Saturday, April 9, 2011

Weekend News Round-Up: Continued Discussion of Planned Parenthood

As anyone reading the U.S. news in recent days will know, the organization Planned Parenthood has remained in the news as the Republicans in Congress tacked a tea party-driven rider onto the negotiations about the federal budget, in a last-ditch effort to defund this organization that provides much-needed services to low-income women throughout the U.S.  I blogged some weeks back about this Republican initiative, and the disinformation (Planned Parenthood is predominantly about abortion, federal tax dollars go to the organization to pay for abortions, etc.) being used to garner support for the initiative among pro-life people of faith.   

As I noted, in my view, any reasonable and sustained pro-life ethic seems to me to demand that one do all one can to provide much-needed medical services to economically marginal women who are unlikely to have access to those services if Planned Parenthood funding is cut off.  And the vast bulk of Planned Parenthood's work is not the provision of abortion, but of other desperately-needed medical services.  Largely to poor women.

Some interesting commentary/news items that bring this story up to date, as the budget deal is made and the attempt to yank funding from Planned Parenthood fails--for now:

Lawrence O'Donnell comments with conviction at MSNBC on the ethical implications of blocking the access of poor women to Planned Parenthood's medical services, and on the lies being used by the religious and political right to sustain their crusade against Planned Parenthood;

And Senator John Kyl admits he was, well, spectacularly wrong, when he claimed in the debate about defunding Planned Parenthood that "well over 90% of what Planned Parenthood does" is to provide abortions;

And, predictably and to his discredit, Michael Sean Winters argues (as well as I can understand) that the Republicans may well be right about Planned Parenthood being mostly about abortion, and the Democrats ought seriously to consider using poor women's access to health care as a bargaining chip, and (by implication) real Catholics like MSW must have "deep reservations" about Planned Parenthood and its "worldview."

Something like that.  Winters is an ardent Democrat.  When he's not.  And when he's not is almost always--and predictably--when he insists that authentic, faithful Catholicism is to be defined as what the Republicans (and bishops in the Republicans' pocket) say and believe on issues of "life" and sexuality.

Whether what the "pro-life" party says has any factual basis or not.  Or much vital connection to Catholic social teaching or not.

No comments: