The Corner

Politics & Policy

Is Abortion ‘Health Care’? Activists Want It Both Ways.

Earlier this week, BuzzFeed News published an article (Ramesh noted it here in the Corner) about Planned Parenthood’s anxieties under the new administration. It included this quote, from Planned Parenthood chief Cecile Richards:

The stakes have become quite clear recently, and they’re very high. . . . The patients I talk to are terrified they’re going to lose their access to health care, and docs and clinicians are terrified that this Senate is going block the women with the least access to health care from getting any at all. subsequently tweeted out a summary of the piece under the headline: “Cecile Richards: If Planned Parenthood is Defunded We’re ‘Terrified’ Women Won’t be Able to Get Abortions.” I retweeted that, with a little quip attached, and my tweet went a bit viral.

Since then, several left-wing journalists and activist types — as well as the author of the original BuzzFeed story — have tweeted back that’s tweet misrepresented the original quote. What Richards said is that they were afraid of losing their “health care.”


Isn’t it Planned Parenthood’s own contention that abortion is “health care”? Doesn’t Planned Parenthood insist that to deprive women of the right to an abortion is to deprive them of their basic “reproductive rights”? In fact, isn’t Planned Parenthood so committed to this idea that they believe taxpayers should be forced to fund abortions — on the grounds that taxpayers fund other “basic health-care needs”?

Put another way: Wouldn’t it contradict what Cecile Richards has spent her adult life advocating to suggest that her understanding of “health care” excluded abortion?

Don’t get me wrong, though: If that is what’s happening, it’s extraordinarily welcome news.


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