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July 6, 2008

Pro-Life Isn't

It has been said many times before that many of the people who call themselves "pro-life" actually don't seem to truly value life all that much. They talk about "sanctity", but with their actions demonstrate a commitment to quantity and not quality, to pregnancies being carried to term no matter what but not to women and children having access to the health care and resources that they really need.

What's interesting is watching the ways that they give themselves away. We expect to find them protesting outside abortion clinics and pushing ineffectual abstinence only education programs and setting up misleading websites for crisis pregnancy centers, but they can be more creative when they really put their minds to it. Here's one recent example. (I'm not turning this into a full link roundup with a million examples because I have a feeling this is going to become a regular series.)

June 27th was National HIV Testing Day. Planned Parenthood of Eastern Washington organized an event for the day where groups of people were going to engage in safe sex in the parking lot of the local WalMart to show how much fun it can be. No, they didn't. Actually, they had just organized a group of teens who were going to stand outside the store and hand out information about HIV prevention and testing.

WalMart canceled the event at the last minute. They cited company policy, but it turned out that a protest from the American Life League may have influenced the decision as well. (Remember that the ALL also came up with the brilliant "The Pill Kills" campaign. Love those guys.) Now, we wouldn't expect the ALL to be running out to volunteer for HIV Testing Day, but what's so bad about this event that they felt the need to protest it? The volunteers weren't running through the WalMart aisles tossing condoms into people's shopping carts, they were just outside the store offering information only to people who wanted it. Well, it's simple really - the ALL saw through Planned Parenthood's devious plan here. This wasn't about offering people useful information about an important health issue. No, this was just Planned Parenthood's attempt to make more money by encouraging lots of teen sex!

From the ALL press release:
WASHINGTON, D.C. (26 June 2008) – Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion chain in the country, has teamed up with a Wal-Mart Supercenter, an affiliate of the largest retailer in the country, in an effort to supersize their campaign to sell sex to children. Planned Parenthood will pass out information at the Wal-Mart in Richland, Washington from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on June 27.

“Planned Parenthood is now in such desperate need of customers it’s willing to do anything – even stand outside shopping centers to lure young people into its clinics,” said Marie Hahnenberg, a researcher for American Life League.

Planned Parenthood, Hahnenberg says, is responsible for the deaths of over 289,700 babies in 2006 alone and also recently was willing to accept donations earmarked specifically for the abortion of black children. The organization faces lawsuits across the country for protecting child rapists and is coming under increasing fire for its use of pornography in tax-subsidized programs, advertisements and literature.

“They’re pushing pornography and contraception onto young children – beginning in kindergarten. Now parents aren’t even safe to go shopping without worrying Planned Parenthood will pressure their kids into promiscuous lifestyles that will increase their bloated birth control and abortion profits,” Hahnenberg said.

American Life League is asking community members to call Wal-Mart at (509) 628-8420 or 1-800-WAL-MART and demand they stop Planned Parenthood from this literature distribution.
We think the funniest thing about this press release is that it's barely related at all to what the event was really about. Or to, you know, reality. Child rapists! Pornography! Kindergarten sex addicts! We have to stop Planned Parenthood from this distribution of "literature" with information about...getting tested for HIV. Which has nothing to do with abortion or pornography or "selling sex to children". They hate Planned Parenthood because they believe that PP takes lives, but how are they any better if they try to prevent the distribution of information that could save lives? We're sure it couldn't possibly have anything to do with any misguided notions they might have about HIV. Since they value life so much, we're sure that they care about people with HIV and people who are at risk of getting HIV, even if they might not agree with all of the choices that those people might make. We're sure that, committed to life as they are, they must be full of compassion and free of judgment. Right?

Also amusing is the fact that at the bottom of the ALL news release is a link to a news story entitled Free HIV Testing At Planned Parenthood July First. Free testing? But we thought this was a secret plot by Planned Parenthood to make more money? I guess we just don't understand PP's sneaky tactics like the ALL does.

As Planned Parenthood of Eastern Washington said in their own statement on this event, "If we are going to stop the spread of deadly sexually transmitted diseases like HIV, ideology can not be allowed to trump public health." We also think that groups like the American Life League cannot be allowed to continue to claim to be the true protectors and defenders and spokespeople for "life" without being called on their hypocrisy at every turn.

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