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.
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.