Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Why can't conservatives at the DI ever tell the truth?

It looks like the Daily Illini has replaced John Bambenek with Paul Schmitt as one of their resident conservative wingnuts. In today's DI, Schmitt has a rant about Planned Parenthood and the evil they do against women. As usual for these sorts of things, it's full of half-truths and distortions.

Quick summary for the non-locals: Planned Parenthood is trying to open a clinic in Aurora, a Chicago suburb. Because of how anti-choice zealots behaved when PP opened a clinic in Austin, much of the paperwork was in the name of a PP subsidiary Gemini Office Development. The Aurora City Council knew that the permits were for a medical clinic and approved them. When it was revealed that this would be a PP clinic, the Jesus hit the fan, and the crazies came out of the woodwork. Aurora is now suing to stop the opening of the clinic.

Schmitt's column today reads:

In Texas, contractors that were building a new clinic for the organization refused to finish their work upon learning of what exactly they were constructing.

Well, that's not exactly what happened. Schmitt makes it sound like the contractors discovered what they were building and quit the project in a huff of moral outrage. Actually, anti-abortion activists started a campaign of intimidation and harassment, including following workers home and bothering the residents in their neighborhoods. This caused enough of the smaller contractors to drop out that the general contractor did as well. Hardly the implication that Schmitt's piece leaves.

Schmitt continues:

The facilities, which have faced repeated lawsuits by parents of its clients, pro-life groups and others, claim to offer necessary and important services to the communities where they are located. Looking at the situation in Aurora, however, one might easily draw a conclusion that Planned Parenthood advocates nothing more than an abdication of personal responsibility, honesty and self-respect.

You know, I went over to Planned Parenthood's website, and I couldn't find any information about abdicating personal responsibility. I did find information on birth control, avoiding STDs, and even how to care for yourself if you are or want to get pregnant. Nothing about dishonesty. So one also might easily draw the conclusion that Schmitt has no idea what he's talking about.

It's funny that Schmitt brings up the Austin Planned Parenthood clinic as an example of a success. One thing that Schmitt doesn't mention is that another woman's health clinic in Austin was bombed by anti-abortion activists this year. Suddenly, that crowd doesn't seem so "pro-life" after all.


prairie biker said...

Idjits. Planned Parenthood is one of the largest providers of subsidized women's health care in the country. They provide valuable care and services to those who need them most and would otherwise not be able to afford them. They teach women how to care for themselves in a way that hopefully prevents unwanted pregnancies. Abortions are one of the smallest aspects, constituting less than 10% of their clients. I wish those idiots would learn that if they supported PP better and encouraged those who needed the services to get them, fewer abortions would be "necessary".

Information from: http://www.plannedparenthood.org/about-us/who-we-are/pp-numbers-5551.htm

moon_grrl said...

Le sigh.

Shit columnists like this are why I hardly ever pick up the Daily Idiot any more. Sure, have an opinion, everyone's got one (kinda like assholes), but make it an informed one. From the ignorance about PP Schmidt spews, I'm surprised that he didn't try and say that the aborted fetuses are then sold for use in cosmetics. *eyes roll*

Ryan said...

Well right...the 'pro-life' crowd is only interested in fetuses. Life for them occurs in the womb. Once born, they really don't give a shit. And my classes are full of people like this dude. Arg.

As usual, nice work.

Narc said...

PB and MG: Thanks for the comments. I'm starting to think more and more a big part of the pro-life movement isn't about abortion, but about controlling women's sexuality. It explains the weird confluence of the pro-life and the anti-birth-control camps.

It's like how they're against the HPV vaccine, too. With the vaccine, fewer women will get cervical cancer and die. Sex loses some of it's risk, and women will become promiscuous. No, really, this was an actual argument used when Gardasil first came out. (Just not in quite so blatant terms.)

moon_grrl said...

I'm starting to think more and more a big part of the pro-life movement isn't about abortion, but about controlling women's sexuality.

You completely hit the nail on it's proverbial head with this statement.

"Pro-life" is a lot nicer thing to say than "forced pregnancy" or "subjugation" or "inequality", isn't it?

prairie biker said...

I think it comes from repressed, early clan instincts. The dominant male wants to mate with as many females as possible to spread his offspring. Conversely he also wants to prevent those same females from procreating with other males. These idiots just don't realize they're doing it.

That said, y'all can come right over. I'll be home all weekend. :>

Henny Penny said...

I only read the DI for sodoku.

Robguy said...

If conservatives told the truth - they'd get a lot more blank stares and people asking them what the issue was. By defaulting to hyperbole and distortion, they can at least get a few stupid people to share their outrage.