ThinkProgress has been documenting the push by radical anti-abortion groups to outlaw common forms of contraception, like birth control pills, based on the medically inaccurate view that they are equivalent to abortion.
More evidence (as if it were needed) that these fringe views are seeping into the conservative mainstream came at last week’s Faith and Freedom Conference in Washington, DC, which was attended by almost every GOP presidential candidate. Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the influential anti-abortion group the Susan B. Anthony List, made an extraordinary claim to defend her support for defunding Planned Parenthood: contraception, which Planned Parenthood provides, goes hand-in-hand with abortion.
During a Catholic activism panel she declared, “Every year that contraception and family planning increases, the abortion rate also increases in direct proportion. […] This is an undeniable fact.”
Watch it, courtesy of Faith in Public Life blog:
Despite her protestation, Dannenfelser’s claim flies in the face of common sense — and the facts. Increasing women’s access to safe, effective forms of contraception is the single best way to reduce the number of abortions. Birth control reduces the likelihood of unplanned, unwanted pregnancies.
Planned Parenthood spokesman Tait Sye correctly points out that maintaining funding for the group is actually the best thing lawmakers could do to prevent abortions: “Planned Parenthood, the largest provider of family planning, birth control, and sex education, does more than any other organization in the United States to help women avoid unintended pregnancies and reduce the need for abortion.” Faith in Public Life notes that Dannenfelser’s views “don’t have much relevance to the 99% of American women of child-bearing age who have used contraception or the 80% of self-identified pro-lifers who support access to contraception.”
Nevertheless, in an attempt to help congressional Republicans further eviscerate funding for Planned Parenthood, the Susan B. Anthony List recently launched a vicious ad campaign attacking the group through heavily edited video footage. SBA bought $90,000 worth of TV airtime in the DC-area market for the ads, which “depict Planned Parenthood as a profit-driven abortion factory with little concern for its low-income patients.”