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Forum, Sept. 25: Planned Parenthood vote based on lies

Published: 9/24/2021 9:59:58 PM
Modified: 9/24/2021 10:00:05 PM
Planned Parenthood vote based on lies

It’s appalling that New Hampshire Executive Councilor Joe Kenney and his fellow Republican councilors voted to defund Planned Parenthood on the basis of the misinformation Kenney and others are putting out there. I miss Mike Cryans’ honesty and integrity on the council.

The current Republican councilors’ repeated claims that money received by Planned Parenthood goes to funding abortions is false, and they all know it. By law, Planned Parenthood must keep money for abortions separate from all the other family health services it provides.

Here is a breakdown of the reasons patients visited Planned Parenthood of Northern New England offices (from the organization’s “2020 Annual Exam”):

■ 36.7% Family planning, contraception and counseling.

■ 30% Symptom visits.

■ 7.3% STD testing and treatment.

■ 7.2% Cancer screening, prevention and treatment.

■ 7% Abortion care (not necessarily abortion procedures).

■ 6.4% Other, counseling and lab testing.

■ 3.5% Transcare

■ 1.9% Pregnancy testing.

Stating and promulgating disinformation when it’s known to be untrue — and when the true information has been provided — constitutes lying, which has now spread from the top Republicans all the way down. For shame that it has become the GOP’s defining characteristic.

Truth-telling vs. lying should become a major issue in the next election, and campaigning Republicans should be bird-dogged at every appearance with documented examples of the misinformation and lies they’ve spread.



What Donald Trump’s true banner should say

Khalil Bendib’s editorial cartoon, featured in the Sept. 19 Sunday Valley News, depicts a figure wearing a MAGA hat and holding a banner that reads, “The Holy Church of Trump the Redeemer,” “Anti-Fact,” “Anti-Vax” and shows a likeness of Donald Trump, under a halo, with arms spread as if preaching or welcoming the faithful. To the right, a figure in a nurse’s uniform, and another who appears to represent President Joe Biden, are standing behind a table labeled “Federal Vaccine Mandate.” The nurse points with a syringe to the banner-bearer and says, “He’s claiming a religious exemption.”

I’m motivated to write because of what’s not on the Trump banner.

“Anti-Vax,” while a life-and-death, multi-faceted global dilemma, can include the earnest beliefs of people who fear COVID-19 vaccines, along with those who, like Trump, appear to use the COVID-19 vaccine to divide and conquer voters — not to help the voters, but for political power and the fringe benefits that can accrue with it.

“Anti-Fact” is vastly more serious. I’m aware of no case in history that supports lying, cheating or stealing as a means to make anything or anyone great, or great again, much less a nation of 300-odd million souls. False information leads to bad decisions, and bad decisions lead to bad policies. Because of our power and influence, bad U.S. policies affect everyone and everything on Earth.

Far more serious than even “Anti-Fact,” however, is something not on the banner: “Anti-American.”

Donald Trump’s behavior — which includes attempting to overturn an election, from the White House, no less, without offering any legitimate evidence challenging the results — has historically been, and remains, blatantly anti-American. And it goes far beyond complaint or protest. Trump violates not only our laws; protected by elected Republican officials, he threatens the functioning of our government. That trumps “Anti-Vax” and even “Anti-Fact.” To me, “Anti-American” is an appropriate Trump-banner headline.



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