Anti-choicers are out to replace Planned Parenthood with “clinics” that don’t offer birth control

Crossposted from

What Does Planned Parenthood Do?

A lot of very naive people hold a cherished illusion that the abortion debate can be solved through respectful dialog leading to a truce where the pro-choice side cedes ground on things like later term abortions and parental consent and the anti-abortion side agrees to stop opposing birth control and sex ed. This will lead to a glorious permanent state of first term abortion remaining legal while gradually fading away, as formerly irresponsible women (the trollops!) will have finally reined in their capricious behavior, upon realizing how serious a thing abortion is!

As I’ve exhaustively explained here too many times to count, the naive illusion ignores how those compromises on abortion are actually terrible and imperil real women* and how relentless the anti-choice movement is in its quest to return America to the legal climate of 1964, when it was still legal for states to ban birth control. Opponents to full reproductive rights of women are not interested in a compromise. They are interested in a solution. Theirs. And they are highly adept at exploiting how little average people know about how laws and public policies work, while expertly taking advantage every possible way to game the system in their favor. They have demonstrated this since 1976, when they convinced Congress to ban Medicaid funding of abortion (Hyde Amendment) on the absurd theory that taxpayers should not pay for abortions (as opposed to any other medical intervention). Subsequently, anti-choicers convinced sympathetic majorities in the Supreme Court to allow states to restrict abortion procedures on spurious medical grounds.

Anti-choice zealots have always hated birth control**, which is why the very notion of them being amenable to allowing it as a way to blunt the abortion war is simply a ludicrous proposition. A recent proposal for a “pro-life” replacement for Planned Parenthood makes this abundantly clear. In the wake of the bogus Planned Parenthood “secret video scandal!” right wing politicians and pundits have been pushing the line that there are “thousands” of clinics that offer the same health screening and contraceptive services to women minus providing abortion, thus Planned Parenthood isn’t necessary. (This is, of course, bullshit.)

Let’s have Amy Otto, who “is a senior contributor to The Federalist” and Luma Simms, who “is an author, writer, and mother of five who lives in Arizona” to explain exactly how anti-choicers intend to replace Planned Parenthood. After some obligatory maudlin yawping about how terrible Planned Parenthood is, Otto and Simms get down to how “pro-life” clinics can supplant Planned Parenthood:

Planned Parenthood has said that if they are defunded, many women would have nowhere to go for healthcare. There is a kernel of truth in that statement. Recently, Kathleen Eaton-Bravo, founder and CEO of Obria Medical Clinics (licensed care providers for girls and women), warned that Planned Parenthood is partially right: pro-life clinics could not handle the influx of women.

“Our competitor, Planned Parenthood, is well-organized and well-funded. In 40 years, the pro-life movement has yet to form an alliance of licensed pro-life medical clinics,” Eaton-Bravo said. We have a problem in the pro-life movement: pro-life medical clinics are fragmented and can’t compete with big abortion.

On July 30, National Review published a symposium addressing the question of women’s health in a post-Planned Parenthood era. The writers drew attention to pro-life medical clinics like Obria. Most agreed that, contra Planned Parenthood statements, there are pro-life options for women. One thing lacking among the answers is an alliance—a unified entity or two which has the organization and funding to stand up against Planned Parenthood.

That should totally be a good replacement for Planned Parenthood in every way except for abortion! Except, oh wait, (emphasis in bold):

As we continue the path toward defunding Planned Parenthood, pro-life alliances must be formed, coupled with the creation of full-service, licensed pro-life medical care clinics. One of Obria’s goals is to unite under one brand with other pro-life medical clinics across the country, in order to compete patient-for-patient with Planned Parenthood. Services would include pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, and the spectrum of well-women care, sans contraceptives and abortions.

Of course they oppose contraception. That’s a minor detail that I’m guessing they will spring on the girls and women they lure into their clinics well after they are through the intake process.

*Ugh. Read this prominent anti-choice advocate’s description of how the “life of the mother” exception should work, and ask yourself if you want someone like her in the position of authority of you or your loved one in the emergency room.

**Because it allows women to have sex without “consequences”, duh.