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Mike Huckabee And Abby Johnson Smear Planned Parenthood With Anti-Choice Talking Points

Reported by Priscilla - November 15, 2009 -

When Fox Opinion News has a conservative Republican position which it seeks to convey, it frequently reinforces the message by covering the topic on more than one show. The conservative, right wing is anti-choice; so, as the go to network for the conservative, right wing, Fox Opinion News provides warm comfort to anybody with an anti-choice message – particularly if that message can serve to denigrate Planned Parenthood which is figuratively and literally in the “cross hairs” of the religious right. So it wasn’t surprising that Abby Johnson, equipped with a shiny, new halo as a result of abandoning her pro-choice and Planned Parenthood positions, would be featured on two Fox opinion shows. I reported on Bill O’Reilly’s non confrontational (she’s doing “the Lord’s work”) interview with Abby Johnson – an interview which, in not really asking the hardball questions, provided affirmation and validation for the abortion/Planned Parenthood meme of the religious right. But he wasn’t the only pulpit from which Johnson could preach her anti-choice gospel. Last Saturday (November 7th), anti choice Fox TV host and candidate for the 2012 presidential race, Mike Huckabee, gave Abby his pastoral blessing and in so doing reinforced his political pro life bona fides for his audience – or is it his constituency?

As in the O’Reilly interview, Johnson told the same story about the ultrasound abortion which caused her “conversion” shortly after. Huckabee wasted no time in disparaging Planned Parenthood which had provided him with a statement about their comprehensive services and how 90% of their function is devoted to “preventative care.” Naturally, this goes against the meme that Planned Parenthood is an “abortion mill;” the profits of which allows Planned Parenthood executives to eat caviar, on their private yachts, off the coast of France. Straight out of the anti choice book of talking points Huckabee claimed: “Abby, my honest assessment of that statement is they do prevent some things. They prevent birth, not illnesses. There’s no illness involved in a pregnancy. Illness means you're sick. You're not sick when you're having a baby.” (Excuse me, Minister Huckabee, but what the you-know-what do you call dispensing contraception, providing mammograms and pap smears, HIV/STD prevention workshops for youth groups, reproductive health care to the minority community, etc. And you really should stick to preaching because you don’t know jack about women’s health care. If you did you’d know that there are problem pregnancies that that can result in a women’s death – such as ectopic pregnancies and preclampsia. Then there’s the whole issue of a woman carrying a seriously medically compromised fetus…) Johnson claimed, as she did on O’Reilly, that Planned Parenthood’s goal is to “make money.” (She didn’t mention that it’s a non profit which funnels its “profits” back to its cost of doing business). Abby then launched into her scripted story of how the ultrasound “baby” was “trying to get away from the probe.” She went on: “I thought, "It's fighting for its life." And I thought, "It’s life, I mean, it's alive…Oh, my gosh, make it stop…what am I doing here…” (Get out yer hankies!) Huckabee provided another talking point when he remarked that what was under Johnson’s hand, during the ultrasound, “was life and now it’s gone.” After Johnson told him that the patient did not see the ultrasound, Huckabee added “I can't help but believe if they saw that they might be running out of those clinics.” Johnson reinforced his comment with more anti choice rhetoric: “If clinic workers saw what was happening on that screen, they would be running out of those clinics. This is what the abortion industry does not want their workers to see…” Considering that Johnson had been the director of Planned Parenthood for 8 years, where ultrasounds were routine, Huckabee made this ludicrous statement: “You were the executive director of that Planned Parenthood clinic, and yet, really you didn't know what was going on back in those back rooms.” He finished up with a rhetorical flourish that was a shout-out to the anti-choice movement and an unabashed proclamation of his “pro-life” creds: “I wish Planned Parenthood would put a restraining order on themselves and stop the horrible procedures that they're doing every day.”

Comment: Huckabee’s sermonette couldn’t have been any more obvious. Despite the information being readily available, he didn’t ask any questions about the harassment which Johnson endured from the mob that are now her new BFF’s. He just allowed her to spout her anti choice message which he affirmed with the anti-choice myth that “abortion isn’t health care.” But it isn’t surprising given that Mike Huckabee is a radical anti choice zealot who equates abortion with slavery and supports a “human life amendment” to the US Constitution. He seeks to criminalize abortion providers and in so doing bring us back to the “good old days” of women dying as a result of botched back alley abortions. He wouldn’t punish women because “they are a victim” – a misogynist position which suggests that women are just too stupid to know what’s best for them – a position that puts the government between a woman and her gynecologist. But it’s just great to see how he’s using his position on Fox Opinion News to promote his narrow worldview which more than “saving babies” is garnering more votes for Mike Huckabee. Oh, praise the Lord and Fox News.