An insider’s account of Planned Parenthood’s 2012 campaign
WASHINGTON, D.C., December 6, 2012, (National Right to Life News)—Three weeks ago we wrote about an EMILY’s List post-election analysis panel in which PPFA essentially claimed credit for Obama’s re-election. How? By having “kep[t] Independent women scared long enough about Romney’s agenda for Obama to win them over,” in the words of Paul Bedard, who writes the “Washington Secrets” column. (EMILY’s List is a high-powered PAC that funnels money exclusively to female Democrats who are the pro-est of pro-abortionists.)
A follow up story today by Sarah Kliff of The Washington Post, “Inside Planned Parenthood’s campaign strategy,” fills in many of the details. It makes for fascinating reading.
The thesis is that Planned Parenthood defeated Mitt Romney “with a two-pronged strategy,” according to Kliff. “First, it turned Mitt Romney’s words against him. Then the group used algorithms to identify a group of 1 million female voters, largely in swing states, who were particularly receptive to the group’s message.”
You have to read the article carefully, both because Kliff has what appears to be carte blanche access to major pro-abortion organization and because “turn[ing] Mitt Romney’s words against him” really means distorting and exaggerating virtually everything he had to say on subjects dear to PPFA and kindred pro-abortion organizations.
Why was that important? We read in Kliff’s story:
“Women did not know about Romney’s position on women’s health,” says Molly O’Rourke of Democratic polling firm Hart Research, who worked on those groups. “To the extent they made a guess, there were a lot of wrong assumptions. They knew him as a businessman and not particularly strong on these issues.”
So, while Planned Parenthood Action Fund seriously misrepresented Romney’s position on abortion, they also took great liberties with his position on funding PPFA. Quoting Romney as saying, “I’ll cut off funding for Planned Parenthood. We’re going to get rid of that” was intended to leave the clear impression that Romney was after the organization, rather than making the case that the largest abortion provider in the United States ought not to receive federal funds.
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You can agree or disagree with either or both, but it was grossly unfair to conflate them.
The remainder of the story is PPFA’s account of how much money it and other pro-abortion organizations spent (Planned Parenthood Action Fund spent $15 million, more than triple what it spent in 2008), and its strategy for targeting women it thought would be sympathetic.
It focused on several swing states, according to Kliff, including Virginia. “If you were among the women in that group who lived in Virginia, you received five pieces of direct mail and dozens of phone calls. You would get visits from canvassers, who might hand you a folded-up brochure, styled to look like a pocketbook, that told you Mitt Romney could cost you $407,000 over your lifetime by not supporting no co-pay birth control or equal pay legislation.”
Kliff focuses attention on how PPFA manipulated what she describes as ObamaCare’s “requirement that all employers include contraceptive coverage in their insurance.” The evil genius of that twisted initiative reminds you of how they misrepresented Romney’s position on abortion (and, for that matter, the Republican Party’s abortion platform plank). Romney’s position listed exceptions for abortion in the cases of life of mother, rape, and incest, although you’d never know it by PPFA’s advertising.
Likewise, Romney’s position on the ObamaCare mandate. You’ll remember that in August, 2011, the administration issued a decree covering all FDA-approved birth control methods – a mandate that, unless overturned, will produce an irreconcilable conflict between conscience and the coercive force of government for many employers. This has been strongly characterized as an attack on fundamental religious liberties by the U.S. Catholic bishops, the Southern Baptist Convention, the National Association of Evangelicals, the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, and the leaders of many other religious bodies.
It was that infringement that Romney opposed. In a speech delivered in Ohio in July, Romney said:
Religious liberty… [is the] first freedom of those enumerated in the Bill of Rights. And the president and his administration said they are going to usurp your religious freedom by demanding that you provide products to your employees, if you’re the Catholic Church, that violates your own conscience.
And so whether it’s a Catholic businessperson or the Catholic Church itself they’re being told what they have to do that violates their religious conscience. That attack on religious freedom I think is a dangerous and unfortunate precedent. And I know we’re not all Catholic in this room. Many presumably are. But I feel that we’re all Catholic today.
In our battle to preserve religious freedom and tolerance and freedom in this country, it is essential for us to push back against that.
The flipside of the Kliff/PP Action Fund account (and not mentioned) is that at the same time Planned Parenthood was distorting Romney’s positions, the major media was absolutely silent on the genuine abortion radical: President Obama. How often does CNN, or the New York Times, or The Washington Post, call him to account for his never-enough-abortions position? Never!
The Abortion Establishment’s boatload of money and free-wheeling (and wholly inaccurate) rendition of Mr. Romney’s positions was greatly augmented by the Media Establishment which wanted Mr. Obama re-elected. For all the effort Planned Parenthood and its allies put forth, without the cover provided by the “mainstream media,” their effort might all have been for naught.
Reprinted from National Right to Life News.
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