Uncommon Sense

politics and society are, unfortunately, much the same thing

Pro-abortion lobby spread false statistics

original article: Study: Activists Misleading About Number of Illegal Abortion Deaths
December 13, 2012 by DR. PETER SAUNDERS

 

One of the principal techniques used by the pro-abortion lobby to advance their agenda of legalising abortion in developing world countries is to argue that ‘safe, legal abortion’ will decrease overall maternal mortality whilst not appreciably increasing the overall number of abortions.

In order to make this case they obviously have to establish first that there are already lots of illegal abortions happening and that many women are dying from them.

To achieve this end lobbyists need statistics about levels of illegal abortions and this where the Alan Guttmacher Institute (AGI) comes in.

For many years AGI’s astronomical figures of illegal abortions from developing countries have gone virtually unchallenged by both prolife and prochoice campaigners alike.

But this is about to change now that more rigorous research is being published.

Jacqueline Harvey
 this week writes about a new study published in the International Journal of Women’s Health showing that AGI’s figures for illegal abortions in Mexico in 2006 and 2009 were grossly overestimated.

The study titled, ‘Fundamental Discrepancies In Abortion Estimates And Abortion-Related Mortality: A Reevaluation Of Recent Studies In Mexico With Special Reference To The International Classification Of Diseases’ was conducted by a panel of six epidemiologists at four universities in the U.S., Mexico and Chile and examines the actual figures produced by the Federal District of Mexico and confirmed by an independent, non-governmental agency that supports legal abortion.

AGI’s estimate for illegal abortions in Mexico in 2006 was 725,070-1,024,424. But the actual number of abortions in 2007 after abortion was legalised (which typically increases rather than decreases the numbers), was only 10,137! So AGI’s estimate was 70-100 times the actual figure.

After legalisation the AGI estimate for legal abortions in Mexico in 2009 was 122,455. But the actual number was 12,221. This is a 10 fold overestimation.

These gross disparities discredit not only AGI figures for illegal abortions and abortion-related mortality in Mexico, but in all countries where they apply their flawed methodologies to create these bogus estimates.

The researchers also discovered that AGI purposefully includes women who died from ectopic pregnancies, miscarriage and assault in their calculations of illegal abortion-related mortality, a case of intentional deception. This leads them to over-estimate abortion-related mortality rate by almost 35%. I have previously blogged about gross overestimates of maternal deaths in the US and UK abortions before legalisation here.

Harvey concludes:

‘Nonetheless, AGI uses these false calculations and deceptive figures about illegal abortion deaths to push for decriminalization of abortion around the world. This new study authoritatively discredits the Alan Guttmacher Institute and its findings.’

This new study adds hard evidence to suspicions I have had for some time. Last July I was speaking at an ICMDA (International Christian Medical and Dental Association uniting over 70 national bodies of which CMF is one) conference in Nigeria where there were 1,700 Christian doctors and medical students from all over Africa.

A leading obstetrician in Kenya told me then that she thought the AGI stats for death from abortion for Kenya were grossly inflated and based on small urban samples along which included miscarriages and other gynaecological diagnoses.

And another doctor who was working in the main teaching hospital in Lagos, Nigeria had done a research project on abortion deaths and said that the actual number of illegal abortions was very small relative to AGI estimates.

This strategy used in Kenya and other developing countries is similar to that used by US abortion supporters in their efforts to legalize abortion in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Dr Bernard Nathanson, a leading supporter of abortion rights and an abortionist himself, later admitted to deception:

‘We aroused enough sympathy to sell our program of permissive abortion by fabricating the number of illegal abortions done annually in the U.S. The actual figure was approaching 100,000 but the figure we gave to the media repeatedly was 1,000,000. Repeating the big lie often enough convinces the public. The number of women dying from illegal abortions was around 200-250 annually. The figure we constantly fed to the media was 10,000.’

The most impressive catalogue of known abortion statistics on line is that of William Johnston whose latest totals of abortions worldwide (last updated in August 2012) are listed here.

What struck me about these numbers was how much lower they were than AGI figures for all developing countries.

When I raised this discrepancy with Johnston he answered as follows (reprinted with permission):

‘(My) figures for worldwide abortions differ because AGI includes estimates of unreported illegal abortions, estimates which are inflated by bad methodology (in my opinion).

My figures cover only reported abortions (with limited use of estimates, eg. interpolation for missing years) thus, while they are incomplete they are well documented. They are also limited to countries with legal abortion and where statistics are compiled. Some of the higher AGI/WHO figures involve estimated underreporting from countries with legal abortions, but most of the difference is from their estimates for developing countries where abortion is illegal or legal under very limited circumstances.

These latter estimates are generally based on hospitalisation samples, household surveys, and a variety of assumptions. This process yields illegal abortion rates that are as high as legal abortion rates in the developed world, coincidentally supporting the AGI thesis that abortion should be unrestricted everywhere because laws have no effect on occurrence rates.

The key here is of course the set of assumptions that turn small sample sizes into multi-national estimates of abortion rates. Some obvious issues I see include: surveys of urban populations on abortion, and treating results as applicable to the general population; bias by basing results on surveys of people willing to talk to these survey takers; the validity of the assumptions used for underreporting, for deciding what fraction of hospital miscarriage cases are illegal abortions, or for turning such “detected” abortions into figures including “undetected” abortions.

I do not dispute that many illegal abortions take place in developing countries but I suspect that the actual numbers are significantly below the AGI/WHO estimates, because the methodology of their estimates involves assumptions biased by their policy position. I have little evidence to produce an estimate of total worldwide abortions, but I’m inclined to suspect that the AGI/WHO figures (of 42 million per year) are high by about a factor of two.

A few years ago Laura Antkowiak and Randall O’Bannon analyzed the AGI methodology in an article series in the National Right to Life newsletter. They indicate, for example, that some of the sample sizes involved are only a few dozen. Here are links to their articles.

1. WHO Claims of Unsafe Abortions and Deaths
2. World Abortion Estimates: An Audit (Part 1)
3. World Abortion Estimates: An Audit (Part 2)
4. World Abortion Estimates: An Audit (Part 3)
5. World Abortion Estimates: An Audit (Part 4)

Here are figures for comparison: AGI/WHO estimate worldwide abortions at 45.6 million in 1995, 41.6 million in 2003, and 43.8 million in 2008. (This is from the jointly AGI-WHO-authored article Sedgh et al., 2012, The Lancet, 379(9816):625+) For those three years what I can document are 18.1, 15.1, and 16.0 million. The drop to my current figure of ~12 million/year is mostly due to fluctuations in reported figures from China.

