Sunday, April 10, 2011

This Statement is Not Meant to Be Factual

The budget showdown which was "averted" yesterday led to one the most intriguing statements I've ever heard. One of the central fronts in this budget war has been the fate of Planned Parenthood. For those who haven't been paying attention to the current slate of petty politics in Washington D.C. the dynamic is new for those with short memories, but old if you remember the last time the Federal Government was shut down, 16 years ago; A resurgent crop of Republicans flood into Congress with plenty of radical rhetoric about taking the country back and playing chicken with a Democratic president over the budget, spending, taxes and so on.

Planned Parenthood is an organization which provides a great number of health care services for low-income women, but in the minds of Republicans and in particular it's most extreme kaduku wing, it is synonymous with abortions. Planned Parenthood is an anathema to their facile defense of "life," a place which they characterize as being a factory for women to go and casually slaughter their not yet born life. Recently, we've heard from at least one Republic candidate for President in 2012, that the abortion issue goes beyond simple choice and life, but actually damages our economy. According to former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum in recent trip to New Hampshire, the new danger that abortion is causing the country is because it is helping indirectly destroy social security:
“A third of all the young people in America are not in America today because of abortion. We are depopulating this country, and we’re seeing the birth rate is below replacement rate for the first time in history.”
In this context, it seems almost heroic to destroy something so evil as Planned Parenthood which is enabling a massive genocide that is wrecking the US economy. The Republicans in Congress are fighting to save the unborn of America, its morality, its soul, its economy and everything and so Planned Parenthood is something which must be gotten rid of. One of the final points of the contention in the Federal budget was this issue of Republicans trying to get rid of Planned Parenthood, by claiming that it uses Federal money to fund abortions, which is against the law.

Part of the problem here is first, that this is not true. Planned Parenthood does not use any federal funds that it receives as part of abortions. Second, providing abortion services is a minute part of what Planned Parenthood does. The Republicans have attempted to transform the image of Planned Parenthood into some shady, evil organization which is spiriting away the babies and the health of the nation. In fact, Planned Parenthood provides important and necessary services to the women of the United States. Here some facts and info about them from their website:

Planned Parenthood is the nation's leading sexual and reproductive health care provider and advocate. Planned Parenthood also works with partner organizations worldwide to improve the sexual health and well-being of individuals and families everywhere.

Planned Parenthood has 84 independent local affiliates that operate more than 800 health centers throughout the United States, providing high-quality services to women, men, and teens.

Planned Parenthood often is the only source of family planning for a large proportion of the women we serve.

Our Clients

Planned Parenthood provides sexual and reproductive health care, education, and information to more than five million women, men, and adolescents worldwide each year.

Three million women and men in the United States annually visit Planned Parenthood affiliate health centers for trusted health care services and information.

Seventy-nine percent of Planned Parenthood health care clients in the U.S. are age 20 and older.

One in five women in the U.S. has visited a Planned Parenthood health center at least once in her life.

Our Work

Planned Parenthood health centers focus on prevention: 83 percent of our clients receive services to prevent unintended pregnancy.

Planned Parenthood services help prevent more than 612,000 unintended pregnancies each year.

Planned Parenthood provides nearly one million Pap tests and more than 830,000 breast exams each year, critical services in detecting cancer.

Planned Parenthood provides nearly four million tests and treatments for sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.

Three percent of all Planned Parenthood health services are abortion services.

Planned Parenthood affiliates provide educational programs to nearly 1.2 million young people and adults each year.

Planned Parenthood has more than four million activists, supporters, and donors working for women's health and safety and our fundamental reproductive rights.

According to the Washington Post, only 3 % of the 11 million services which Planned Parenthood provides women each year are abortions. The vast majority of what they provide is for contraception and the testing and treatment of STDs. This accounts for approximately 70% of what they do, and along with testing for Breast cancer, that adds up to 86% of their evil nefarious agenda.

One of the talking points that swirls around the Republican echo chamber lately is the idea that "90% of what Planned Parenthood does is abortion related." It is something which Tea Partier, Birthers, anti-choice activists and plenty of Republicans accept as part of their Wikiality. It is something which you could easily prove as false or grossly and sexistly distorted, but wouldn't be accepted because of a glorious constellation of conservative points of ignorant light that will dismiss said truth or create a more convoluted and conspiratorial way of rejecting it. Longtime liberals will recognize phrases such as "Well that's not what Rush says" or more recently "why doesn't Obama just show us his birth certificate" as key discursive supports in this universe.

This notion about Planned Parenthood being overwhelmingly about aborting fetuses even made its way to floor of the Senate recently and end up making an already pretty silly looking Senator, Jon Kyl from Arizona, almost totally vapid. It was not so much what he said, but how he attempted to cover his daggan after he said something extremely inaccurate. In a speech on the Senate floor he invoked the "claim" that Planned Parenthood is 90% about abortions:

"Everybody goes to clinics, to doctors, to hospitals, so on. Some people go to Planned Parenthood. But you don’t have to go to Planned Parenthood to get your cholesterol or your blood pressure checked. If you want an abortion, you go to Planned Parenthood, and that’s well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does."

As I've already stated this was completely off the mark. 87% off the mark. You can either consider it to be a straight lie or just the product of an office stupid enough to think that some random made up statistic from the World of Rush wouldn't be questioned in the rest of the universe. So when he was naturally blasted for using a statistic which was so brazenly counter to the truth, its use couldn't even be considered to be a stretching of the truth, he "walked back his claim." Rather than retract, rather than explain the mistake or what had happened, Kyl took the novel approach of saying that the accuracy of his statement was irrelevant since "his remark was not intended to be a factual statement, but rather to illustrate that Planned Parenthood, a organization that receives millions of dollars in taxpayer funding, does subsidize abortions."

It's almost too awesome, how insane that is. Politics is all about truth and lies in usually the sense of masking lies as truth, but for someone to just come out and claim that he wasn't even intended to be truthful but simply speaking in order to connect things. It's almost like Senator Kyl has mapped the human genome for us, he has finally solved the mysteries of the universe. It's like we have seen the face of God and he stuck his tongue out at us.

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