I was listening to the radio this morning as I got ready for work. The station is a rather conservative talk radio station located in the heart of Indianapolis. An advertisement came on and it was a woman talking about her condition—endometriosis—and the care she received from Planned Parenthood that almost certainly allowed her to conceive and deliver a healthy child. In the wrap-up, the announcer attacks the Indiana bill that would cut off public funding of the organization and appeals to listeners to write to Governor Mitch Daniels to ask him to veto the bill.
I have a few problems here. First, what is this drivel doing on this station? Are they that desperate for revenue?
Getting past that issue, Planned Parenthood is clearly playing two games here. The first is the Sympathy Game. Have a woman come on the radio about a deeply personal issue—one that can tug at the heartstrings of the most macho of men (not that I claim to be or know)—and have her talk of what she might have lost out on had it not been for Planned Parenthood. The second game is the classic Shell Game.
In the Shell Game, Planned Parenthood—“PP” from here out—asks the listener to protect funding sourced from tax dollars because of valuable medical services provided to women. If the bill is passed, women will suffer. Even the woman in the spot claims she may not have been able to afford medical treatment if not for PP.
Conversely, she may have been able to afford treatment too. There is no conclusive evidence that she would not have been able to seek financial assistance or alternate care elsewhere. She says “may not”, not “could not”. Shell #1 and no pea!
Here’s shell #2: PP wants the listener to believe that funds are kept separately and that no tax dollars fund abortions. OK, maybe that’s true. Maybe not. Let’s do a simple exercise:
Let’s say an abortion costs $25. PP has $75 to work with. Other medical care and operating costs come to $50. Running spots on the radio and TV cost $25. Of course, these are fictitious numbers for the sake of proving a point. They have $100 in costs but only $75 to work with so something has to give. Ah, wait! They get $25 from the State of Indiana. Now they have their $100! They can now use our $25 for radio and TV and their own $25 for abortions. Hey! They used their own money, not ours! Maybe, but by being able to use ours for other things, including campaigning and lobbying to protect their interests, their funds are available for funding abortions. It’s not direct funding but indirect funding. The result is the same—tax dollars make it possible for PP to continue providing abortions. If you look at their website, the link towards the bottom says it all:
Clearly, their stance is about protecting abortion—not in providing treatment for endometriosis. Again from their site:
“HB 1210 will, by all accounts, make Indiana one of the most anti-choice states in the country. PPIN President and CEO Betty Cockrum asserts that in its current form, HB 1210 will also make Indiana one of the most anti-woman states in the country. Today’s defunding measure puts the preventive health care of 22,000 Hoosiers at risk.”
No, Indiana is not “anti-woman” in the least. It is “anti-public funding for abortion”. We the taxpayers should have a say in how our dollars are spent and we say “No!”
Sorry, no pea!
Shell #3: Here’s the pea! If PP really didn’t need public funding in order to continue providing abortions… If PP wouldn’t be hurt where it counts most to them, that is, in ensuring abortion stays legal… If money didn’t talk, we wouldn’t have such drivel on a conservative radio station. The spot shows their desperation in holding on to every precious dollar. Sorta reminds me of NPR’s battle to keep federal tax dollars.
Truth is that there are plenty of options for women’s healthcare needs and PP is but one of them. While they may provide care for many women, the world will go on if/when/once the tax dollar flow is stopped.