The Komen Race for the Cure and Planned Parenthood: A Follow Up, Part Two of Three
By Dave Andrusko
To the best of my knowledge only a few mainstream media outlets have felt the need to respond to the charge by New York Times columnist Ross Douthat that coverage of Komen’s decision on Planned Parenthood funding had been “frankly brutal.” They don’t for the very reason their stories were virtually entirely one-sided and indistinguishable from flat-out advocacy in the first place: there aren’t two sides (or many sides). There is only the saintly PPFA whose noble mission can be opposed only by knuckle-dragging troglodytes. We’ll get to how they defended their decisions in Part Three.
Douthat provides very helpful perspective. For example, you would never know that pro-life Americans exist, by the coverage. Perhaps more importantly, you would never suspect that people could be ambivalent about abortion—or even supportive—and not want Komen money going to the largest abortion provider in the world.
“From the nightly news shows to print and online media, the coverage’s tone alternated between wonder and outrage,” Douthat wrote, “wonder that anyone could possibly find Planned Parenthood even remotely controversial and outrage that the Komen foundation had ‘politicized’ the cause of women’s health.”
Douthat uses his column to illustrate two foundational truths that rarely make their way into the Times. First, that when it comes to self-identification, there are almost equal numbers of “pro-lifers” and “pro-choicers.” Second, abortion is not “an itty-bitty and purely tangential aspect of its [PPFA’s] mission, as many credulous journalists have implied.”
Douthat helpfully adds, “Planned Parenthood likes to claim that abortion accounts for just 3 percent of its services, for instance, and this statistic has been endlessly recycled in the press. But the percentage of the group’s clients who received an abortion is probably closer to 1 in 10.” (It’s even worse than that: it’s almost one in eight.)
In a word abortion is crucial to PPFA’s self-image and bottomline.
As Dr. Randall K. O’Bannon, NRLC Director of Education, has tirelessly explained,
- No fewer than one in eight women walking through the door of a Planned Parenthood clinic receiving services has an abortion. Abortion is integral to what PPFA does.
- According to Planned Parenthood itself, “Government Health Services and Reimbursements” in fiscal 2010 totaled $487.4 million — making taxpayers responsible for nearly half (46%) of Planned Parenthood total revenue for that year!
In Part Three of three, we’ll talk about how the media can talk itself into believing it was fair to Komen and, more importantly, how the very same pro-lifers Douthat rightly points out are treated as if they don’t exist have also been energized by the controversy. In addition we’ll also tackle the thread that is far more important to pro-abortionists than PPFA still having access to what is for it a token amount of money from Komen: that this has awakened (for the umpteenth time) the sleeping pro-choice giant.
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