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Deceptive Video ‘Sting’ Attacking Planned Parenthood: Dishonest Hit Job is Part of Religious Right’s Campaign to Deny Women Access to Reproductive Health Care

Deceptive Video ‘Sting’ Attacking Planned Parenthood: Dishonest Hit Job is Part of Religious Right’s Campaign to Deny Women Access to Reproductive Health Care

It seems the Religious Reich is at it again or rather they have not let up on their Right Wing agenda.

Introduction

The current wave of political attacks on Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest provider of reproductive health care for women, is the latest example of a now-familiar kind of coordinated propaganda campaign waged by right-wing activist groups, far-right pundits and media outlets, and politicians willing to collaborate in promoting false information for political purposes.  This dishonest hit job on Planned Parenthood is being promoted by many of the same groups and individuals responsible for marketing the deceptive and manipulated videos that were used to mount the now-discredited attacks on ACORN and on Shirley Sherrod, formerly of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The videos being marketed breathlessly by Religious Right groups like the Family Research Council are part of a years-long campaign that religious fundamentalists and their political allies have waged to destroy Planned Parenthood and thus deny millions of women access to reproductive healthcare.  More specifically, the campaign is designed to take advantage of anti-choice victories in the November elections and build political momentum for the kind of anti-choice legislation that has already been introduced in the House this year.  There is cruel irony in charges from Religious Right groups that Planned Parenthood is exploiting young women, when it is policies promoted by those groups, including the defunding of Planned Parenthood and redefining rape to further restrict victims’ access to abortion, that would deny countless young women essential medical screening, access to birth control, and a place to turn during times of medical and emotional crisis. In fact the vast majority of Planned Parenthood’s work is not even abortion-related; its services help prevent 612,000 unintended pregnancies annually.

Not much more to add to that.

Anti-abortion activist Lila Rose, a photogenic young activist who Religious Right leaders hope to make the new face of the anti-abortion movement, claims that the video Religious Right groups are circulating “proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that Planned Parenthood intentionally breaks state and federal laws and covers up the abuse of young girls it claims to serve.”  False.  In fact, far from proving a pattern of illegal activity, the Live Action project demonstrated that Planned Parenthood has strong institutional procedures in place to protect young women.

Protect and educate young women and even help older women too.  It seems to be misogyny at its finest.

I recently receive a reply from Roy Blunt, a senator in Missouri, in which he propagated such lies in his response:

Dear Ms. Brinson:

 

Thank you for contacting me with your thoughts on abortion.

 

I am deeply opposed to the practice of abortion and do not support federal funding for any organization that performs or promotes abortions.  An unborn child is a living human being and abortion ends the life of that child.  Throughout my time in the House I worked hard to protect the lives of the unborn.

 

In 2004, I helped enact the bipartisan Laci and Conner's Law, which treats a crime against an unborn child as a separate offense in criminal cases.  This law addressed the murder case in California in which Laci Peterson and her unborn son, Conner, were murdered.  I am proud to have the highest possible pro-life voting record according to National Right to Life, and, as I begin my time in the Senate, I will continue to support efforts to ban partial birth abortion, make adoption more attractive for parents and prohibit the use of taxpayer dollars to pay for abortion.

Needless to say, I did not vote for him and I am sorry he takes such an uneducated attitude and an anti-life approach.  He is obviously listening to the Religious Reich on this matter and not researching and educating himself on the facts about Planned Parenthood.  Planned Parenthood does more than just give rape and incest victims abortions.  It educates women about their bodies, pregnancy, and how to prevent pregnancy, as well as give free health services to the poor, such as mammograms and pelvic exams.  Planned Parenthood is more than just a Pro-life and Pro-Choice organization.  It is an educator and facilitator of women's health.

The same level of compassion was on display at an anti-Planned Parenthood press conference in Virginia last year at which Virginia Delegate Bob Marshall said that disabled children are God’s punishment to women for having had abortions.  He also once said regarding women who become pregnant after being raped that “[T]he woman becomes a sin-bearer of the crime, because the right of a child predominates over the embarrassment of the woman.”

