ACORNing Planned Parenthood (Another Battle in Our Neverending Abortion War):
As ever, we should look to animals to explain our destructive human behavior. There's one of those cool nature snuff videos that involves an anaconda. The gigantic fucking snake is hungry and, holy shit, look over there at the edge of the river: it's a happy family of capybaras. The capybara is just about the most adorable cross between a rat and a schnauzer that you're ever gonna see. Seriously, it's one cute motherfucker and it just wants to be left alone to prance with other capybaras and eat weeds. The anaconda, though, is a relentless prick. It stealthily stalks the furry prey through the water and mud until the freaked mammals start to run. Then the anaconda grabs one capybara and just squeezes the shit out of it. It wraps its massive body around and kills the fuck out of the capybara. And then, well, what the hell do you think? It's an anaconda. It swallows the capybara whole and, for all practical purposes, sits there engorged until it's time to kill the fuck out of something else. All that's left of the cute capybara is bony snake shit.
If you think about it, it's like the Republicans' approach to destroying entities it deems "bad." ACORN? Stalked, squeezed, swallowed, with "community organizing" and "voter registration drives" becoming shorthand for "evil." Teachers' unions? The stalking is done, the squeezing has begun. The same could be said for the right's war on Planned Parenthood. The women's health organization has become the freshest prey in the water, and, since it's the easiest way to appease their evangelical minions, Republicans are going after Planned Parenthood and abortion rights with a hunger that'd make the anaconda say, "C'mon, guys, don't be pigs. One capybara at a time."
So Republican Congressman Cliff Stearns of Florida (motto: "Come for our beaches; run from our GOP"), chair of some goddamned subcommittee, is launching an investigation of PPFA to make absolutely, positively certain that not a penny of your precious Afghan-killing, oil-corporation-subsidizing tax dollars is being used on a single drop of antibacterial soap in a space where abortions are performed. This fine use of your taxpayer dollars is occurring despite the fact that Planned Parenthood has to be audited yearly to ensure the very thing that Stearns has put on his Encyclopedia Brown hat over.
On and on this attack on women's rights continues, with the ACORN-ing of Planned Parenthood and beyond. Virginia just joined Kansas in requiring clinics where abortions occur (including just drug-induced ones) adhere to strict standards generally meant for places where brain surgery happens. The Virginia regulations are particularly odious because they allow state investigators to "enter a clinic to inspect at any time without notice to examine patient medical records, gather a list of current patients, and interview patients on site." You got that? Think about that standard existing for any other medical procedure. Like, say, vasectomies, which are invasive procedures often done in non-hospital settings: "Pardon me, sir, you just got your balls sliced. Can I ask you if you feel depressed now with that ice pack on your groin?"
It's absurd, and it's the stealth destruction of abortion access in this country. Right now, only 13% of the counties in America have abortion providers (and the number is declining rapidly). Right now, state after state, like Ohio and South Dakota, has come up with ways to cut off access to a legal medical procedure. Right now, Mississippi and other states are trying to have "personhood" amendments put in their state constitutions as a way of ending all legal abortions.
Yes, the economy sucks. Yes, there needs to be jobs programs. Yes, corporate money needs to be chased out of the political system. All that is true. But as we seek more rights and justice, we need to be sure we don't forget the rights that we thought we had won. Ask ACORN, which for years brought minority voters into the political process and worked to get poor people housing. Swallowed. Shit out. Now voting rights in general are under attack.
Planned Parenthood is in the squeeze. And that goddamned anaconda ain't gonna stop until the last breath is taken.