The Planned Parenthood Hearing That Made America Dumber

One of the main things we learned at yesterday's House Judiciary Committee hearing on the non-crimes that Planned Parenthood never committed was that 1977 was a really shitty year to get a late-term abortion. Two of the witnesses were "abortion survivors." That is, their mothers attempted to abort them sometime in their 7th-8th months of pregnancy in 1977, and, because they were so far along, they were given a saline solution so that an induction abortion could occur. Less than 1% of all abortions are done by this method, and, in fact, only 1.2% of all abortions take place after 20 weeks. The number after 30 or more weeks is almost none.

One of the women, Melissa Ohden, claimed that her mother was forced to have an abortion by her grandmother, which is the complete opposite of pro-choice. Her mother didn't have any procedures at a Planned Parenthood. But the induction caused Ohden to be born instead of being aborted. It's a sad story, really, one that involves family treachery and people who should have been prosecuted.

Both Gianna Jessen and Ohden want to be held up as the reason to stop all abortions. But, in actuality, all they demonstrate is the need for well-trained staff to take care of women who come to them for help. They think they're avatars of pro-life politics. Instead, their cases demonstrate the pro-choice position about as clearly as any. And medical science has advanced a little in the last 40 years, including abortion procedures, so calm down there about 1970s doctoring.

But "knowledge" and "facts" were hard to find in the three-and-a-half hour hearing, which was less about Planned Parenthood and more about how much most Republicans really, really hate them some abortion. For instance, you may have heard about evil pig/wildebeest hybrid Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin saying, "Could you please tell me why Planned Parenthood needs to get over half a billion dollars of federal funding every year when there are other pressing needs, such as feeding hungry children, that we maybe we should be putting that money into?"

The only pro-choice witness, Priscilla Smith, the director of the Program for the Study of Reproductive Justice at Yale Law School, calmly explained that federal money to Planned Parenthood doesn't go to abortions. This caused Sensenbrenner to scoff at that and press Smith further on why not feed hungry children with this half billion in free cash. Smith said that Planned Parenthood's services are equal to feeding children because of the services it provides to the mothers of children. And then Sensenbrenner, ignoring everything that is an actual fact about Planned Parenthood, exclaimed, "How can they be the mothers of the children when children are aborted by Planned Parenthood?" Smith shot back that if you oppose abortions, then "it's a no-brainer" to support the contraceptive services provided by Planned Parenthood.

"I don't think there's statistics that support that," Sensenbrenner said, before shutting down his questioning. He'd be totally right if there weren't, you know, a fuck-ton of statistics that support that.

That was one of the more intelligent exchanges in the hearing, which was given the idiotic title, "Planned Parenthood Exposed: Examining the Horrific Abortion Practices at the Nation's Largest Abortion Provider." In other words, it was a bundle of lies before the first gavel ever came down. No one from Planned Parenthood was there as a witness. Hell, they didn't even have the brave "journalists" who made the fake videos that started all this shit.  It was a parade of slouching bastards, dirt-eating shitheels, and plainly delusional motherfuckers, all from the House of Representatives.

Trent Franks, flat-faced dickhead from Arizona, got choked up talking about convicted killer Kermit Gosnell, the anti-choicers Hitler, even though he had nothing to do with Planned Parenthood. Anthropomorphic shaved testicle Louie Gohmert of Mulefuck, Texas, compared abortion to a biblical anecdote about boiling and eating a child (funny how Christians go Old Testament when they want to get all judgmental). And almost every conservative man on the committee wanted to talk about the details of various forms of abortion, almost all of which are second trimester or later, which only accounts for 8% of all abortions. Guess what? Medical procedures are icky.

It's some kind of miracle that Priscilla Smith at some point didn't look at each of the asshole men trying to insult her or cut her off or trip her up and tell them to kiss her ass and suck on her JD before walking out.

(Note: An earlier version of this story said that the other witness, Gianna Jessen, claimed she was nearly aborted at a Planned Parenthood. Her story, however, doesn't seem to hold up to scrutiny.)