Planned Parenthood Urges 'Talking Turkey' on Abortion Over the Holiday Table

December 16th, 2011 11:34 AM

Planned Parenthood’s New York City affiliate has posted an article telling visitors to its Web site how to successfully discuss abortion around the “holiday table.”

The article, “Talking Turkey: 8 Easy Steps for Discussing Reproductive Health and Justice at the Holiday Table,” also includes a quiz to help people prepare for “touchy questions about your politics over the dinner table.”

Planned Parenthood posted the article ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. It begins by warning readers about pro-life relatives.

“The holidays are upon us!” the article begins. “Going home or getting together with relatives for the holidays is always a stressful time, but if your family members are the type who regularly protest outside the local Planned Parenthood, you know that this holiday is going to be a doozy.”

“Luckily, we have some tips for surviving those awkward conversations,” the article states. “So read on, and bring some diplomacy and understanding to the table along with that pumpkin pie.”

The eight tips range from “Avoid Bumper Sticker Talk,” telling readers to “steer clear of catchall phrases,” to “Know Your Facts, But Keep the Conversation More Global.” The latter states that while it is good to “clarify misinformation,” including that emergency contraception ends a pregnancy, it is often more fruitful to discuss the broader “value” of Planned Parenthood.

A tip on the Web site tells readers how to recognize “a question that isn’t a real question,” and how to respond.

Question: “I don’t want my tax dollars going toward abortions.

Response: “Actually, because of the Hyde Amendment, tax dollars can’t go toward supporting abortion. But I do believe that everyone deserves access to basic, preventive reproductive care, and that it’s important we support those services. No one should ever have to choose between paying rent and buying birth control.”

The Hyde Amendment prevents federal dollars from paying for abortions in the United States except in the cases of rape, incest, or when the mother’s life is in danger.

Tip No. 8 on the Web site urges people to “practice” discussing abortion over the holidays by using sample questions and answers provided by Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the United States.

The quiz consists of five multiple choice questions with the “right” answer reflecting what the preceding article states.

One question asks what one should say to “cousin Charlie” when he asks if abortion ends a life.

The “correct” answer is A – “Well Charlie, the decision about whether or not you’re ready to become a parent is a very important one, and that’s why I think everybody should have a chance to become a parent only when they’re ready.”

Question 4 is about legislation in Mississippi that would have amended the state’s constitution to give unborn children status as a person with the same protections granted all citizens.  If people express disappointment about the measure failing, one should say the legislation was “too extreme,” according to Planned Parenthood.

The final question touts the benefit of sex education and maligns “abstinence only classes.” The “correct” answer states that “comprehensive sex education” helps young people “delay first sexual conduct.”

If a reader does not pick the “right” answers, the advice is given at the conclusion of the quiz to review Planned Parenthood’s guide “pronto” so you do not alienate people and can “win some allies over to your side.”