That time I got a reality check (part 1 of 2)

The great thing about writing is that one day you’ll write something that at the time you think is phenomenal, then you read something else someone else wrote and then think to yourself “what the hell was I thinking?” That happened to me twice this week. I’ll start with the post I wrote in response to Daily Beast columnist Ruben Navarrette, Jr.

-The reason I want to go back to that post is because yesterday I was directed to a post at Talking Points Memo from Lauren Rankin. Rankin says the mistake we pro-choice folks are making in defending Planned Parenthood from the “scandal” is that we are ceding the point that only three percent of what they do is related to providing abortions. Some conservative websites have stipulated that it’s higher than three percent, but that’s not the point. The point I wanted to correct myself on, something Rankin astutely pointed out, is that even abortions were 100 percent of what Planned Parenthood does, they would still be a valuable service to the public because abortion is part of healthcare. Specifically, Rankin writes that:

“For nearly 40 years, the Hyde Amendment has barred the use of federal funds for abortion care, and it is renewed annually with support from Democrats as well as Republicans. The Democratic Party and liberals more broadly have conceded that abortion doesn’t deserve the same kind of funding that other health care services do. It is an egregious violation of the rights of low-income pregnant people, and yet the left has done little in the way of galvanizing to end it.”

This is absolutely 100 percent correct. Not only does the Hyde Amendment destroy the lives of poor women by forcing them to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term, it denies poor pregnant women the right to health care. If abortion were banned tomorrow, affluent women could just fly to Canada and receive abortion services there. Poor women would still be in the same exact desperate and unlucky situation that they are now. The Hyde Amendment is wrong, and it should be repealed. Furthermore, when defending Planned Parenthood, starting with the talking point that only 3 percent of what they do is ceding ground to the anti-abortion zealots. And what happens when you cede this crucial ground to people who wish to make a completely legitimate healthcare service illegal? This is what happens. See, Funny Or Die made a parody video of the furtively recorded videos showing “illegal” activity, and the parody video made the hosts from Fox News’ “The Five” program yesterday go ballistic (H/T Arturo Garcia at Raw Story):

“‘What can they do? I mean, they’re in bed with the devil,’ Greg Gutfeld complained. ‘It’s called Funny Or Die, but fetuses don’t have that choice because they’re already dead. It’s a shame that Funny Or Die didn’t exist generations ago because they would have been great propagandists for Stalin.'”

What Greg Gutfeld does to comedy is exactly what the anti-abortion movement does to women. They both just make life worse for everyone. Doesn’t anyone miss the days of George Carlin? I sure do. Oh, and another anti-abortion group has also reinforced the crucial point of not allowing anti-abortion zealots define the issue of abortion. This time, the video is brought to us by at Dok Zoom at Wonkette. Some guy named Calvin posted a video on Twitter that shows some idiots protesting Planned Parenthood outside The White House. For those who can’t see the video, here is a description of what happens (H/T Wonkette):

“A handcuffed woman wearing a sign saying “TAXPAYER” shouts “I don’t believe in abortion!” and is whipped by a guy in a Barack Obama mask, who exclaims, “I don’t care! RENDER UNTO CAESAR WHAT IS CAESAR’S! Give me money to kill babies!” The poor taxpayer submits, saying, “All right, all right, I’ll pay you! Just don’t hit me any more,” and hands Obama some play money (OR IS IT HER IMMORTAL SOUL?????)”

This is why we cannot allow these people to define how abortion should be viewed by the public. It’s true that it’s not exactly politically expedient to talk about abortion as a vital healthcare service, especially because only 45 percent of the public views abortion as “morally acceptable” according to Gallup. But keep in mind, these attacks on abortion and abortion providers will not stop. There will be more surreptitious videos released, there will be more attacks on Planned Parenthood clinics, and of course there will be more legislation passed to try to curtail women’s reproductive rights. It’s time to start showing some fortitude. Let’s begin with following Lauren Rankin’s advice and pushing Congress to pass the EACH Woman Act. Quoting Rankin again, this will “ensure that all pregnant people, regardless of their income level, have access to safe and legal abortion care. If a woman receives health insurance through the federal government, she would be covered for all pregnancy-care, including abortion. Additionally, the EACH Woman Act would prohibit states from banning private insurance coverage for abortion care, a legislative trend that has been on the rise.” All women deserve the right to access safe and ubiquitous reproductive healthcare. Let’s not back down, folks.


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