I’m writing to offer a counter viewpoint to Lyz Lenz’s August 25 column (“I’ve been to Planned Parenthood Twice.”)
For women looking for health care today, especially in situations such as the ones Lyz found herself in, Iowa has approximately 157 better health care alternatives to Planned Parenthood in Iowa. The facilities’ names are available on the Coalition of Pro-Life Leaders website (www.shesababy.com). The reference list gives the name, address, phone number and information about whether each place provides STD testing, cervical cancer testing, mammograms/breast cancer screening, etc.
Lenz’s piece reminded me of the children’s story, “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” In it, thieves masqueraded as royal tailors, convincing the emperor and his court that they were crafting some of the most beautiful, elaborate royal clothing and that the only ones who could not see that clothing were those too ignorant to see it. They were, of course, swindling the emperor out of great amounts of money for the fantastic new clothing they were fashioning for him. Although he could not see the clothes himself, and not wanting to admit that he might be too ignorant to see them, he just pretended to see them. The large masses of people who had not been intimidated and manipulated into thinking otherwise knew and saw the naked truth. He was indeed wearing no clothes.
In her piece, Lenz displays either an ignorance of or a conscious decision to deny the humanity of unborn babies by stating, “It’s easy to rally around the supposed loss of the lives of fetuses” and by concluding, “but we have to care about all people, not just the hypothetical ones.” Babies in the womb are not hypothetical people, they are humans. Science itself has affirmed that human life begins at fertilization. Pro-choice advocates who disregard that reality only serve to weaken the pro-choice view.
Using the propaganda of dehumanizing “inconvenient” people and manipulating language to conceal inconvenient truths has historically been employed by the powerful to exploit those who are not. Planned Parenthood has mastered both of these strategies, as can be seen simply by examining the name “Planned Parenthood” and examining Lenz’s writing. “Planned Parenthood” would imply that the organization somehow helps people plan how to become parents. However, Planned Parenthood is in the business of helping people avoid parenthood through the sale of contraceptives, abortifacients, and surgical abortions.
In Lenz’s piece she states, “I never saw murder, what I saw was care.” Sadly, many have allowed themselves to be desensitized and duped, just like the emperor in the story, into denying the reality of Planned Parenthood’s lucrative abortion industry simply because it is hidden from their sight within the walls of an adjacent room and hidden from conversation through the use of clever semantics. In similar fashion, Lenz claimed, “This week Planned Parenthood was bullied out of the Title X grant program.” Planned Parenthood voluntarily left the program because it was and is unwilling to provide those who qualify for Title X with health care if it is no longer allowed to exploit those women (and their unborn babies) in order to generate greater revenue by selling them abortion services.
In the past, Planned Parenthood has touted its “other” women’s health care services to distract people from and help justify its abortion services. If Planned Parenthood’s top priority really was providing health care to some of the most vulnerable people in our society, it would comply with the new Title X rules and stop selling abortions. But Planned Parenthood chose not to do so. And that is the naked truth.
DeAnn Strayer lives in Iowa City.