Some perspective on using AGI as a source: for current abortions in the US, their data is better than official data because the abortion providers provide statistics to AGI that they withhold from state health departments. In contrast, AGI survey-based statistics (based on estimates) tend to be biased.

Another point: the above Lancet article claims: ‘The abortion rate was lower in sub-regions where more women live under liberal abortion laws’ – a counter-intuitive claim to anyone but an abortion proponent, one that rests entirely on methodological assumptions, and one that is refuted by regional-level data in the US and Europe.’

Harvey and Johnston’s work needs much wider circulation to counter the ‘lies, damned lies and statistics’ that pro-abortion campaigners and population control advocates are using to advance their case. More research is also needed.

The fact that abortions in developing countries have been overestimated does not in any way of course alter the fact that abortion remains the number one cause of human death worldwide.

Even when one takes Johnston’s ‘revised-down’ figures the total number of abortions is utterly staggering. Johnston has documented almost 1 billion abortions worldwide from figures gleaned for the 90 years between 1922 and 2012, a figure equivalent to one seventh of the world’s current population.

Given the timespan the vast majority of these babies, had they not been aborted, would still be alive today.

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abortion, babies, corruption, false, fraud, ideology, propaganda, scandal, study

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No, GOP’s Obamacare Update Doesn’t Make Rape A Pre-Existing Condition

original article: No, GOP’s Obamacare Update Doesn’t Make Rape A Pre-Existing Condition
May 8, 2017 by Robert Tracinski

The American Left is finishing its sixth straight month of losing it. They have been pegged at “total freakout” for so long now that it is impossible to tell when anything they say is valid or wildly exaggerated.

Take the headline you undoubtedly saw, or had forwarded to you on social media if you interact much with people on the Left, which proclaimed that the American Health Care Act—House Republicans’ Obamacare tweaks—makes sexual assault a pre-existing condition.

AHCA_preexisting

What’s actually going on here? The House bill, which mostly just tinkers with Obamacare instead of actually repealing it, still contains a requirement that insurers have to cover people with pre-existing conditions. But a late addition, the MacArthur Amendment, gives states the ability to ask the federal government for a waiver that would allow insurers to charge people with pre-existing conditions higher rates.

The amendment itself—and I had to search around for a while to find its actual text rather than somebody’s short-stroke summary of it—makes no mention of sexual assault or rape.

Ah, but somebody realized that rape victims sometimes suffer medical problems as a consequences of the assault and that these problems would count as “pre-existing conditions” under the law. They would count as such because they have always counted as pre-existing conditions. But so would any number of other conditions resulting from other tragic and unfortunate events. In other words, this headline is so misleading that even PolitiFact rates it as “Mostly False.”

The new law does not “make” sexual assault a pre-existing condition. The medical consequences of rape have always been considered a pre-existing condition, because that’s what the phrase “pre-existing condition” means. It refers to a condition that existed previously.

“Pre-existing condition” is not a value judgment. It does not imply that the pre-existing condition is the patient’s fault, or that this person is somehow unworthy of receiving medical treatment. It is a merely factual description, but one that has special relevance when talking about insurance. When you require insurance coverage for a pre-existing condition, it’s no longer insurance. Insurance is a financial mechanism for hedging against an unknown future risk, not a way of seeking compensation for damage that has already occurred.

If that seems like a nitpicking distinction, it’s one with very big real-world consequences. Telling insurance companies that they have to cover pre-existing conditions and can’t charge more for that coverage breaks the actuarial calculation behind insurance and contributes to the “death spiral” of escalating premiums, which we could already see under Obamacare. So you can understand why there’s a rational argument for not requiring pre-existing conditions of any kind to be covered under the heading of “insurance.”

So are Democrats making this claim about sexual assault because they want to lobby for free medical treatment for victims of sexual assault—a worthy cause they just discovered five minutes ago? No, they’re doing it because evoking sexual assault victims, as opposed to sufferers of any other kind of pre-existing condition, packs a special emotional wallop. Then when somebody responds by carefully and rationally explaining what’s really going on and why pre-existing conditions can’t be covered if health insurance is going to function properly—as I just did above—that person suddenly looks like a callous heel. How can he approach the issue with such cool logic? How can he be so insensitive to the victims?

In short, it’s a raw appeal to emotion, specifically designed to make rational analysis of the issues look not just inappropriate, but positively immoral.

The Appeal to Emotion is a fallacy that’s thousands of years old, but what makes this particular case a microcosm of today’s style of argument is one extra twist. If the purpose of the Appeal to Emotion is to make logical analysis seem insensitive, the purpose here is to make the user of logic seem insensitive specifically to women. This fits right in with the target audience’s prejudices. Of course those evil people on the Right, those old white men reveling in their patriarchal privilege, would be callously indifferent to the suffering of women. Of course they want women to bear the blame for their own sexual assaults. It’s just like “The Handmaid’s Tale.” We knew it all along!

That’s what makes the headline “too good to check” and ensures its entry into the natural life cycle of a “fake news” story: blaring viral headlines, followed by low-key, surreptitious corrections in the more reputable outlets, followed by the cementing of the headline as an established fact that will never be dislodged from the minds of its target audience. We’ll still be hearing about it 30 years from now.

This fits into a larger problem with how the Left tends to interact with everyone else while they’re in Perpetual Rage Mode. As someone who attempts to interact with the other side pretty regularly on social media—and not always just to score rhetorical points—I’ve begun to notice a distinct pattern. People on the Left will interact with someone on the Right just long enough to be able to find some sign, some slip of the tongue, some violation of accepted speech codes (like not being a prig about Cinco de Mayo) that allows them to dismiss that person as racist, sexist, homophobic, or just insensitive—which provides an excuse to ignore anything he has to say. The conclusion is always the same: all arguments from the Right can be dismissed without consideration because they come from bigots.

