Stop the Presses! Right winger says, Planned Parenthood not the root of all evil

by David Safier

We're seeing more and more cracks in the seemingly monolithic right wing as it starts flexing its crazy-base muscles in Congress and state legislatures.

Latest example. Richard Mellon Scaife, who has used his billions to help create the think tanks which have fueled the Scream Machine (I'm sure he kicked a few bucks into right wing candidates' campaigns as well) says, don't go after Planned Parenthood. In an op ed Scaife writes, Planned Parenthood does more than furnish abortions.

[T]he Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives — urged on by conservatives opposed to abortion — has voted to defund Planned Parenthood.

On this issue, Republicans and conservatives are dead wrong.

Abortions are a minor aspect of Planned Parenthood's mission to provide reproductive health care, education and other services to Americans, regardless of income.

More than 90 percent of its work focuses on preventing unintended pregnancies that almost inevitably lead to unwanted, neglected and abused children.

[snip]

If not for Margaret Sanger's vision and bravery, many poor Americans would have no place to turn for birth-control measures and counseling or for other health-care services.

To take that away makes no sense.

Why did Scaife all of a sudden turn so sane and thoughtful on this one issue? Here, I think, is the reason. At the beginning of the op ed, he writes, "My grandmother was a friend and a supporter of Margaret Sanger." Aha! Not only that, he met and liked Sanger, even though he didn't entirely agree with her.

Once again, a conservative has his one "progressive" moment in an area where he has some personal experience. You'll find conservative legislators advocating for more autism research — if they have an autistic son — or more breast cancer research — if their mother died of breast cancer — or . . . But why go on? The point is, conservative ideology is all about limited self interest, and most conservatives have one "progressive" issue which they can understand because it has had an impact on their lives. Put a hundred conservatives in a room, and you can make one progressive by taking a "cause I believe in" from each one of them.

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