It’s not that I’m completely anti-abortion. As is the case for the majority of Americans, I recognize that there are circumstances in which abortion may be appropriate. It’s that I’m completely anti-“abortion culture.”
I am opposed to a worldview that is so invested in the mantra that “it’s a woman’s right to choose” that it refuses even to acknowledge that (a) there is another life involved and (b) that men have a 50% genetic stake in that other life. The abortion debate, rather than being about creating a culture in which fewer women ended up with an unwanted pregnancy or, if they do, feel that abortion is the only option, has instead devolved into a misanthropic death cult that seeks to cast an ever wider net, with more and more options for women to abort fetuses up to, and even after, the moment of birth — and to do so using monies forcibly extracted from American taxpayers.
The tension between pro-Life and pro-Abortion forces flairs up regularly every four years, as Leftists, who control the majority of America’s media outlets, make it a litmus test for the presidential elections (just as they make it a litmus test for a place on the Supreme Court). For years, male Republican candidates have been pushed into a corner in which they feebly protest that they support women, while the media blares out “but the Republicans don’t support women’s rights!” This year, however, Carly Fiorina finally pushed the debate onto the Leftist side of the aisle:
The Leftist media went absolutely crazy in its frenzy to prove that Carly was making that image up out of whole cloth. Every single non-conservative woman on my Facebook feed (that means about 90% of my Facebook friends) started flooding Facebook with articles, posters, and videos asserting that Carly is a liar and that no video every showed what she said it did. Interestingly, of course, no one argued that the events Carly described had never happened, and would never happen, in abortion clinics. The whole debate was simply about whether Carly accurately represented a single video.
James Taranto has a terrific run-down of the ferocious Leftist media response to Fiorina, along with the walk-backs all those responders had to make — although they still vigorously asserted that, no matter that the facts support her statements, Carly was still lying:
“Mr. Christie’s mendacity pales, however, in comparison to that of Carly Fiorina,” Krugman then asserts. There’s a paragraph disparaging her business career, followed by this:
But the truly awesome moment came when she asserted that the videos being used to attack Planned Parenthood show “a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.” No, they don’t. Anti-abortion activists have claimed that such things happen, but have produced no evidence, just assertions mingled with stock footage of fetuses.
To support this claim, Krugman links to a post by Vox’s Sarah Kliff titled “Carly Fiorina Is Wrong About the Planned Parenthood Tapes. I Know Because I Watched Them.” Go to the post and you find this correction:
This story initially said I had watched all the Planned Parenthood sting videos. In fact, I reviewed all sting footage released by August 13th, which included all the footage shot inside Planned Parenthood clinics—which was where a scene like the one Fiorina describes would have been.
There is some more recent footage shot outside Planned Parenthood clinics that I had not seen. But that footage, according to the Fiorina campaign, is also not the source of the scene the candidate described. So far, the Fiorina campaign has not been able to point to video with the scene Fiorina spoke of in the debate.
Note that the headline still claims Fiorina is “wrong,” even though Kliff’s corrected claim is merely that Fiorina hasn’t proved herself right to Kliff’s satisfaction. The Federalist manages to find the video that eluded Kliff:
In the video in question, a technician is talking about harvesting the brain of an alive, fully formed fetus. While she tells her story, there is footage of another baby of roughly the same gestational age as the one whose brain she harvested. This baby is seen still kicking and its heart still beating.
While it is obviously not the same baby as the one she harvested the brain of, the footage helps viewers to understand what a 19-week old baby looks like when hearing the testimony of an ex-employee who harvested brains from babies of the same age.
The Los Angeles Times’s Michael Hiltzik characterized Fiorina’s description of the video as “a pure fabrication.” His post includes an update claiming vindication based on the Federalist piece:
The website’s own analysis shows that it’s Fiorina who is in the wrong. It acknowleges [sic] that neither of the two fetuses in the [Center for Medical Progress] video is the one referred to in CMP’s voiceover—one is “another baby of roughly the same gestational age,” it acknowledges.
But Fiorina was accurately describing what she saw in the video. The worst one can say is that she appears to have mistaken the baby in the footage for the one the technician describes having cut up. And perhaps one can fault the video makers for creating that impression, but it seems to us the Federalist is correct when it observes that “illustrating stories with appropriate images is a common journalistic technique, one used by all media outlets.”
My Facebook friends don’t care about facts either. Abortion represents a woman’s right to choose, and anything that limits abortion in any way is a misogynistic effort to ensure that women are kept barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen — and never mind that in today’s world birth control is easily available, single motherhood or teen pregnancies are the norm, there are more people who want to adopt than there are babies available (in part because Leftists who view the world through a racist prism would rather let a black baby rot in the foster care system than allow a white couple to adopt it), women (including women with children) are in the workforce at rates never seen before in American history. As I’ve repeatedly pointed out, when it comes to the abortion debate, Leftists inhabit a world that’s a cross between the Victorian age and the 1950s, one in which unwed sex is a sin (never mind the Left’s unlimited support for the hookup culture) and unwed pregnancy requires that one become a social outcast (never mind that most of America’s celebrities are routinely are feted for having babies out-of-wedlock).
Against the above background regarding the Leftist position in the abortion debate, I’d like to share with you a few posters that have come my way. The first couple are pro-Life and set the stage. The remainder are pro-Abortion. My comments about any given poster can be found below the poster.
This is a child born at 24 weeks looks like. Hillary and Dems believe that women should be able to choose to kill it. pic.twitter.com/CgupmHNE4m
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) September 22, 2015
Ben’s comment is right on the money. I’ll add only that the baby pictured is human and viable. It is not a zygote, nor is it a minimally mature fetus indistinguishable from a cat or dog fetus at the same stage in development. The reality is that, at all developmental stages, from conception to birth, that fetus is a human being. But another reality is that it’s easier for us to kill beings that don’t resemble us, whether we’re talking spiders in the house, slugs in the garden, or fetuses indistinguishable from any other mammal fetus.
The second statistic — the 300,000 abortions a year — is the one I want to focus on. The Left argues vigorously that Planned Parenthood shouldn’t be defunded because abortions are only 3% of its work. Keeping in mind that this is an accounting game — because Planned Parenthood logs separately all of the attendant procedures around abortion (the vaginal exams, the preliminary visit, etc.) — the real number is 300,000. That is the death cult number. Just because Planned Parenthood may do 1,000,000 pap smears a year (a number I just made up out of whole cloth), that still has nothing to do with the number of fetuses it ultimately extracts, either whole or in pieces.
As others have pointed out before, if all that Planned Parenthood does is routine healthcare screening, then it should be the beneficiary of patient-held Obamacare, not direct taxpayer funding. And to the extent it’s currently not able to benefit from Obamacare funds, that’s because it refuses to give up or spin-off its abortion business. Moreover, as we all know, Planned Parenthood’s “breast cancer screening” consists of a 30 second manual breast exam, of the type women are routinely encouraged to do at home on their own. If you want a mammogram, you’re going to have to go elsewhere.
Indeed, it’s an absolute hoot to watch the contortions that Snopes (whose founders are decidedly liberal) go through as they attempt to explain that Planned Parenthood is instrumental in women’s breast health even though it doesn’t do mammograms:
It is true in a literal sense that Planned Parenthood health centers do not themselves conduct mammograms (a procedure which requires specialized equipment and expertise to use it). Planned Parenthood offers comprehensive breast health care management, which includes manual breast exams as well as patient education on breast health. That care management program includes providing women with information about mammograms, referring them to health centers where they can obtain mammograms, and assisting them in covering the costs of the procedure by referring them to government programs that provide free mammograms or by using grant funds to reimburse the medical providers who perform the mammograms. (Referrals for mammograms often require the patient has undergone a breast exam within the previous year.)
In other words, Planned Parenthood deserves federal dollars for breast cancer screening because it provides precisely the same information you can find on Google; in Glamour, Cosmopolitan, or People magazine; or in a PSA ad.
Here’s that misogyny again. As a woman who vomited her way through nine and a half solid months with both her pregnancies, who went through labor, who nursed and cared for her babies night and day, and who has always been the children’s primary caregiver, I fully appreciate that a woman’s commitment to pregnancy — both in terms of her body and her time — is exponentially greater than a man’s. That fact, however, doesn’t alter two things: (1) the whole baby thing couldn’t happen without men, who contribute 50% of the genetic material that makes that baby; and (2) men also have a say in what constitutes a moral culture.
If male representatives — who are elected by the majority of both men and women in their districts in order to speak for that electorate’s values — believe that a culture is tyrannical and immoral to kill 300,000 humans a year, they have an absolute right to speak out on that issue. Moreover, they have an obligation to their constituents, who presumably agree with that representative, to stop the constituents’ money from funding what many see as mass murder.
This is especially true when it turns out that the mass murder shades into organ harvesting. For some people, myself included, this is morally indistinguishable from the Nazi efficiency that so them harvest teeth, gold fillings, hair, tattoos, and fat (for soap-making) from the Jews and others they slaughtered with such abandon. (And no, I won’t apologize for this reductio ad Hitlerum. I think it’s an entirely apt comparison when we’re talking about killing humans and harvesting their bodies.
If the only part of your body that has a say in your political world view is your vagina, you are a moron. I actually like to think about bigger issues, such as the economy or national security. I also find this a ridiculously funny argument insofar as it comes from the same cohort that routinely castigates men for thinking with their little heads, instead of their big ones.
Again, this conflates abortion and women’s health care. If Planned Parenthood would spin-off its abortion services, it would be entitled to the same Obamacare insurance dollars (plus Medicaid) as any other health provider in America. The issue here is whether taxpayers should fund an organization that, no matter what else it does (and that definitely doesn’t include breast health), is part of an industry that is responsible for 300,000 human deaths a year.
I’ve mentioned before this sleazy accounting. While Planned Parenthood definitely provides contraception, STD treatment, cancer screening (both breast palpation and PAP smears), that doesn’t take away from the fact that it provides abortions — and that the percentage of (taxpayer) funds used for abortions is larger than 3%. Rich Lowry explains:
The 3 percent factoid is crafted to obscure the reality of Planned Parenthood’s business. The group performs about 330,000 abortions a year, or roughly 30 percent of all the abortions in the country. By its own accounting in its 2013–2014 annual report, it provides about as many abortions as Pap tests (380,000). The group does more breast exams and provides more breast-care services (490,000), but not by that much. The 3 percent figure is an artifice and a dodge, but even taking it on its own terms, it’s not much of a defense.
The 3 percent figure is derived by counting abortion as just another service like much less consequential services. So abortion is considered a service no different than a pregnancy test (1.1 million), even though a box with two pregnancy tests can be procured from the local drugstore for less than $10.
By Planned Parenthood’s math, a woman who gets an abortion but also a pregnancy test, an STD test, and some contraceptives has received four services, and only 25 percent of them are abortion. This is a little like performing an abortion and giving a woman an aspirin, and saying only half of what you do is abortion.
Republicans in Congress are not advocating for Planned Parenthood’s abolition. They are simply saying that, especially in an age of Obamacare, to the extent Planned Parenthood performs between 300,000 and 330,000 abortions a year, American taxpayers should not be called upon to fund that institution directly. Let it compete in the marketplace like every other health care or abortion provider.