Friday, September 18, 2015

The Evil of Planned Prevarication

By Bob Ferris

I think like many Americans who are aware of the issues I am both appalled and disgusted by the statements made by Carly Fiorina about Planned Parenthood in the recent debates.  My sentiments completely echo the thoughts expressed by Michael Hiltzik in his excellent editorial in the Los Angeles Times.  Moreover, I think that it is even worse when looked at in the context of the entire conspiracy to deceptively demonize (1,2,3) a non-profit that has done so much for women and women’s health over the years.

To just condemn the false statements of Ms. Fiorina (see below)—while necessary and deserved—seems a weak response to what is really a noxious cherry on the top of a manure pie constructed by conservative forces bent of subjugating women and restricting their Constitutionally-granted and court-tested freedom of choice.  That this is done with altered videos (1,2,3) and easily-discounted false statements like Utah Senator Orin Hatch saying 94% of Planned Parenthood pregnancy services are abortions is both ridiculous and reprehensible.

Now one can cruise the internet and find both defenders and detractors of Ms. Fiorina on these statements about the scenes.  And a close examination of those comments will indicate that they are split mainly along political lines with the progressives denouncing this as a lie and conservatives cheering “Go Carly.”  This could easily degrade into a see-saw, he-said-she-said like argument until we return to the fact that the pivot point of this debate are heavily manipulated, fraudulently-obtained and illegal videos provided by the Center for Medical Progress which has been characterized in The New England Journal of Medicine as an organization that “twist(s) the facts” and is engaged in “campaign of misinformation.”

Now I could go on and on about this and the danger of moral high grounds being built on lies, but this really comes back to money and people.  The Congressional Budget Office has said that there might be some cost savings associated with this budget action, but those cost savings are tied to some pretty significant and speculative “ifs.”

But regardless of the money, which honestly seems to be a wash, for me the "people" issue is the biggest one.  Ms. Fiorina and the horde she wants to lead seem willing to use lies and misinformation to garner political gains, but they really need to remember that the roughly 2.5 million women who avail themselves of Planned Parenthood’s services could also be your mother, grandmother, sister, niece, wife, lover or friend and that makes this critically important to you.

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