Friday, January 18, 2013

Left Side of the Aisle #91 - Part 1

Outrage of the Week: Bill O'Reilly lies about Planned Parenthood

This is from something over a week ago or so. January 8, to be exact. Faux News host Bill O'Reilly, the man with the world's most perfect initials because no matter how you abbreviate his name it comes out as either B.O. or "bore" - opened his show with this: "Aborting babies at taxpayers' expense."

He went on to declare that he and his crack-head - er, crack - staff had uncovered what, he intoned, "may be a major violation of federal law."

See, the Hyde Amendment, that moldy monument to right wingnuttery, forbids federal tax dollars from being used for abortions. So what's the problem?

Omigod, Planned Parenthood gets federal funds!

Okay, so ... what's the problem?

Well, Mr. BO says,
Planned Parenthood says it doesn't use that money for abortion purposes, but that's hard to believe. In 2011, Planned Parenthood performed 334,000 abortions - close to half of all the abortions performed in the USA.

Now, Planned Parenthood will tell you that they perform prenatal services. Yet in 2011, it's estimated that fewer than 30,000 women received prenatal care from the organization.
He called Planned Parenthood an "abortion mill" and an "agency that specializes in abortion" and demanded a Congressional investigation of the group's funding and "what could be a gross violation of federal law."

Now first off, 334,00 is slightly more than a quarter of legal abortions performed in the US and nowhere near half. And Planned Parenthood would probably perform an even smaller number and smaller percentage if it wasn't for the fact of so many states (and assorted terrorists) doing everything they can to prevent the existence of any clinics providing legal abortion services.

But more importantly, while it's true that fewer than 30,000 women received prenatal care from Planned Parenthood, 4.5 million got services involving STDs, 3.4 million obtained contraceptive services, and 1.3 million got services related to cancer screening and prevention. In fact, about 97% of Planned Parenthood's services have nothing to do with abortions - except for the fact of contraceptive services that by preventing unwanted pregnancies make abortions unnecessary.

Further, the feds provide only about 45% of Planned Parenthood's income and a lot of that is not from any sorts of grants but payments for services rendered under Medicaid - which obviously could not relate to abortions because if they had, the government would not have paid the claims.

So could Planned Parenthood provide 3% of its services with well over half its budget? Yeah, I think so, too.

The attacks on Planned Parenthood - we need to understand, these attacks are not really, ultimately, about abortions. That is, they are not about a woman's right to choose an abortion. They are about a woman's right to choose, period. They are about women's autonomy. About women being able to chart their own course. About the role of women in society. They are part and parcel of a way of thinking - more properly, of not thinking - a way of not thinking that looks back and the 1950s and thinks they were too advanced. George Will, regarded as the great intellectual of the conservative movement, once wrote that "'back to 1900' is a serviceable summation of the conservative goal." The attacks on such an established and establishment group as Planned Parenthood are just more proof of the truth of that statement.

As for Mr. Body Odor, bearing in mind that a good definition of a lie is "a statement made with the intent to deceive," he has just yet again shown himself to be a notorious, serial, and outrageous liar.


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