Analysis

Unbelievable: Cecile Richards complains about pro-life “lack of civility”

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In a glowing interview/profile for the Guardian, Emma Brockes paints Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards as the noble victim of a pack of crazies at last week’s congressional hearing, without a hint of interest about her heroine perjuring herself regarding Planned Parenthood’s post-viability abortions, increasing abortion numbers corresponding to decreasing cancer services, and past mammogram claims, or the multiple federal laws her organization has broken.

In other words, it’s a day ending in Y. “Journalists” giving the abortion lobby a pass to lie with impunity is just one of the constants of the universe. But this piece does have one nugget of twisted originality: Richards claims she was “stunned by the total lack of civility” of Republican representatives.

A woman who defends her blood-stained cause through lies, personal attacks, and fear-mongering is crying civility? Really? Let’s review just how much Ms. Richards really values a respectful exchange of ideas.

In the same interview, Richards says of the hearing, “You had folks who really knew very little either about women’s health, or what we do, and apparently didn’t even want to know.” The above links detail that the facts actually are on the sides of Richards’ clinics; falsely calling people ignorant isn’t very civil.

Also in the same interview, Richards grimly intones “it is within the memory of doctors in this country that young healthy women were dying in emergency rooms because abortion was illegal.” In addition to this also being a lie, what definition of civility includes insinuating that people who disagree with you would cause women’s deaths and not care about it?

Last week, Richards penned a Huffington Post editorial accused the Center for Medical Progress of “edit[ing] the tapes to make it look like Planned Parenthood was engaged in wrongdoing,” which objectively, completely false. She also lied about Live Action’s past investigations:

Every couple of years, anti-abortion extremists launch a new smear campaign against Planned Parenthood, all following the same pattern: Make outrageous claims, heavily edit undercover videos to support them, whip up media attention, and get right-wing politicians to push for investigations. Every time, the claims fall apart upon closer inspection.

Falsely accusing people of fraud isn’t civil either, Cecile.

In that editorial she also accused Planned Parenthood’s critics of an “assault” on “every woman whose cancer has been detected early because our nurses were able to see her the same day she found a lump” and “every man who didn’t just get HIV test results, but also got a 30-minute counseling session and connections to follow-up care and support.” Even though at the hearing she admitted that alternate health centers, which pro-lifers wholeheartedly support, far outnumber Planned Parenthood clinics. The wildly uncivil act of insinuating that others are indifferent to people’s health needs seems to be a recurring habit for Richards.

In a July 29 Washington Post editorial, Richards repeatedly called pro-lifers “extremists.” A few days earlier, she appeared on ABC and went so far as to accuse the Center for Medical Progress of being “part of the most militant wing of the anti-abortion movement that has been behind, you know, the bombing of clinics, the murder of doctors in their homes, um, and in their churches.” Is there no form of character assassination too low to invalidate her civility card?

This June, Richards went on MSNBC to make the hysterical claim that pro-life efforts were “no longer a theoretical war on women. It is an actual war on women.” If the concept of civility doesn’t, at a bare minimum, mean people who passionately disagree not assigning malicious ulterior motives to each other’s views, it means nothing.

And that’s just the last five months!

To be sure, civility is not and should not be the highest virtue, particularly when the subject at hand is a depraved evil such as abortion. That Cecile Richards is nasty, condescending, and disingenuous are far less important than the fact that she oversees over three hundred thousand murders of innocent children a year.

But if Richards is going to lecture us about standards she’s never held herself to, we’ll be sure to add it to the ever-growing list of reasons the American people should not trust her.

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