They need to stop doing this, and not for our sake—if you’re on the Right, you’re probably used to coping with an omnipresent background radiation of political hostility—but for their own sake. It is a spectacularly unconvincing method of argument that drives people back into their own social media “filter bubbles.” It doesn’t convince anyone. It just convinces them not to talk to you any more. Then you end up on an evening in November, stunned at the fact that so many people voted for a candidate whose sole political function is to stick a finger in your eye.

The Left is already paying the price for making “race, class, and gender” into a substitute for argument and persuasion. They might want to consider not digging that hole any deeper.

abortion, bias, congress, false, government, health care, hypocrisy, ideology, left wing, legislation, liberalism, pandering, political correctness, politics, progressive, propaganda, public policy, reform, scandal, spending

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Fake News: Media distorts Jeff Sessions’ comments on Mexican gangs

original article: Fake news: Media distorts Jeff Sessions’ speech about illegal alien gangs
April 12, 2017 by Carlos Garcia

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is being excoriated for supposedly using charged language against immigrants, but a closer look at the text of his speech shows that he is being misrepresented by some in the media.

In the speech to border guards Tuesday, Sessions referred to violent criminal gangs such as MS-13, or Mara Salvatrucha, and the infamous Zeta drug cartel, but some are applying his words to all immigrants. And while the word was in the prepared remarks, he omitted it in the actual speech, a detail lost to his critics.

Politico White House reporter Josh Dawsey tweeted this without the full context of the quote, “Sessions to border agents: ‘It is here, on this sliver of land, where we first take our stand against this filth.’”

Washington Post writer Dan Drezner tweeted about the quote, “Filth. He described illegal immigrants as ‘filth.’ Whatever your views on immigration that’s f**king embarrassing for a US official to say.” That was retweeted more than 3,700 times, while his retraction and apology only got slightly more than 100 retweets.

Chris Taylor of Mashable tweeted, “The Attorney General of the United States just called Mexican immigrants “filth.” But by all means, keep being outraged about United.”

But as Becket Adams of the Washington Examiner reported, not only was that phrase attributed to criminal gangs and not simply immigrants, but Sessions decided against using the word when he actually gave the speech.

“When we talk about MS-13 and the cartels, what do we mean?” Sessions asked in the speech. “We mean international criminal organizations that turn cities and suburbs into war-zones, that rape and kill innocent citizens and who profit by smuggling poison and other human beings across our borders. Depravity and violence are their calling cards, including brutal machete attacks and beheadings.”

The misquoted line followed, but without the word “filth.”

“It is here, on this sliver of land, on this border, where we first take our stand,” he proclaimed.

The false quote took a life on its own on social media:

Not all news outlets got it wrong, fortunately.

Sessions praised Trump in the speech for the precipitous drop in illegal border crossings that has been reported by law enforcement officials. Illegal crossings are reported to have dropped by 72% in the first few months of the year, to a figure not seen in 17 years.

Even Trump critic Jorge Ramos had to admit that the “Trump Effect” was probably saving the lives of those who were turning away from the perilous and dangerous trek northward to the U.S.-Mexico border.

bias, corruption, false, fraud, hate speech, hypocrisy, ideology, immigration, news media, propaganda, racism, scandal

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Government worship and deferred compassion

original article: Meals On Wheels Desperately Needs To Get Cut, And We Shouldn’t Stop There
March 23, 2017 by Robert Tracinski

Hey, everybody, the Trump budget guts everything!

Except, of course, that it doesn’t. It cuts about $54 billion from next year’s budget out of a total of $4 trillion in spending—a reduction of a little over 1 percent. It’s kind of a drop in the bucket.

But as part of their program to grow all spending for everything all the time, Democrats have had to find something that makes Trump’s budget cuts look totally radical and draconian, so they have seized on Meals on Wheels, a program that uses volunteers to deliver food to the elderly.

Not only is this factually wrong, but the really radical and dangerous position is the idea that programs like Meals on Wheels have to be part of the federal budget and must never be cut in any way.

First, the facts. Meals on Wheels is supported by volunteers and overwhelmingly funded by private charity. The national organization Meals on Wheels America gets only 3.3 percent of its budget, less than $250,000, from government grants.

Moreover, the money that is supposedly going to be cut doesn’t even come directly from the federal budget, and Trump’s budget doesn’t even mention Meals on Wheels. Instead, it eliminates Community Development Block Grants, some tiny fraction of which—nobody can say for sure exactly how much—is used by state and local governments to support local Meals on Wheels organizations. Apparently, nothing else done with these block grants is particularly defensible, so Democrats have focused all of their attention on Meals on Wheels.

In the meantime, all of the press attention has led to a surge of donations and volunteers. Did you know citizens could do that—take what they think is a worthy program and support it with their own time and money? Apparently, this is a surprise to everyone on the Left.

So the whole “Trump wants to cut Meals on Wheels” story line smacks of—what’s the phrase I’m looking for here?—oh yes, “fake news.”

Yet here’s why it’s important. The outrage over cutting Meals on Wheels from the federal budget implies that it ought to be part of the federal budget and that it ought to be getting more money. That’s the really radical idea here, and it explains why this country is in the deadly budget predicament we are.

Notice that the supposedly devastating Trump budget proposal says nothing about the largest and fastest-growing part of the budget, the big middle-class entitlements like Medicare and Social Security. If we have to fund Meals on Wheels, we definitely can’t make even the slightest changes to any of those programs. In fact, by this reasoning—if a small fraction of indirect support for a charitable venture is sacrosanct—then the assumption here is that anything good has to be funded by the federal government.

By that reasoning, we aren’t just forced to keep spending money for things the government already does. We will have to keep increasing our spending indefinitely, bring into the federal fold more and more programs and ventures. Anything that benefits anybody has to get government money. Not to support it would be monstrous.

If we can’t even say to any program, “You know that last 3 percent of your budget? We think you’ll be okay on that without the federal government,” then the result is going to be exactly what we have seen: vast, ever-increasing, unsustainable increases in government spending and government debt.

Do you know what happens if we carry this all the way to the end of the road? Take a look at Venezuela, which specifically focused its socialist programs on food banks for the poor, with government taking on an increasingly dominant role in the nation’s food supply. The result? People are starving and reduced to rummaging through trash bins to survive. But no matter how cruel that system ends up being in practice, nobody could ever advocate rolling it back, because that would make you reactionary and cruel and heartless and prove that you hate the poor.

