More Americans are now pro-choice than pro-life. Most Americans also support the federal government continuing to fund Planned Parenthood, knowing that some Planned Parenthood clinics provide abortions. There could be many reasons for that.
Maybe they know that abortions are only 3% of the services Planned Parenthood provides, and that most of its work is actually about providing contraception, STI testing, pap smears, breast exams, etc., and they think that these benefits for the entire country are worth it.
Maybe they know that because of the Hyde Amendment, it's illegal to use federal funding for abortions except for circumstances involving incest, rape, and/or saving the life of the woman, so concluding that funding Planned Parenthood = funding abortions is a non-starter.
Maybe they think it's great that Planned Parenthood provides even a small number of abortions and find the Hyde Amendment an unnecessary impediment standing in the way of providing a costly procedure for frequently low-income patients.
But whatever the reason, it apparently has convinced conservative-leaning America to step up its game when it comes to the attack on women's' reproductive rights. Now it's not just about right-wing talk show hosts lying that abortion kills babies.
Now it's about GOP presidential candidates lying that Planned Parenthood solicits ignorant women to get abortions so that it may profit off the sale of the "babies'" organs. Now it's about those candidates swearing up and down during a debate to have witnessed video of one of these aborted babies with a beating heart, kicking its legs while a Planned Parenthood employee off camera talks about keeping it alive so that they can harvest its brain.
Never mind that it wasn't a video from Planned Parenthood. Never mind that there's no voice talking about keeping it alive and harvesting its brain. Never mind that it probably wasn't even from an abortion, but rather a miscarriage.
No, let's vote to freeze federal funding for an organization that prevents 516,000 unplanned pregnancies a year.
Let's launch inquiries in multiple red states into Planned Parenthood's practices in an effort to defund it on a local level.
Let's call Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards into a hearing before Congress and interrupt her testimony repeatedly, cutting her off forty-four times as she tries to speak.
It makes me think of this cartoon that Barry Deutsch drew after the murder of abortion provider Dr. George Tiller, committed by anti-abortion terrorist Scott Roeder:
Only now, the man screaming accusations stands for the entire Republican party, including its presidential candidates.
And the acts of terrorism include:
- An arson attack on a Planned Parenthood in Pullman, Washington on September 4th.
- An arson attack last night on a Planned Parenthood in Thousand Oaks, California.
- Threats of violence against Amelia Bonow, whose story of her own non-regretted abortion resulted in the #ShoutYourAbortion campaign, encouraging women to let the world know about their experiences as part of the 1/3 of American women who have abortions. Bonow has gone into hiding as a result of these threats.
I wish I could believe it was unintentional.