“People of faith are heartless” says one C.A. columnist
I am writing in regard to your column in the Commercial Appeal on Feb. 17th: “How can religious folk be so heartless?” (link to article below).
Considering the fact that people of faith statistically donate between 25-35% more of their money and time to charity* than their “non religious folk” counterparts, this is one of the first articles I have ever read where even the title is poorly reasoned.
But the twisted logic didn’t stop with the headline, so let’s examine the content in the rest of your article.
The entire premise that you advocate stems from your following statement:
“Only three percent of what Planned Parenthood does is abortion services, but to stop women from exercising that still-legal choice, the religious right will put at risk women’s health”
For starters, to put forth the notion that abortion is some tiny fraction and purely peripheral part of Planned Parenthood’s operation is at best sloppy journalism, and at worst a lie that you are comfortable repeating to score a cheap (and factually incorrect) point. The data that you are referencing comes from Planned Parenthood’s own “factsheet” and is based on a mathematical formula that equates every service as “equal”; thus one abortion is counted the same as handing out one condom.
That’s like listing Tom Brady’s occupation as a chef due to the fact that he cooked hundreds of meals last year while playing in only 16 football games.
Put another way- If you were to use the same methodology to chart your day, and in the course of your day you made 10 phone calls to friends, ate three meals, watched TV, brushed your teeth three times, and went to work (for a total of 18 events), would you say that work was 1/18th (or 5%) of your day? Of course not- yet that is exactly how that abortion figure quoted is calculated.
Here is the reality: nearly 15% of women who went to Planned Parenthood had an abortion; and that nearly 40% of the organization’s operational costs are the result of abortion services performed . Furthermore, Planned Parenthood is by far the largest single provider of abortions in the country, performing nearly a million of those in the last 3 years. 1 out every 4 abortions in the US are performed at Planned Parenthood. Given that those figures are inarguable, why do you feel the need to put forth that misleading “3%” figure out there unless you are intentionally trying to mislead people?
After the 3% headfake, you then begin an attempt to connect wanting to “put at risk women’s health” to cutting funding to Planned Parenthood? That may be one of the most laughable reaches I have ever seen. As I referenced earlier, the “religious right” that you want to demonize contribute much more to charitable organizations than do their counterparts on the left. A significant portion of those contributions go to things like breast cancer research, educational services for women, and women’s abuse shelters. So please tell me how that group is anti-women’s health?
Additionally, completely lost in your article is the fact that funding isn’t being cut for any women’s health related issues (in fact, federal funding for women’s health has been increasing for years)- funding for women’s health services is simply being reallocated to other health services institutions that are not abortion factories.
How you got so much wrong in one sentence is almost remarkable, and it would be laughable if the subject matter weren’t so serious. The manner in which you present this article is a disservice to the reader, no matter whether they are pro-life or pro-choice. I say that because when you base your argument on a lie, as you clearly did, you forgo the ability to have any rational debate on the issue. I don’t have any problem with your taking a partisan stance, but it is a betrayal to your calling into the profession of journalism when you ignore and/or slant incontrovertible truths in a column that you write strictly in order to promote an agenda.
My purpose for writing you is not to debate the abortion issue with you. I am sure that you have your opinion and I have mine, and it’s doubtful that either one of us are going to change each other’s minds. What I am taking issue with you today is the cowardly way you are hiding behind “women’s health” as pertains to Planned Parenthood’s funding. This Planned Parenthood issue isn’t about women’s health, or even the legality of abortion. It is about our tax dollars being used to fund abortions on demand, and whether that is a good use of federal resources for a country that is 15 trillion in debt? If you think that it is money well spent, fine, then just say so in an open and honest manner. Let’s have an honest debate about it with factual information and without resorting to name calling.
In summary: Wouldn’t we all be better served if we can have a frank discussion without the faulty accusations and innuendo like the ones in your article? As both a person of faith, and a staunch advocate for health related causes such as St. Jude, I soundly reject the notion that I and others like me are “heartless”.
As you said in an unrelated recent article: “The truth will set you free”. I agree… I just wish you would put those words into practice.