Michele Bachmann appears to be on somewhat of a "pre-campaign" trail, traveling, giving speeches, mouthing off about how her only competition is the President himself. (Says who?) Most recently, her strategy for rallying the super-conservatives behind her is harping on a subject that I thought/hoped/believed was water under the bridge: Planned Parenthood.
Instead of spouting lies completely fictionalized statistics (cough like one Senator Kyl cough) about the family planning organization, she rattled off some numbers and falsehoods to members of the conservative base present at the Faith & Freedom Coalition conference in Washington:
This organization has by their own records performed 324,008 abortions in 2008 and 2009 and that is in addition to the trafficking of underage girls that has gone on under Planned Parenthood's nose. Do you think we could start here by defunding this organization?
So we already know Michele isn't the best at history and geography, but apparently, she can't seem to wrap her head around some very basic facts about Planned Parenthood that have been reiterated ever since right wingers declared their current war on women.
For starters, the attack regarding sex trafficking has been well discredited by now. In the sole incident that wingnuts keep pointing to, there was no wrongdoing.
Furthermore, and most importantly, is the fact that Planned Parenthood STILL cannot use federal money to pay for abortions. It receives federal funding to provide family planning services, annual exams, cancer screenings, contraception visits, and testing and treatments for sexually transmitted infections. That is ALL.
What about that does Bachmann and women-hating conservatives not understand? Money spent on abortion vs. money spent on valuable health services for women -- it's a distinction conservatives like Bachmann keep suggesting is irrelevant. And that couldn't be any further from the truth.
Look, I get it. She was clearly bringing up this old news to engage and fire up the Faith & Freedom audience. They are staunchly opposed to abortion, birth control, women having much of a choice in their futures, etc. and Bachmann clearly wants to woo them to be her supporters. But it's still misleading to focus on abortion as a reason to bring down Planned Parenthood. It's still twisting the truth to deny the organization's funding goes to many other life-saving services. At least we can take heart in something else that's true: Bachmann's belated, twisted battle cry is no real threat.
Do you think it's time Michele Bachmann and other conservatives give up on bringing down Planned Parenthood?
Image via David Shankbone/Flickr