Face Off: Planned Parenthood vs. the USCCB

September 2, 2009

This is something that played out in the media last month, but it’s still receiving a lot of attention and definitely worth posting.

First, there was this:
The Gloves are Off: Planned Parenthood President Slams U.S. Bishops on Abortion, Healthcare

...which came from Cecile Richards’ letter to the Huffington Post where she says a lot of things that don’t add up, including this:

“Seems that, if the U.S. Conference had its way, the national health care system would make American women second-class citizens and deny them access to benefits they currently have.

The danger, of course, is not simply that the bishops are pushing to erode decades of legal access to contraception and abortion in America.

Their hard-line opposition to women's rights also endangers millions of women around the globe -- where women also need universal health care access. The effort to criminalize access to safe abortion endangers most women in the developing world -- the very women that you would think the bishops would be concerned about.”
And then, thank God, there was this from the USCCB back to Richards:

In face of Planned Parenthood attack, USCCB official insists abortion is not health care.

Richard Doerflinger, associate director of the USSCB’s Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, brought back some sanity and factual data to the conversation.

“I think what Planned Parenthood is saying is that millions of people must continue to go without basic health care unless they can get their wish list of making everyone pay for abortions. I think that the charge of being ‘single issue’ falls squarely back on Planned Parenthood’s side, because this is not the kind of health care that most Americans want to purchase or have to pay for.”

Doerflinger reminded Richards that the taking of human life, at any stage, is not health care at all, and most Americans don’t want to pay for abortions. He goes on to respond to Richards’ other accusations.

“Our major arguments on this have not been about contraception. She likes to change the subject...

The Catholic Church has done more to fight AIDS in Africa than Planned Parenthood has. Planned Parenthood doesn’t want people to know that hormonal contraception has actually been associated with an increased risk of contracting AIDS. It has nothing to do with preventing AIDS, something to do with making it worse…

She keeps talking about how we’re trying to diminish a right. A mandate is not consistent with a personal choice. If what she’s talking about is people’s personal ability to choose whether or not to buy abortion coverage, we’re not going to oppose legislation that allows that.

We’re talking about the government mandating that people purchase abortion coverage against their will. Why would she be against that if she favors ‘choice’?"

Tags: Planned Parenthood, USCCB

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