The idea that the government must fund everything, that nothing can happen without it, that it must be the source and impetus behind every initiative, and that it must always expand relentlessly—that is the truly radical notion being pushed in this Meals on Wheels hysteria.

That’s why we have to take an axe to federal funds for Meals on Wheels. We have to do it just to establish that there is some limit, any limit to the scope and fiscal appetite of the federal government—before it yawns its throat open and swallows us whole.

budget, bureaucracy, corruption, culture, Democrats, economy, elitism, entitlements, false, funding, government, ideology, left wing, liberalism, nanny state, political correctness, politics, progressive, propaganda, public policy, reform, scandal, socialism, spending, unintended consequences

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PP prenatal care video, is Snopes lying or merely biased?

original article: Live Action, Snopes and Planned Parenthood’s “Prenatal Care”
February 4, 2017 by Truthbomb Apologetics

Introduction

Recently, I shared the following video on social media from Live Action:

For those who haven’t seen the video, it features Planned Parenthood (PP) President Cecile Richards claiming that Planned Parenthood offers prenatal care at their clinics.  Then the video features sound bites of numerous women calling various PP clinics across the country seeking prenatal care only to be told that “PP does not provide prenatal care.”  Out of the 97 affiliates contacted, only 5 actually provided prenatal care.  The obvious conclusion of the video is that PP is being deceptive in claiming that they provide prenatal care at their clinics.

However, the folks at Snopes.com – “the definitive Internet reference source for urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors, and misinformation” – have challenged the conclusion of the Live Action team.  In this response, they argue that Live Action is guilty of: 1) taking PP President Cecile Richards out of context; and 2) leading people to believe that PP has claimed to offer prenatal care at all their facilities when it has never claimed any such thing.

Now let me be clear.  I am unapologetically pro-life; however, the pro-life cause is not served by deceptive actions. If this video does include any type of deception, I want to publicly denounce it and distance myself from it.

So, is Live Action being deceptive, or does Snopes.com have it wrong?  Let’s take a look.

The Video Quotes

Quote #1

In the first quote featured in the video, Cecile Richards says, “Prenatal care. These are the kinds of services that folks depend on Planned Parenthood for.”  So here we see that she is clearly claiming that PP does provide prenatal care (a “kind of” service), but she does not explicitly say that all of PP clinics provide prenatal care.

Conclusion: This quote shows that Cecile Richards claimed that prenatal care was one of many types of care offered by PP.  Even Dan Evon in his Snopes piece writes, “…it’s clear that Richards was listing several services that Planned Parenthood provides.”

Quote #2

The second quote featured in the video features a quote from Richards while she is campaigning for Hillary Clinton.  The quote from the video says, “…a president who will fight for prenatal care.” The entire context of the quote is as follows:

“They want a president who believes access to health care isn’t a luxury — it’s a human right.

They want a president who understands that being pro-choice also means being able to choose to have a child — and a president who will fight for prenatal care, head start, health care for kids and first class public schools because it takes a village!

They want a president who will stand up to the gun lobby and demand safety for kids in schools, folks in church, and women getting healthcare — no matter what.

They want a president who will demand nobody is paid less just because they are a woman — we deserve 100 cents on the dollar!

They want a president who believes that access to health care isn’t a luxury it’s a human right. They also want a president who understands that being pro-choice actually means being able to choose to have a child. And a president who will fight for pre-natal care, and head start, and health care for kids, and excellent public education. Because as someone so famously said, it takes a village to raise a child. ”

Interestingly, Snopes claims that Richards is quoted out of context and, at first glance, this seems true. Clearly the context is not provided!  However, one can safely infer from the above quote that Richards is implying that PP provides prenatal care.  How so?  Think about it.  Here we have the president of PP saying, “…a president who will fight for prenatal care.” While I am quite sure PP has nothing to do with the majority of the other services mentioned by Richards, who else would Richards be referring to here but PP? Certainly no Republican candidate ever insinuated that they would take away all prenatal care across the country!  But they have expressed their desire to defund PP. Therefore, what Richards is essentially saying is, “We need a president that will protect PP and the prenatal care we offer.”  Otherwise, the reference to prenatal care makes no sense whatsoever.

Conclusion: In this quote, Richards claims that PP offers prenatal care.

Quote #3

The third and final quote featured in the video comes from Lori Lamerand, the CEO of Planned Parenthood of Mid and South Michigan.  In the video, she states, “Prenatal care! Um — and that — that is what we want to focus on. That is what is so vital.”  The context of this quote was not readily available, but Snopes.com claims that PP said, “Lamerand ‘spoke about the vital services like birth control, pap smears, and preventative cancer screenings, which PP provides to women who otherwise might go without.'”  So, according to Snopes, “PP told us that this had little to do with prenatal care; therefore, it doesn’t.”  This from the “definitive internet resource”?
So, while Snopes.com would have us believe that Lamerand was taken out of context, this is far from clear from the available evidence.  One should strive to be more modest with their claims.
Conclusion: Here, once again, we find a PP CEO (leader) mentioning prenatal care.  At best this demonstrates that a PP CEO implied that PP provides prenatal care.  At worst, it is inconclusive.  If one wants to claim the quote is “taken out of context,” they will need to demonstrate this.

So, if I am right, we have evidence that, at the very least, suggests PP’s leaders imply they offer prenatal care on a much grander scale than they actually do. However, do more explicit claims exist from Planned Parenthood regarding parental care?  To answer that question, we need more evidence.

Lifting the Fog
In this video, Cecile Richards is very clear about PP and prenatal care.  She explicitly states that it is a service they offer.

Moreover, in this tweet from Richards in May of 2016, Richards claims prenatal care is an essential service they provide.  And, as you can see, they later tried to back away from this claim after the video from Live Action was released.

Further, in February, when Governor of Ohio John Kasich signed a bill defunding Planned Parenthood, this is how Richards responded:

“This legislation will have devastating consequences for women across Ohio.  John Kasich is proudly eliminating care for expectant mothers and newborns;”1

Now, I am no doctor, but that sounds a lot like prenatal care.  Further, when has PP ever provided services for newborns?

Also, as featured in the video, a on-hold phone recording from the Virginia Beach, Virginia, Planned Parenthood says: “Did you know that Planned Parenthood can take care of all your reproductive health needs? Whether it’s an annual exam, pregnancy testing and counseling, prenatal care, we’re here for you with high-quality, low-cost services.”2

So, it seems that we have sufficient evidence to conclude that PP leaders do claim to offer prenatal care, but in fact offers very little in relation to the other services they provide.

