PLANNED PARENTHOOD

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C-SPAN last week gave us several hours of the general debate of the House of Representatives’ infamous bill to defund Planned Parenthood and the House’s Committee hearing grilling Ms. Cecile Richards, head of that organization (who, by the way, held up well). Appalling. Simply appalling. Thank God the Senate killed it.

OK. I admit that I’m no expert on Planned Parenthood, but I’ll wager the organization has prevented far more pregnancies than it has terminated, but the right-wing nut cases insist on talking about only their agenda items: PP provides advice about contraception and it provides abortions.

Never mind that it provides vital healthcare to women (and more than a few men) who have no other resource for such. Even its most ardent detractors (the honest ones, that is) are forced to admit three essential facts about Planned Parenthood:

(1) Abortions account for only about 3% of PP’s services.

(2) Very, very few of those are the late-term abortions that certain members of Congress delight in recounting in gruesome, gory detail. (In fact the majority of abortions in general are performed in the first trimester, most in the first six weeks.)

(3) NO federal funds go toward the abortion aspect of PP’s services. (PP abides by the law.) The federal funding PP receives is largely indirect. PP is reimbursed through Medicaid for perfectly legal procedures—just as thousands of clinics and hospitals are reimbursed for services rendered.

That said, I fail to see the logic in even considering shutting down the entire government over funding for Planned Parenthood. The current outrage was fired up by a series of videos that were so highly edited and doctored that even Fox News had to back away from such blatant propaganda. And the author of those egregious videos has admitted on CNN that they were faked.

But Republican candidates for President have not repudiated them (or did I miss something?). In fact, while the others seemed mostly to show a bit of restraint on the topic, Carly Fiorina doubled down on her ridiculous declaration in the first Republican debate that PP is in the business of selling body parts. That lie elevated her in Republican ranks, though. Go figure.

Planned Parenthood. Doesn’t the title say it all: that, ideally, parents plan to bring children into the world? Unfortunately, ours is not an ideal world. Thank God Planned Parenthood is there to help many folks caught in less than ideal circumstances—as well as provide such services as routine pap smears, breast exams, and educate young people on contraception.

The so-called “Pro-Life” people have every right to their anti-abortion stance. But they do not have a right to blatant distortion and garish/ghoulish exaggeration to smear an organization that does such a deal of good in the world.

And I DO wish they cared as much about the lives of children after birth as they do about fetuses. That would be truly PRO-LIFE.

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