It’s Friday, which means it is time once again for our favorite quiz, Who Hates Planned Parenthood the Most?
This week’s contestants are:
US Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), who attacked PP president Cecile Richards for taking home a salary of $520,000 and produced perhaps the most ridiculous anti-abortion “chart” ever fabricated, a chart that tossed aside the concepts of the Y axis and slopes and proportion and, frankly, numbers to make it appear that the number of abortions Planned Parenthood provides has dramatically increased while the number of cancer screenings and cancer prevention services it provides has plummeted.
As Kevin Drum points out at Mother Jones, an honest chart, one that showed the two lines existing in the same numerical universe, would show that the number of abortions has increased only slightly as the number of cancer screenings has gone down. And why have they declined? Because, along with every other women’s health care provider in the nation, Planned Parenthood follows federal guidelines for breast and reproductive cancer screenings, which now recommend far less-frequent screenings.
In fact, when you include all non-abortion services Planned Parenthood provides, the chart looks like this:
But that isn’t as dramatic, obviously, as a “chart” fabricated out of whole cloth.
Next up is everyone’s favorite millennial mansplainer, David Daleiden, whose Center for Medical Progress is standing by a video that exploits images of a miscarried fetus to provide continued fodder for GOP Presidential candidate Carly Fiorina’s false claim that she saw footage of a Planned Parenthood staffer standing over a still-kicking fetus talking about harvesting its brain.
None of this is true, of course (the brain “harvesting” description came from an anti-choice former procurement specialist with the company StemExpress; the video, which Daleiden initially claimed was a “born-alive infant from a late-term abortion,” is film taken during and after a woman’s miscarriage.)
Daleiden kinda-sorta admitted that the video may not have been exactly what Fiorina described but, as Jezebel notes, did it in the most evasive possible way, telling CNN’s Chris Cuomo, “What I think what matters is the fact that this — that’s an example of an 18 to 19 week fetus, which is the exact same gestational age that Planned Parenthood routinely aborts and harvests the organs from.”
We’ll make Fiorina our third contestant, for standing by her description of the nonexistent video even in the face of overwhelming evidence that she made it up.
Next in line is House Majority Leader (and likely next House Speaker) Kevin McCarthy, who admitted to CNN’s Jake Tapper that his long-term strategy is to use the Planned Parenthood videos as a kind of reproductive Benghazi against Democratic Presidential contender Hillary Clinton, by forming a select committee to “investigate” the videos and holding endless public hearings, tying Clinton to Planned Parenthood’s supposed (and fictitious) nefarious acts.
Then there’s Wisconsin US Rep. Glenn Grothman, who inquired of Richards, with a straight face, why he should care if Planned Parenthood stay open, given that, “as a guy,” he had more than enough health care options. “As a guy, I could go to many clinics locally that have all the machines that one would need,” Grothmann said. “All these clinics, as far as I know, take Medicaid dollars, so you could go to any of those clinics to get any medical service you could.”
Then again, the award should really just go to all the Republican members of Congress who harangued Richards for five hours, barely letting her get a word in edgewise, over such nationally important issues as whether the government should fund “carv[ing] up a child and call[ing] it a choice,” as Oklahoma Rep. Steve Russell so eloquently put it .