However, one might also conclude that Live Action could have made their argument more clear. They should have simply argued that PP’s leaders have claimed, several times, that they offer much more parental care than they actually do.  They actually offer very little.

Finally, I am disappointed with the lack of balance in the Snopes.com piece.  While Live Action could have made their argument more clear, PP is certainly guilty of being misleading and deceptive.

However, I will not spend much time debating this issue.  It is secondary.  I encourage readers who are interested in learning more to checkout the links I have provided and investigate the matter on their own.  Draw your own conclusion.

The Primary Issue

The main objection I have to Planned Parenthood is expressed in the argument that follows.  If the argument is logically valid and the premises are more plausible than their negations, then the conclusion of my argument follows logically and necessarily.3

1. PP performs abortions

To confirm the truth of this premise, I will simply refer you to PP’s own website here.  Further, PP themselves reported that they performed 323,999 abortions in 2014. 4

2. If abortion is the killing of an innocent human being, it is morally right to oppose PP.

This premise seems intuitively obvious.  What morally healthy individual would claim otherwise? We should all stand against the killing of innocent human beings.  Anyone who would deny this premise is morally handicap, and their handicap should not call into question what most of us clearly see: it is our moral obligation to oppose the killing of innocent human beings.

3. Abortion is the killing of an innocent human being.

Admittedly, this is the premise my argument hinges on.  However, for those willing to follow the evidence where it leads, science, philosophy, and critical thinking demonstrate its truth.

The Scientific Case

As others have shared before me,5 conclusive scientific evidence demonstrates that human life begins at conception.  This is no longer a matter of opinion.

The conceived embryo is a individual, living, human being by definition:

Individual: The zygote is distinct from her mother, father, and all other living things.  She has her own unique and complete genetic fingerprint; distinct from either of her parents.

Living: The zygote manifests all the characteristics of biological life: metabolism, growth, reaction to stimuli and reproduction.

Human: She carries human DNA with a human genetic signature.

Being: She is a self-contained, self-integrating, living entity with her own nature.

We see from science that, from conception, she has everything needed to proceed through the full series of human developmental stages.  No other human single cell has this inherent capacity.  All that is needed is proper nurturing and a proper environment to advance through all the stages of normal human development.  This is not different than you and I. 6

This is confirmed by leading embryology books.  For example, in their book The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology,  Keith L. Moore and T.V.N. Persaud write, “A zygote is the beginning of a new human being. Human development begins at fertilization, the process during which a male gamete or sperm … unites with a female gamete or oocyte … to form a single cell called a zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent cell marks the beginning of each of us as a unique individual.”7

Further, even former Planned Parenthood President Dr. Alan Guttmacher was perplexed that anyone, much less a medical doctor, would question this. “This all seems so simple and evident that it is difficult to picture a time when it wasn’t part of the common knowledge,” he wrote in his book Life in the Making.”8

The Philosophical Case

As thinkers such as Greg Koukl and Scott Klusendorf have pointed out, there are only four differences between the unborn and a newborn; none of which are morally relevant reasons for denying them personhood and protection.

Klusendorf asks us to think of the acronym SLED to illustrate these “non-essential differences:”

Size: Are preschoolers less valuable than teenagers, or women less valuable than men because they’re smaller?  Size does not equal value.

Level of Development: Is a four-year-old less valuable than her mother because she can’t reproduce? Value is not determined by abilities.

Environment: Does your value change when you cross the street, or even roll over in bed?  Where you are-in the womb or out-has no bearing on who you are.

Degree of Dependency: Should we disqualify those who rely on insulin or heart pacemakers just because they are dependent?  Viability doesn’t determine worth.

It’s far more reasonable to argue that, although humans differ immensely with respect to talents, accomplishments, and degrees of development, they are nonetheless equal because they share a common human nature.7

If you are tempted to resist the science and philosophy that demonstrates that the unborn are human persons, more critical thinking will lead you to the conclusion that, even if we didn’t have the above evidence that a fetus is a human person, abortion is murder.  George Fields explains:

“…I contend that whether the fetus is a person at any given moment of pregnancy is a non-issue, since, whatever it is now, it will, in fact, become a person. Therefore, to abort the fetus now is to annihilate the person that fetus would have naturally become.”9

He goes on:

“Abortion has the same quality as all forms of killing. If I were to kill someone, I would have fundamentally transformed the nature of the universe from one with this person to one without it. The evil of murder does not derive from the fact that a death has occurred, for death comes to all. All murder does is expedite an inevitable event. The evil of murder, rather, is in the fact that the world has changed for everyone else who keeps on living. A hole has been made in the tapestry of life; Christmas dinner now has an empty chair. So it is with an abortion.”8

For the intellectually honest individual, the evidence is clear.  Science, philosophy, and critical thinking demonstrate the truth of premise 3- abortion is the killing of an innocent human being.

4. Therefore, it is morally right to oppose PP.

Conclusion

In this brief piece, I have argued that:

1. Planned Parenthood’s leaders imply that prenatal care is an important service they offer when, in reality, they offer very little.  This is misleading and deceptive.

2. Live Action could have made their argument more clear.  They should have simply argued that PP’s leaders have claimed, several times, that they offer prenatal care when they offer almost none.

3. Planned Parenthood kills innocent human beings; therefore, it is a moral right to oppose PP.

Courage and Godspeed,
Chad

Resources for Further Investigation

An Explanation of Planned Parenthood’s “3%” Statistic

9 Things You Should Know About Planned Parenthood Founder Margaret Sanger

For Planned Parenthood abortion stats, ‘3 percent’ and ’94 percent’ are both misleading

Related Posts

Late-Term Abortion, the Life of the Mother and the 3rd Presidential Debate

When Pro-Abortion Choice Rhetoric Hurts

Could Acceptance of Abortion Be a Matter of Ignorance?

