Planned Par­ent­hood re­veals it­self

The Washington Post Sunday - - SUNDAY OPINION - El­iz­a­beth Starr, Ar­ling­ton

The March 8 ed­i­to­rial “Let’s not make a deal” warned that “the threat is real,” thanks to the on­go­ing “ide­o­log­i­cal at­tack” on Planned Par­ent­hood by con­gres­sional Repub­li­cans (and now the White House). Surely the ed­i­to­rial board has heard Planned Par­ent­hood’s end­less claims that it per­forms very few abor­tions in the grand scheme of things and that pre­ven­tive ser­vices are its stock in trade.

If this is true, why would a Planned Par­ent­hood of­fi­cial be so quick to de­clare an abor­tion con­di­tional fund­ing pro­posal“non-ne­go­tiable ”? Why would the ed­i­to­rial praise the or­ga­ni­za­tion for not “sell­ing out the in­ter­ests of its pa­tients”? If the num­ber of women seek­ing abor­tions is so far out­weighed by those seek­ing pre­ven­tive ser­vices only, and fed­eral fund­ing is so crit­i­cal to op­er­a­tions, whose in­ter­ests are served by Planned Par­ent­hood’s re­fusal to com­pro­mise, risk­ing all fund­ing? Cer­tainly not its core clien­tele. Who’s be­ing ide­o­log­i­cal? Who’s grand­stand­ing? Where did Planned Par­ent­hood learn the spe­cial math it uses to pro­duce lovely pie charts with tiny slices rep­re­sent­ing abor­tions?

The ed­i­to­rial sug­gests the White House “go back to the draw­ing board to fig­ure a way out of its dilemma.” I dis­agree. Planned Par­ent­hood and its cham­pi­ons have some ex­plain­ing to do; the Repub­li­can po­si­tion has been very clear for a very long time.

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