Investigations into Planned Parenthood’s fetal-tissue donation practices have continued to turn up no evidence that the health-care organization “sells aborted baby body parts,” as anti-choicers put it, but that hasn’t stopped right-wing extremists across the nation from continuing to demand the government defund the women’s health care provider. And they’re getting a warm welcome from Republicans in Congress and in statehouses across the nation. From Alabama to Louisiana to Texas, anti-choice lawmakers have vowed to do everything they can to make sure poor women can no longer access basic health care services such as annual exams, STD testing, and cancer screenings.
Anti-choice activists are taking notice–and credit. LifeNews, which praised Lousiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s “expert trolling ” of citizens when he played the doctored tapes on a loop in response to a pro-Planned Parenthood protest at the Louisiana Governor’ s Mansion (note to governors: Holding your own counterprotest when citizens exercise their free-speech rights is pretty much the definition of punching down), praises Republicans in the US House this week for proposing a bill (destined to go nowhere) that would strip all federal funding from Planned Parenthood because of the “the outrageous videos showing it selling aborted babies.”
Never mind that the heavily doctored videos show nothing of the sort, or that federal funds can’t be used for abortions, or that abortions make up just 3 percent of Planned Parenthood’s services. And never mind that this Congress finds it hard to pass a budget keeping the government open, let alone policies that begin to address America’s racial and economic inequality. For anti-choice extremists, defunding women’s health care is top priority, and nothing will keep them from pursuing that goal–and gloating at women’s expense when they achieve it.
Phew! Screed over. Here’s a story from the right-wing Independent Journal about a woman (pardon me: “NFL player and his wife”) who is deliberately bringing an ancephelitic fetus, which lacks most of its brain and will almost certainly die, to term because, according to the IJ, “a supernatural force” (God) told them to. The NFL player, who does all the talking for the couple, says he and his wife decided to through with the doomed pregnancy because “we felt like, who are we to determine a baby’s life? So, we are going to leave it in God’s hands.” This is what happens when you believe that women are nothing more than incubators and that God would prefer that women to endanger their own health than abort even a nonviable fetus.
This is the same logic that leads many abortion opponents to conclude, as Christian Today does, that women are just too simple to understand what abortion is or they would naturally oppose it. Think I’m exaggerating? Here’s the headline: “Most women who seek abortion afraid, confused.” The piece goes on to quote a “crisis pregnancy center” operator (whose “clinic” does not actually offer any medical services), who claims, citing nothing, that 92 percent of women will change their minds about abortion “if given the proper information.” Either that claim is an outright lie (spoiler: It is), or the fake clinic is giving women wildly inaccurate information about the risks of abortion to their physical and mental health (spoiler: They are).
Finally, you know how to make right-wing extremists really lose it? Call them right-wing extremists. That’s what Hillary Clinton did, when she pointed out last week that today’s Republican Presidential field, which believes almost to a man that abortion should be illegal in all cases without exception, shares some of its views about women with oppressive terrorist regimes.
The People’s Pundit Daily, for example, called Clinton’s comments (which, surprise, the site does not actually quote or put in context) “disgusting” “gutter politics,” while Breitbart praised anti-choice GOP Presidential candidate Marco Rubio for calling Clinton an “extremist” with “extremist” views who supports “extremism.” (He worked the word “extremist” in there a couple more times for good measure.) Meanwhile, according to Life News, Rubio’s rival Ben Carson actually compared abortion rights to slavery, because women who want the right to choose are exactly like white Southerners who wanted the right to own other human beings.