Crossposted from DemocraticDiva.com and retweeted by Mr. MacEachern himself.
So the other day I hauled out a Costco-sized jug of brain bleach and proceeded to read this Doug MacEachern column.
In terms of fundraising tactics, there is not a wit [sic] of difference between the National Rifle Association and, say, America’s premier abortion industry complex, Planned Parenthood.
Now, MacEachern would like everyone to think he’s a world-weary scribe, merely pursuing objective truth on the subject of abortion. He recently sniffed that people shouldn’t describe him as “anti-choice” since he hasn’t stated his position on abortion. However (and protip to Doug), using the phrase “America’s premier abortion industry complex” about Planned Parenthood without even sparing, say, a concomitant “America’s top gun shilling edifice” about the NRA, kind of gives his game away.
I pointed this out to a liberal political-activist friend who had tweeted some charts depicting abortion rights as under siege, especially in certain states deemed “extremely hostile” to abortion rights.
With its alarming “extremely hostile” language and its fire-orange graphics, Guttmacher, simply, is doing what big, constitutionally protected, single-issue advocacy groups do, which is to maintain a sense of dread among supporters that the barbarians are at the gates and only big contributions from people like you will fend them off.
Nothing against the folks at Guttmacher, mind you. As numbers-crunchers working on behalf of big special-interest groups go, they are known to be pretty accurate, usually. But that doesn’t mean Guttmacher’s propaganda shop can’t over-hype those numbers to ply the emotions of potential contributors to the (ahem) mother-ship, Planned Parenthood.
This may be MacEachern’s (ahem) way of reminding you that Planned Parenthood is an organization dedicated to getting women out of their obligation to be mothers. He’s also trying to affect a rakishly humorous tone about all this so as to, again, drive home the point that Doug MacEachern is NOT the anti-choice fuddy duddy he’s been made out to be. This is an endeavor he fails miserably at since Doug MacEarchern does, in fact, come off as every bit of a cranky old fussypants anti-choicer.
As a threat to an American woman’s right to have an abortion at pretty nearly any stage in gestation (and, perhaps, beyond), the raw total of pro-life laws passed by presumably conservative legislatures means a lot less than Guttmacher wants you to believe it means.
MacEachern, as a columnist for the paper of record for Greater Phoenix, should try a newfangled profession called journalism some time. Abortion has never been legal “at pretty nearly every stage in gestation”, let alone “perhaps, beyond”. But he won’t be bothered with that since he’d prefer simply to distrust women with their own reproduction a priori. That’s much easier and it allows him to keep writing these pathetic excuses for op-eds.
Abortion, need we observe, is a constitutionally protected act, and every single one of those 231 restrictions can be expected to have to pass through a legal strainer that, despite protestations of activists, does not allow much pro-life wiggle room. Some of those 231 laws get struck down by courts. Some are so marginally effective that they scarcely register a statistically meaningful blip on the abortion-rights radar screen. Allowing states to perform unannounced investigations of abortion centers for health-code violations is a threat to abortion rights only if you’re cool with this guy’s shop-keeping practices.
Translation: Doug MacEachern will never need an abortion and is completely uninterested in learning how these hundreds of new restrictions actually impact women seeking abortion care. That would get in the way of him grousing about kids these days and lazily repeating right wing talking points. Of course he linked to a story about Kermit Gosnell, who has become the ghoul invoked to shut down discussion over abortion hurdles passed under the guise of “safety”. “What, you don’t think women should have to swim through an alligator-infested moat to get to the abortion clinic? Why, you must be a fan of Kermit Gosnell!!” It’s so tedious. And it’s not a stretch to describe what women trying to enter abortion clinics often encounter as hostility, to use the term that MacEachern mocks derisively.
MacEachern gets back to the NRA by making the risible false equivalence argument that since guns are so plentiful, despite the non-stop bleating of the NRA about oppressive gun regulations, that the same must be true about abortion.
…The NRA has argued since former Arizona Attorney General Bob Corbin was president that the U.S. is swimming in gun-restricting laws. Charlton Heston, as NRA president, did too.
The claim has more than a few holes in it, not the least of which is that if law-abiding Americans were so suffocated by gun laws, there wouldn’t be quite so many of them, now would there? Corbin himself argued against new gun restrictions all the time as Arizona AG using that stat, which, really, is just as meaningless as Guttmacher’s 231 new anti-abortion laws. Maybe there are laws out there that seriously and unconstitutionally limit a citizen’s right to bear arms, but the sum total of laws only very rarely has bearing on that right.
Again, Doug isn’t bothered with such trifles as “research” or “journalism” or else he’d know that it’s a helluva lot easier to get a gun than an abortion in places like Texas and Arizona. Plus, most of the women affected by the new laws that are closing clinics all over the place (and driving the overall cost of abortion so high that the black market may seem to be a better option) are poor women. As I’ve noted in a previous post, the women in Doug MacEachern’s family will most likely be able to get safe abortion care no matter what, allowing Doug to confidently taunt the women who will be harmed by anti-choice laws and the pro-choice people seeking to undo the harm.
Also, too, he’s creepy as all hell about it, hence the brain bleach.