Footnotes:
1. Kristi Burton Brown, “Cecile Richards tries to claim Planned Parenthood helps “expectant mothers and newborns,” Feb. 23, 2016.
2. Kristi Burton Brown, “Yes, Planned Parenthood claims to do prenatal care, and yes, it’s a lie,” Jan. 25, 2017.
3. For a brief explanation about how deductive arguments work, go here.
4. Debra Goldschmidt and Ashley Strickland, “Planned Parenthood: Fast Facts and Revealing Numbers,” Jan. 17, 2017.
5. Tim Stratton, “Pro-Choice: The Wrong Side of History, Science and Logic,” Sept. 13, 2016.
6. “Pro-Life Defense, Making Your Case,” 2015 Gregory Koukl, Stand to Reason.
7. Scott Klusendorf, “How to Defend Your Pro-Life Views in 5 Minutes or Less.”
8. Ibid.
9. George Fields, “Why Abortion Kills a Person Even If You Don’t Think the Unborn are People Yet” Jan. 28, 2017.

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So you think Planned Parenthood provides prenatal care?

Published on Jan 23, 2017
“Planned Parenthood offers abortions, so they don’t offer prenatal care.” Though Planned Parenthood claims that women depend on them for prenatal care, Live Action investigators had an incredibly hard time finding facilities that offered prenatal care—though they found plenty of facilities offering abortions.

5 Out of 97 Planned Parenthood Facilities Provide Prenatal Care

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Does Hillary Clinton know about Protestants?

Let’s see if you can follow the logic. First, Catholics are supposed to oppose abortion and birth control. Second, many Republicans oppose abortion. Therefore Republicans oppose birth control or all Republicans are Catholic.

If you see a flaw in that reasoning you may be capable of independent thought, in which case you can see through Hillary Clinton’s glib propaganda in defense of Planned Parenthood. It’s not even artful propaganda. It’s shallow, mindless drivel offered by a supposedly smart woman in an attempt to turn the tables on Republicans in light of the recent scandal Planned Parenthood found itself in. To defend Planned Parenthood and to help deflect attention away from the astonishing undercover videos, Mrs. Clinton is trying to help her liberal base make logical connections that make no sense whatsoever. If she can suggest all Republicans oppose birth control I can suggest she doesn’t know Protestants exist.

original article: Hillary Clinton Again Defends Planned Parenthood Selling Aborted Babies, Lies About Pro-Lifers
September 23, 2015 by STEVEN ERTELT

Abortion advocate Hillary Clinton is trying to turn the tables on the pro-life Republican presidential candidates who have gone after her for defending Planned Parenthood even after it was caught selling aborted babies and their body parts. Now, Clinton is trying to go on offense by making false claims that they oppose contraception.

Clinton recently had a long interview with the Des Moines Register editorial board in which she dismissed and refused to answer questions about how Planned Parenthood sells aborted baby body parts.

“I will continue to defend Planned Parenthood, because services that Planned Parenthood provides are broad, and necessary for millions of American women. Five hundred thousand breast screening exams. A lot of other screening programs that are carried out. Family planning and contraceptive testing for HIV AIDS.

“The Republican have made it clear in recent years that they are not only opposed to abortion, which they have been for quite some time. They’re increasingly opposed to family planning and contraception. This is a direct assault on a woman’s right to choose health care. Forget about abortion, which is something that a limited number of Planned Parenthood facilities perform, with not a penny of federal money.

“The money they want to cut off…is money that goes to health services. That is why it’s important that we continue to try to educate the public and draw a very clear line in defense of Planned Parenthood.”

Never mind that not only do pro-life Republicans support contraception they have pushed to support the sale of non-abortifacient birth control over the counter. Clinton’s claim that pro-life republicans oppose birth control is patently false — as polling data showsRepublicans support contraception.

Clinton ignores the 10 videos showing Planned Parenthood apparently violating multiple federal laws in order to maximize the profit it makes selling aborted babies and their body parts.

She also ignores Planned Parenthood’s own figures showing it doing more and more abortions. The abortion giant Planned Parenthood released its 2013 annual report and the new numbers indicate it did more abortions than the year before — killing 327,653 babies in abortions while taking in millions in taxpayer funds.

Planned Parenthood Federation of America  released its 2013-2014 Annual Report and Jim Sedlak, vice president of American Life League, broke down the numbers.The report indicates Planned Parenthood did 327,653 abortions in 2013, an increase over the 327,166 abortions it did in 2012.

While it remains America’s biggest abortion corporation, the “nonprofit” continued to make money — bringing in $305.4 million last year and $305.3 million this year. Planned Parenthood continued to receive over a half-billion dollars in taxpayer money, as it took in $540 million in 2012 and $528 million in 2013.

“Despite this lack of increase in its primary business, Planned Parenthood continued to receive over a half-billion dollars in taxpayer money,” Sedlak said. “It has such a tremendous publicity machine that it convinced corporate and private donors to increase donations by more than $75 million (from $315.4 million to $391.8 million).”

“The increased donations, plus an increase of $28 million in “other operating revenue” and the reduction in costs from closing clinics, led to a near-record $127.1 million in profits for the largest abortion chain in the nation. This was the second highest reported annual profit in Planned Parenthood’s history,” he explained to LifeNews.

Some other takeaways from Planned Parenthood’s own figures:

  • In 2013, abortions made up 94% of Planned Parenthood’s pregnancy services.
  • For every adoption referral, Planned Parenthood performed 174 abortions.
  • While abortions rose, Planned Parenthood adoption referrals dropped 14% in one year, and prenatal care services dropped 4%.
  • Planned Parenthood’s cancer prevention services are down 17% over one year, and contraceptive services dropped by 4%.
  • During fiscal year 2013-2014, Planned Parenthood received more than $528 million in taxpayer funding, or more than $1.4 million per day, in the form of government grants, contracts, and Medicaid reimbursements.
  • Taxpayer funding accounts for 41% of Planned Parenthood’s overall revenue.
  • Planned Parenthood reported more than $127 million in excess revenue, and more than $1.4 billion in net assets.

While it did more abortions, Planned Parenthood’s contraceptive business declined from 3,724.558 customers in 2012 to 3,577,348 customers in 2013.

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Planned Parenthood can’t even be honest about website maintenance

Planned Parenthood Fundraises Off ‘Extremist Attack.’ Then People Took a Closer Look…
July 30, 2015 by VICTORIA TAFT

Planned Parenthood claimed their website was hacked by anti-abortion “extremists” yet somehow the website was still able to solicit (and apparently process) donations from the public. It turns out PP implemented a “site down campaign” falsely purporting their website was attacked. Some people actually looked into the source code of the website to discover the fraud.

