The Corner

Culture

Planned Parenthood’s Scandal: A Few Points

First: Go read Mollie Hemingway’s dissection of Cecile Richards’s appearance on The Week yesterday. I think Stephanopoulous asked some good questions, but like Hemingway I think he should have called her on her outrageous description of the videos as coming from “the most militant wing of the anti-abortion movement that has been behind the bombing of clinics, the murder of doctors in their homes, and in their churches.”

Second: I suspect that Americans have associated Planned Parenthood with contraception more than they have associated it with abortion. That has been good for the organization’s image. (There’s a reason it promotes the misleading statistic that abortion makes up only 3 percent of its services.) Any time a story like this one gets coverage, even when that coverage is flawed (and even when Republican politicians fail to go on offense as much as pro-lifers would like), Planned Parenthood loses ground.

Third: Planned Parenthood defenders are upset that the critics keep saying that the organization was haggling over “baby parts.” That’s not accurate terminology, they complain. Fine: Let’s call them “parts of children” instead.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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