Monday, October 12, 2015

Planned Parenthood’s PR bonanza (Thanks, Congress)

Planned Parenthood couldn't have gotten better publicity if it paid for it.

On TV: a telegenic, smart and calm executive pushed, goaded and constantly interrupted by bulldozers in suits.

In print: good information about what Planned Parenthood does, unfiltered by anti-abortion propagandists.

On Page 1 of the Denver Post, for instance, a pie chart shows Planned Parenthood services. About half, 45 percent, involve sexually transmitted diseases: testing and treating. About a third, 34 percent – 3.6 million clients – involve contraception. Eleven percent involves pregnancy tests.

Planned Parenthood also provides fertility counseling for women seeking to get pregnant. Who knew?

Well, since Congress is trying to cut the legs out from under Planned Parenthood, you should know, and now you do.

These matters, plus indignation over bullies like Congressman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, the biggest poser in that attempted political smackdown, help explain why a recent poll finds Planned Parenthood to be way, way, way, way more popular than Congress. 

We're talking about a popularity quotient, (NBC-Wall Street Journal survey) twice as high as any politician. Congress consistently polls as the least popular institution in America.

You see, Planned Parenthood actually helps people. Congress does . . . what?

           And yet more good news for the agency: The House isn't done boosting Planned Parenthood's popularity. It has created a "special committee" to investigate it.

So, yes, bring back Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards and put her before the GOP klieg lights again. Please. In the last round, Richards did her mama – the late Texas Gov. Ann Richards – proud. She did every woman proud.

If Republicans in the House were interested in less government, they would streamline the process by which they politicize hooved animals they wish to beat after death. In this case they would merge this new committee with that other thing they can't let go. Call it the Committee to Permanently Investigate Planned Benghazihood.

Even if it were demonstrated that a Planned Parenthood affiliate broke the law against profiteering fromfetal tissue – and no such evidence exists, no matter what Carly Fiorina fabricates – it wouldn't merit this witch hunt.

It certainly wouldn't merit defunding Planned Parenthood when it does so much to help women, particularly low-income women. And speaking of polls, 65 percent of Americans (USA Today/Suffolk University poll) say Planned Parenthood should not be defunded.

It is unbelievable that the sale of fetal tissue is even an issue, as it's been a staple of medical research for years. Right, Ben Carson? You in fact participated in a study involving it.

No, this is is not about that. This is about a woman's right not to have the government mandate that she gestate to term when the EPT shows the "plus" sign.

The ban-abortion minority, the anti-contraception minority, now is fully synonymous with one of America's major political parties,. It doesn't want to be bothered by life's realities when it comes to reproductive rights. It wants sex to carry a punishment phase and women to serve the sentence.

The anti-choice spin machine will denounce Planned Parenthood as America's No 1 abortion provider. The pro-choice majority (see polls above), will point out that abortion is constitutional based on decades of legal reasoning. the majority wants a reputable entity like Planned Parenthood providing that service.

Your tax dollars do not pay for abortion. That's against the law. Your tax dollars pay for STD testing, medical checkups, referral for mammograms, fertility counseling, sex education, and most important of all, preventing pregnancies — hence, preventing millions of abortions.

For shame, Congress. For shame. But keep pounding on Planned Parenthood. All you do is make it more popular.

Longtime newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. Email:

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