When the scam was made public PP tried to cover their tracks by claiming the site was under maintenance, and yet was still able to accept online financial donations. It seems the situation is worse that it originally looked – instead of a hack attack, it was a smear campaign designed to drum up sympathy for PP and make them look like the victim by fraudulently accusing their critics of committing a crime. Does this campaign in itself qualify as a crime?

read the full article

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More College Rape Hype — This Time from the Washington Post

original article: More College Rape Hype — This Time from the Washington Post
June 16, 2015 by K.C. Johnson and Stuart Taylor Jr.

Since 2012, the New York Times has led the way in systematically biased coverage of on-campus sexual assault allegations and how colleges are responding. The paper has relentlessly hyped the issue, has smeared quite possibly innocent students while omitting evidence that they were innocent, and has cheered efforts to presume guilt and deny due process for the accused. It has also parroted egregiously misleading statistical claims used by the Obama administration and others to portray the campus rape problem, which is clearly serious, as an out-of-control “epidemic,” which it clearly is not. (In fact, the campus rate rape has plunged in the past 20 years.)

Now the Washington Post has joined a race to the bottom among the legacy media, in a June 12 package of two very long front-page articles and a third inside the paper that includes both the results of a Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll and detailed interviews of some respondents. The main headline: “1 in 5 women say they were violated.” The articles and the poll purport to confirm claims by the administration, its congressional supporters, most of the media, and campus activists that around 20 percent of female college students are sexually assaulted while at school. In this portrayal, the nation’s campuses are hotbeds of violent crime.

But like many other advocacy polls on sexual assault, the Post-Kaiser poll misleads readers—most of whom surely will assume that “sexual assault” means criminal sexual assault—by using that criminally charged phrase for shock value in the articles while deliberately avoiding it in the survey questions. As detailed below, those questions are so broad as to invite survey respondents to complain about virtually any encounter that they later regretted, including many that were not sexual assault or rape as defined by law.

According to the Post’s accompanying articles, the “survivors” of these sexual encounters experienced enormous pain and suffering. But it’s not entirely clear how the Post determined that the students with whom the paper spoke are in fact “survivors” of sexual assault, although some clearly were. Virtually none of these students went to the police, nor did most report any incident to their colleges, whose adjudication procedures are all but designed to find the accused student guilty. Instead, the Post reporters simply assumed the truth of most of their sources’ claims and thus the guilt of the accused.

Details from the few subjects who did report matters to police reflect badly on the Post’s credibility. Take, for instance, the student with whom one of the Post’s front-pagers leads, Rachel Sienkowski. Reporters Emma Brown, Nick Anderson, Susan Svrluga, and Steve Hendrix say in their second paragraph that a few weeks after arriving on the Michigan State campus, Sienkowski “had become a survivor” after an afternoon of tailgating ended with a man she didn’t know in her bed. She went to the police, the Post reported, because she awoke not only having been violated, but with her head bloodied.

But the end of the article lets slip that in fact this, the paper’s lead example of a campus sexual assault, seems instead to have been a regretful, but not atypical, drunken hookup that neither party remembers well. The scary bleeding was apparently self-inflicted when Sienkowski fell out of her loft bed onto the floor, while the male was asleep. The person she brought back to her room wasn’t a Michigan State student (and might not have been a college student at all). And, the Post disclosed in the last 120 words of a 2,870-word article, even Sienkowski conceded that “she doesn’t know for sure whether she had wanted sex in the moment.” She said this after seeing the police report, including photographs of the hickeys that the accused said her lips had branded on his neck as evidence that she “was very into everything that was happening.”

If she hadn’t been drinking, Sienkowski tells the Post, the hookup was “not something I would do.” There’s no reason to doubt this. But there’s also every reason to doubt that any serious prosecutor in the country would see what Sienkowski experienced as sexual assault—although, unfortunately for civil liberties, many colleges would see it as just that.

Some of the Post’s most harrowing “survivor” stories, meanwhile, have nothing to do with the issue of campus sexual assault. A student from Eastern Michigan, visiting New York City, got drunk and separated from her friends, and then was raped by a stranger in the Port Authority. A student from Wisconsin-Eau Claire was found passed out in a Minneapolis bar and thought he was drugged and raped, though he never went to the hospital for tests. Both of these experiences are awful, and raise disturbing questions as to why neither of these seeming victims of violent crime reported the offense to law enforcement. But from either a public policy or a journalistic perspective, do offenses allegedly committed hundreds or thousands of miles away from campus, by perpetrators who were not fellow college students, have any relevance to the question the Post series hopes to address?

And Post journalists also offered a most unusual description of the claims of unnamed “survivors.” In the second paragraph of the second June 12 front-pager that some interviewees “say they were coerced into sex through verbal . . . promises.” In normal English usage, a promise cannot be coercion of any kind, let alone sexual assault.

These “survivor” stories form the background for the Post’s highly misleading analysis of the poll results.

For example, the Post asserts that “[t]wenty percent of young women who attended college during the past four years say they were sexually assaulted.” But the survey questions (the specifics of which are buried in the coverage) ask respondents whether they had experienced a much broader category of sexual behaviors. Indeed, a researcher whose views are consistent with the poll’s questions is quoted deep in the Post package explicitly stating that those questions are designed to get “‘dramatically’” higher positive answers than would “‘terms like sexual assault and rape.’” This is, effectively, a journalistic bait and switch.

What do the Post’s biased figures actually say? Of the supposed 20 percent of college females who are “survivors,” more than half claimed to have experienced sex while “incapacitated,” explicitly defined as “unable to provide consent or stop what was happening because you were passed out, drugged, or drunk, incapacitated, or asleep.” In other words, the poll invites respondents to say they were unable to consent even if they were just a little bit drunk. But “drunk” is very far from incapacitated in the usual, legal sense of the word—or, for that matter, in the longstanding cultural understanding of what constitutes sexual assault.

As David French has observed, the poll—apparently with the intent of reporting the largest percentage of “survivors” possible—also uses an exceptionally broad definition of what constitutes sexual assault. The Post defines “forced touching of a sexual nature” to include “forced kissing . . . grabbing, fondling, rubbing up against you in a sexual way (even if it is over your clothes),” and other vaguely described behaviors many of which cannot seriously be called sexual assault.

