Criticize Sarah Palin’s stance on Planned Parenthood
Tina Fey’s spot-on impression of former Governor Sarah Palin on the Jan. 23 episode of “Saturday Night Live” highlighted three main things about Palin. First, she has the potential to be an amazing freestyle rapper if politics doesn’t work out. How brilliant was “right wingin’ bitter clingin’ proud clingers of our guns our God and our religions”? Second, she knows exactly how to stir the American public: mentioning ISIS and promising to kick ass.
Third, she supports defunding Planned Parenthood. This, Palin has made clear multiple times on air and through media, but the instance which sparked the most controversy involved a post on Palin’s official Facebook account: an image posted on July 26, 2015, which juxtaposed the Planned Parenthood logo with the Confederate flag. The caption read, “Which killed 90,000 black babies last year?” and included #DefundPlannedParenthood. Comparing the racist and outdated ideals associated with the Confederate flag to a health organization is bad enough, but Palin went on to further embarrass herself on the “O’Reilly Factor” shortly after on July 29, 2015, when she discussed the image and her full thoughts on the matter: “This outrage over the flag … but where is … the outcry over innocent human life?” Yes, because a hateful symbol does not jeopardize the lives of anyone.
Palin is an avid Trump supporter, or “Trumpeter,” as she likes to call it — and the feeling seems mutual, as Trump has publicly praised her as well. On July 27, 2015, on “Mama Grizzly Radio,” Trump said he would love to have Palin in his cabinet. He later went on to say, “She really is somebody who knows what’s happening and she’s a special person.”
Having expressed his desire to work with Palin, her tasteless comments on Planned Parenthood and race now reflect upon Donald Trump as well, even though he recently recanted his previous stance to defund the organization. Trump defended the organization in an Aug. 11, 2015 interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity: “A lot of women are helped, so we have to look at the positives for Planned Parenthood.” Despite this change of heart, by accepting Sarah Palin and her anti-choice ideals, he is no better than those wanting to defund the organization.
According to an Aug. 4, 2015 Washington Post article, all of the approximate 500 million dollars that Planned Parenthood receives from the government fund everything but abortion services; abortion funds instead come from private donors. For once, Trump is right: Planned Parenthood actually does help women. According to the organization’s mission statement, it provides “comprehensive reproductive and complementary health care services,” as well as “educational programs which enhance understanding … of human sexuality” while promoting “research … in reproductive health care.”
In other words, Planned Parenthood provides basic health services to women who might not otherwise have access to them. According to their 2014 to 2015 annual report, over 600,000 Pap smears and breast exams were performed, and over 2 million birth control services were provided. Many of these services — such as Pap smears and breast exams — are vital to female health. Yes, these are the services that Donald Trump supports, but by standing along with individuals like Palin, his own beliefs are being compromised, and he isn’t trying to sway the opinion of others that the organization is not entirely negative.
Palin and other conservatives that use abortion as justification to defund Planned Parenthood choose to ignore that only about three percent of its services are actually abortions, according to Planned Parenthood’s 2014 to 2015 report.
On the O’Reilly Factor, Palin argued that minorities are being targeted by the growing presence of Planned Parenthood locations in minority neighborhoods. In her words, “Planned Parenthood is in the business of finding targets … 80 percent of Planned Parenthood ‘shops’ are in minority neighborhoods … They have too many people deceived.” In this, Palin tries to argue that minority lives are being threatened because minority women are being “pressured” into having abortions. Rather than viewing it as targeted abortion, however, Palin and others should view this concentration of clinics as community outreach. By placing more clinics in minority neighborhoods, Planned Parenthood provides women with services they might not have had otherwise due to more limited incomes or opportunities.
Palin’s selective advocacy for minorities is quite ironic; she uses race as a means of trying to condemn Planned Parenthood yet denies that the Confederate flag still qualifies as a symbol of hatred. As she explained on the “O’Reilly Factor,” she reposted the controversial image in order to criticize Americans’ priorities — implying that she believes defunding an organization which performs abortions 3 percent of the time is more important than protecting black lives. Palin considers Planned Parenthood more of a threat to everyone — especially minorities — than institutionalized, deep-rooted racism. This belief defies logic. Maybe Governor Palin should set politics aside and focus on her job as a talk show host.