Mother Jones Writer: Some Liberals Afraid Planned Parenthood Might Be in for a ‘Full-On ACORNing’

The Brooklyn birth-control clinic to which Planned Parenthood traces its roots opened in the fall of 1916, but according to Molly Redden of Mother Jones, there’s concern on the left that the two recent so-called sting videos have damaged PP’s reputation to the point that the organization might not even be around for its hundredth anniversary.

“That Planned Parenthood is the target of a withering attack by anti-abortion activists is no surprise,” wrote Redden in a Thursday piece. “But this time seems different, with some of Planned Parenthood's strongest allies drawing nervous comparisons to the 2009 sting operation that destroyed” ACORN. Redden contended that the videos have taken the focus from PP the “critical women's health care provider” and instead made it “seem like a sinister outfit that profits wildly from abortion.”

From Redden's article (bolding added):

That Planned Parenthood is the target of a withering attack by anti-abortion activists is no surprise -- they have been at war for years. But this time seems different, with some of Planned Parenthood's strongest allies drawing nervous comparisons to the 2009 sting operation that destroyed the community organizing group [ACORN]…

Several states have cut funds to Planned Parenthood as conservatives took control of legislatures. But in Congress, as long as Planned Parenthood's status as the nation's largest abortion provider was secondary to its reputation as a critical women's health care provider, attacks on the group have been politically risky for a GOP that fears for its status among female voters.

These new sting videos, however, pose a different kind of crisis for Planned Parenthood…[They] make Planned Parenthood seem like a sinister outfit that profits wildly from abortion…

…[T]here are moments in the videos when [Planned Parenthood executives] describe in frank detail the use of fetal organs and body parts. These portions of the video invoke images of "late-term" abortion—a political, not medical term that anti-abortion activists use as a catch-all phrase to describe abortions that take place after fetuses start to "look like babies." Nothing is more controversial in American abortion politics. A majority of voters consistently support a right to abortion early in a woman's pregnancy, but when the question comes to second- and third-trimester procedures, those same voters become increasingly hostile to abortion rights.

Planned Parenthood's allies have sensed that these videos have more resonance than past attacks. Compared with past attacks on the group, its supporters have been more muted…

Republican leaders in both houses of Congress, meanwhile, are once again contemplating measures to strip the group's federal funding, even at the risk of shutting down the government…

A congressional push to defund Planned Parenthood would likely not result in the organization's complete collapse, and would probably only focus on the group's Title X funding, a federal family planning grant program that makes up 10 percent of the group's federal support. The rest of its federal funding comes from Medicaid…But Planned Parenthood allies are already fearful that this is the start of a full-on ACORNing. Earlier this week, Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.) said that the videos "give us a window into the soul of the big abortion industry." If the public comes to believe her, it could spell disaster for the largest women's health care network in the country.

Culture/Society Health Care ACORN Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Pro-choicers Pro-lifers Abortion Birth Control Mother Jones Planned Parenthood


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