The Post doesn’t even try to deal with the argument made most consistently by AEI’s Mark Perry: At some point, the disparity between polls like the Post’s and reported sexual assaults becomes too wide to bridge. The implicit justification for figures like the Post’s so exceeding FBI and Justice Department statistics is that most rape victims don’t report their assaults; according to the administration, only 12 percent, or around one in eight, of campus rapes are reported to law enforcement. But accepting the administration’s figure and multiplying the number of reported rapes by a factor of eight would yield nothing close to 20 percent of college women being assaulted.

In sum, the Post misleads its readers by counting as “sexual assaults” numbers that are deliberately inflated to greatly exceed the legal definitions of “sexual assault” and to sweep in virtually all regretted sexual or even semi-sexual experiences, such as close dancing that a “survivor” later decides was unwelcome.

This may help explain why only 12 percent of students considered sexual assault a “big problem at their school”—while a separate Kaiser survey featured 57 percent of the general public deeming the issue “a big problem.” Students, it appears, have a far different perspective from those whose primary view of campus life comes through alarmist statements by leading politicians or equally alarmist news reports from publications like the Post.

For example, the Post tells readers that “in recent years the number of reports of forcible sexual offenses on campus has surged.” But in fact the number of campus sexual assaults per capita plunged by half between 1997 and 2013, according to the 2014 report of the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ National Crime Victimization Survey, which has long been the most respected and reliable source of crime statistics. The Post unconvincingly contends that the annual BJS survey’s finding that 6.1 of every 1,000 students are sexually assaulted understates the numbers of victims. But even if the Post’s argument were valid, it would cast no doubt on the BJS finding of huge decreases since 1997.

Alarmism in coverage such as the Post’s already is having a deeply disturbing impact on attitudes toward civil liberties. The most shocking result from the Post-Kaiser poll was the finding that college students see a “person who commits sexual assault getting away with it” as “MORE unfair” than an “innocent person getting kicked out,” by a margin of 49 to 42 percent. As often occurs in periods of hysteria, these future citizens are accepting the fundamentally illiberal message that convicting the innocent is a price to pay to achieve the greater good.

This illiberal spirit is likely to intensify. It’s hard to escape the connection between the biased reporting and the Post’s just-announced decision to convene a “thought provoking conversation” on the issue of campus sexual assault. The seven presenters all appear to come from only one side of the argument; the paper did not, for instance, invite even a token defense attorney, civil libertarian, or any of the growing number of falsely accused students who have proved their innocence. The most prominent speaker will be Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York), the foremost congressional champion of degrading campus due process. Another invited speaker will be victims’ rights advocate Dana Bolger—an Amherst College student who formed part of a cohort of campus activists demanding that the college change its procedures to increase the chances of guilty findings. The school did so, and is now being sued after a colleague of Bolger’s in the campus movement leveled what appears to be a false accusation of sexual assault against an innocent man.

The Post’s manipulation of campus surveys and statistics, moreover, should cause Congress to think long and hard about enacting the Campus Accountability & Safety Act. A central component of the measure, whose lead sponsor is none other than Gillibrand, is to require colleges to have an “adequate, random and representative sample size of students” complete biannual “campus climate” surveys—whose questions, no doubt, will be designed to trigger the kind of results that can be used to justify a further weakening of campus due process, and a further spreading of off-campus alarmism. And the Post, it appears, will feed the distortions instead of speaking truth to power.

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If Jenner can change his gender, why can’t someone else change their race?

If we’re all from Africa how can anyone be racist? Notice how the situation becomes “complex” and “multi-layered” when a progressive is caught in a lie (or several).

original article: Mother of Washington state NAACP leader says daughter falsely claimed to be black
June 12, 2015 by Fox News

Controversy erupted around a local NAACP leader in Washington state Thursday after family members told a local newspaper that she had misrepresented herself as black.

Rachel Dolezal is the head of the NAACP’s chapter in Spokane and is also a part-time professor in the Africana Studies Program at Eastern Washington University. The Spokane Spokesman-Review says that Dolezal described her ethnicity as white, black, and American Indian in an application to be the volunteer chairwoman of the city’s Police Ombudsman Commission, a position to which she was duly appointed.

But Dolezal’s mother, Ruthanne, told the paper that the family’s actual ancestry is Czech, Swedish, and German, along with some “faint traces” of Native American heritage.

“It’s very sad that Rachel has not just been herself,” Ruthanne Dolezal said. “Her effectiveness in the causes of the African-American community would have been so much more viable, and she would have been more effective if she had just been honest with everybody.”

Ruthanne Dolezal said that her daughter began to “disguise herself” in the mid-2000s, after the family had adopted four African-American children.

Rachel Dolezal did not immediately respond to her mother’s claim when contacted by the Spokesman-Review, first saying “I feel like I owe [the NAACP] executive committee conversation” about what she called a “multi-layered issue.”

After being contacted again, Dolezal said, “That question is not as easy as it seems. There’s a lot of complexities … and I don’t know that everyone would understand that.” Later, she said, “We’re all from the African continent,” an apparent reference to scientific studies tracing the origin of human life to east Africa.

According to the Spokesman-Review, members of other organizations that Dolezal has belonged to have raised questions about her ethnicity as well as hate crimes that she has reported.

A former board member of the Kootenai County (Idaho) Task Force on Human Relations, which employed Dolezal for three years as the education director for its Human Rights Education Institute in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, told the paper that he was concerned that she had been hired without proper vetting of her background.

Kurt Neumaier also told the paper that he was suspicious of several racially motivated incidents reported by Dolezal while she was in Coeur d’Alene. One specific incident he cited was the discovery of a swastika on the Human Rights Education Institute’s door on a day when the organization’s security cameras had been “mysteriously turned off”.

“None of them passed the smell test,” Neumaier said.

The Spokesman-Review also reported that Spokane police records for February and March of this year showed that a hate mail package Dolezal reported receiving at the NAACP’s post office box did not bear a date stamp or barcode. Postal workers interviewed by police said it was highly unlikely that they had processed it and said it could only have been put there by someone with key.

Dolezal has denied putting the package in the post office box, and the paper reported that it has received several pieces of mail written in the same style that have been date-stamped and postmarked from Oakland, Calif.

more: So, The Spokane NAACP President Reportedly Disguised Herself As A Black Woman for Years

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