Earlier, we blogged about Ross Douthat’s op-ed in the New York Times contending that the anti-choice activists are not out of touch with mainstream Americans, which we exposed as a misrepresentation of the very radical goals of the movement. We also blogged about anti-choice activists’ sudden concern for the economy as they renewed their perpetual call for the government to stop giving grants to Planned Parenthood to prevent unplanned pregnancies, treat sexually transmitted infections, screen patients for cancer, or educate teens about healthy sexuality.
Well, it appears that Mr. Douthat is at it again, with a blog post on the Atlantic’s website, complaining about Planned Parenthood counting each service they provide as – get this – separate services, and that even though abortions represent only 3% of Planned Parenthood’s services, it still means thousands of abortions each year. He then proceeds to compare Planned Parenthood and the pro-choice movement to Hezbollah.
Let’s start with the fact that each service is a separate service. A pregnancy test is not the same service as a pelvic exam, and obtaining a prescription for birth control is not the same as being treated for chlamydia. People like Mr. Douthat want to combine services together so that when Planned Parenthood releases reports on what services they’re providing, the percentage attributed to abortion services will increase. They will then use this information to demonize Planned Parenthood and other health clinics.
Secondly, even though 3% of Planned Parenthood’s services represent thousands of abortions, that means that 97% of their services are for millions of women and men who need other reproductive health care. With the state of the health care system being what it is, where, exactly, would those people go if the government withdrew its grants to Planned Parenthood and the organization lost fully one-third of its annual funding?
And as for comparing Planned Parenthood and the pro-choice movement to Hezbollah, Mr. Douthat is incredibly out of line. Last time we checked, the pro-choice activists weren’t the ones threatening to kill clinic doctors or inciting violence outside of clinics. The pro-choice community simply believes in providing information and options to every person so that she or he can decide what is best for their particular situation. It’s interesting that a movement of information, options, and acceptance is what Mr. Douthat rails against so frequently.