In spite of the rhetoric, it is already illegal for any group, including Planned Parenthood, to use federal funds for abortion services, except in cases involving rape or incest or necessary to save the life of the woman.   But House Republican leaders are pushing legislation, the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” that would further restrict abortion funding to cases of “forcible” rape, a change that could eliminate the option for underage girls who are victims of statutory rape, women who were drugged, and many victims of date rape; incest would only be covered for women under 18.

Disabled children are not a punishment from God, but rather a genetic issue, even religious groups, such as Episcopalians, Lutherans, and others, which support abortions rights will tell people this.  The other question is, why put a woman through further psychological abuse by forcing them to carry a child of rape or incest to term?  Further more, what teenager is willing to say to her mother, "Dad raped me and now I'm pregnant?  How many mothers want to believe this about their husbands?  How many Evangelical Fundamentalist mothers will take the side of their child, protect her daughter, and leave the man, instead of calling it "God's will"?  I have yet to meet one, including my own mother, at least not until the State steps in and says something.  No woman is or should be "the sin-barer" of rape or incest.  It is not sin, but rather the sperm of the male that joins with her egg during the act of rape or incest in a most violent act that is already psychologically detrimental.  Why compound it with an unwanted pregnancy, of which she had not say or choice?  There is a lot at stake here, including the psychological and mental states of women.  A woman's body should not be under the control of any patriarchal system, but rather it should be under the control of her own choices and decisions and she should not be forced to become pregnant and that child against her will.

For the full report from Right Wing Watch please see:

http://www.pfaw.org/sites/default/files/rww-in-focus-planned-parenthood.pdf

NOW reports:

U.S. Catholic Bishops Major Force Behind War on Women
Statement of NOW President Terry O'Neill

The collusion of House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has led to an open declaration of war on the women of this country. The bishops have long sought to enshrine into law those policies of the Catholic Church that subordinate women. And they don't care how badly women get hurt in the process.

it turns out abortion isn't the only target, as evidenced by their stunningly dangerous efforts that, if enacted, can and will result in the preventable deaths of women:

  • The proposed continuing resolution passed by the House to temporarily keep the government functioning would zero out Title X family planning, which has never covered abortion care. Should this gain traction in the Senate, millions of women, the vast majority of whom have incomes of less than $11,000 per year, will lose access to pap smears, testing for sexually transmitted infections, and contraception. It is a public health nightmare — but a dream-come-true for the Catholic bishops.
  • HR 358, which many are calling the 'Let the Women Die Act' not only brings back Rep. Joe Pitts' (R-Pa.) rejected Stupak-Pitts proposition from health care reform, but also encourages providers to refuse training, performance and even referral of abortion care. This bill gives our government's 'blessing' to any emergency room that would let a pregnant woman die rather than perform an abortion procedure that could save her life.
  • HR 3, also known as 'Stupak on Steroids,' would enshrine the Hyde Amendment into law and expand it to impose tax penalties on millions of families and businesses whose private insurance covers abortion care, thereby expanding the scope of Internal Revenue Service audits to the area between women's legs. In testifying in favor of this bill in committee, a representative from the Catholic bishops proudly supported revoking abortion rights even in cases of rape. You read that right — and isn't that rich, coming from the very men who have consistently protected sexually abusive priests?
  • And HR 217, which NOW has dubbed the 'Public Health Nightmare Act,' would permanently eliminate Title X family planning services, leaving millions of women and men stranded without essential services like birth control, cancer screenings and screenings for HIV/AIDS and STDs.

Pro-life? Hardly.

Not only are these assaults on women's rights at odds with generally accepted medical practice and flatly unethical, there is little doubt that they will kill women.

What more is there to say?

About Mriana

Mriana is a humanist and the author of "A Source of Misery", who grew up in the Church of God, Anderson Indiana. After she became an adult, she joined the Episcopal Church, but later left the Church and became a humanist. She has two grown sons and raises cats. Mriana raised her sons in the Episcopal Church, but in their teen years, they left the Church and she soon followed. One of her sons became a "Tao Buddhist" and the other a None, creating his own world view. She enjoys writing, reading, science, philosophy, psychology, and other subjects. Mriana is also an animal lover, who cares for their welfare as living beings, who are part of the earth. She is a huge Star Trek fan in a little body.
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