Salon’s Amanda Marcotte recently sat down for a conversation with Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s Alencia Johnson to talk about Planned Parenthood’s strategy for 2017.
Spokesperson Johnson said in light of the new strongly pro-life Trump administration, Planned Parenthood is gearing up for “the fight of our lives.” This statement is ironic, considering it is a well known fact that Planned Parenthood fights to continue to take the lives of more than 300,000 preborn babies annually — one every 97 seconds, actually:
“Access to health care is a fundamental right,” Johnson says in the beginning of the Marcotte interview clip. “Access to health care is that bridge between where you are now and opportunity. We are fighting back in Congress… of course we are planning for the fight of our lives, but it’s also in Trump’s administration picks.” (“Health care” is a term that has unfortunately been hijacked by abortion proponents to mean “abortion” instead of actual health care.)
“And that’s why, uhh, Tom Price [Trump’s nominee to head the Department of Health and Human Services] is so extremely scary because he does have that authority to make changes to the healthcare law,” Johnson added.
If Alencia Johnson and Planned Parenthood’s other representatives are truly concerned about women’s access to healthcare, perhaps they should address that with Planned Parenthood itself. After all, the organization’s legitimate health services for women (like STD testing and pap smears) continue to decline even as their abortions increase.
Still, it’s easy to see why Planned Parenthood finds Price “scary.” Since 2011, Rep. Tom Price has advocated for prohibiting federal funding for Planned Parenthood. Live Action News has previously noted that Price is a longtime advocate of cutting federal funding of abortion. According to the National Right to Life Committee, Rep. Price has voted pro-life 100% of the time during his time in Congress. The Susan B. Anthony List has also awarded Rep. Price a 100% pro-life rating. In April of 2005, he voted in favor of restricting interstate transport of minors to get abortions. In May of the same year, he voted against allowing human embryonic stem cell research.
Several pro-abortion groups have spoken out against Trump’s decision to nominate Price. In an article for Rewire, Ally Boguhn wrote a piece attacking Price, labeling him as an “entirely unfit, anti-choice” congressman. Debra Ness, President of the pro-abortion group National Partnership for Women & Families, said in a statement:
We are extremely disappointed with President-elect Trump’s nomination of Rep. Tom Price–a vocal and staunch opponent of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), reproductive rights and efforts to improve women’s health–to serve as secretary of HHS.
In her interview with Marcotte, Alencia Johnson didn’t miss a chance to push the fear narrative regarding what Price’s nomination might mean for women: “It’s very real and dangerous for Republicans to say [women] can go somewhere else, when there literally is nowhere else to go,” she stated emphatically. “Some places we [Planned Parenthood] are the only healthcare provider in miles.”
But Johnson’s claim is, at best, misleading. Just take a look at this map of health care providers which offer a full range of health services for women and their families (minus abortion, which isn’t true health care):
As of the summer of 2015, the Daily Signal detailed that there were 665 Planned Parenthood facilities and 13,540 alternative health care centers, meaning that for every Planned Parenthood facility there are twenty comprehensive health care centers.
Women have plenty of real choices for actual healthcare without Planned Parenthood.