Monday, January 18, 2010

Protest the lies at Planned Parenthood protest


If you're going to lie through your teeth and pass it off as news, the least you could do is not cite an article that directly contradicts your lies with things like "facts."

There was a large anti-choice protest today in Houston, in front of a soon-to-be new Planned Parenthood facility. OK, fine. Certainly won't be the last time a PP facility sees a protest. This facility, however, is being called an "abortion supercenter" by anti-choicers, presumably because the building is a big one. It is in fact the biggest building PP will have -- because it will be serving as the regional headquarters for PP, and have a clinic, a call center, surgical suites and more. PP issued a statement today about the new building (PDF here), and it says
"It will be our administrative headquarters for 35 counties in Southeast Texas and Louisiana, and will house a flagship family planning health center, a surgical suite for abortion care and vasectomies, a clinical research center, an HIV testing and counseling area, education and training rooms, a large call center, and a secure, enclosed parking area."So those are the facts: 1. Planned Parenthood is opening a new regional headquarters in Houston, which will offer many services (as all PP facilities do), including abortion services. 2. Thousands of anti-choicers protested outside the building today.

As far as I can tell, anti-choicers took "really big building," added in "Planned Parenthood," and concluded it obviously must be an "abortion supercenter." It's a tired, old argument regarding PP, and not at all surprising. (Do these people even realize how many women get their birth control from PP? You know, the very birth control that could prevent abortions? Or how many women get pre-natal care at PP? You know, for the babies they're going to give birth to? Sigh.)

But this guy at Dallas Blog writes about this story like this:
Headline: "Pro-Lifers Protest at Houston 'Abortion SuperCenter'"
Lede: "Wal-Mart is opening 'SuperCenters' all across the country, offering the lowest prices for everyday goods. Now, Planned Parenthood wants to open a chain of 'Abortion SuperCenters,' to reduce the population of African-American and Hispanic-born babies."

See what he did there? Lies = facts. Absurd, to say the least, and so freaking irresponsible that he shouldn't be allowed to have an Internet connection of any kind. OF COURSE Planned Parenthood does not want to open a chain of "abortion supercenters" (and technically, they already have a chain of abortion centers), and OF COURSE Planned Parenthood is not trying to reduce the population of non-white babies being born. Lies, lies, lies.

But then this guy goes on to quote, at length, a Houston Chronicle story about the protest, and at the end of his story there is a link to the Chronicle story that says "Read the entire article from the Houston Chronicle."

Well, I did. And guess what it says? "The protesters [did stuff] to convey their opposition to what they called an 'abortion super center' that Planned Parenthood will open ... [snip] Organizer Lou Engle used the Martin Luther King holiday to accuse Planned Parenthood of locating the new facility in a predominantly Hispanic and black area to target minorities for abortion services." (Emphasis mine.)

Not even close to what Dallas Blog Guy's story says. What's more, if you continue reading the Chronicle story, you learn that:
According to Planned Parenthood, last year slightly more than 8,000 abortions were performed in its Houston region, which includes two clinics in Louisiana. The agency reported 34 percent of the abortion clients were Anglo; 25 percent were black; and 34 percent Hispanic. The black and Hispanic abortion rates were slightly higher than their overall population percentages in Harris County.

“This is because minorities often have more unintended pregnancies. Perhaps because they do not have the same access to birth control,” Tafolla said.
Perhaps this PP facility will help them access birth control if they need or want it? Anyone at the protest want to talk about that? No? Of course not.

The Chronicle story also debunks the whole "abortion supercenter" claim:
"Protesters on Monday also questioned why Houston was selected for the Gulf Freeway clinic that they believe will be the largest abortion facility in the Western Hemisphere. However, Tafolla disputes that point. While the new facility will be Planned Parenthood’s largest healthcare center in the U.S., only two floors will be dedicated for clinical space."And the rest of the space will be used for all the things mentioned in the beginning of this post. Again, obviously not an "abortion supercenter."

If you want to read more about the protest, you can go here, here or here. But I would recommend something much more important: "Planned Parenthood assesses abortion coverage," on Lake Villa Review, about what is going to happen to abortion access if health care legislation is passed with abortion restrictions (and we all know how likely that scenario is).

By the way, such crap from Dallas Blog Guy would never ever make it into an actual news publication. "New media" has a long way to go before I'm putting both feet in. In the meantime, support real news organizations, both print and Web-based. And support PP too.


Matt Osborne said...

Of course the anti-choice protesters don't want to discuss birth control. Not one major "pro-life" organization endorses, much less provides, contraception. In fact, most of them have a distinctly anti-contraception agenda. They're not content with Roe v. Wade; they'd like to undo Griswold v Connecticut while they're at it.

Rosie said...

No doubt. That's why it's so easy to assume that, for many of them, being anti-choice isn't about saving babies. It's about controlling women's lives and sexuality.


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