as "congressman" rather than "-woman"). She represents Nashville's suburbs.

Her anti-abortion creds: The Washington Post's DeBonis describes Black as "a veteran antiabortion advocate."  Since 2013, she's signed onto legislation that would withhold a popular grant for Planned Parenthood, Title X, and any health care provider that performs abortions.

What she's saying about Planned Parenthood: Black spoke to ABC on July 26, where she cast doubt on Planned Parenthood's embattled leader, Cecile Richards.

"The message today from Cecile Richards was essentially ‘Just trust us.’ Nothing in Planned Parenthood’s previous track record or in these undercover videos suggests that we should do so,” she said.

Here she is speaking on the House floor about her legislation to defund Planned Parenthood: