Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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October 1, 2009

ABORTION FIELD TRIPS.... I've seen a few outlets noting Rep. Michele Bachmann's (R-Minn.) new attack on health care reform. Except, it's not really "new" -- it's a point some right-wing websites raised a few months ago. Bachmann is just getting around to it now.

In a speech on the House floor last night, Bachmann warned about the dangers of school-based health clinics, patient privacy, and student records.

"What does that mean? It means that parents will never know what kind of counsel and treatment that their children are receiving. And as a matter of fact, the bill goes on to say what's going to go on -- comprehensive primary health services, physicals, treatment of minor acute medical conditions, referrals to follow-up for specialty care -- is that abortion? Does that mean that someone's 13 year-old daughter could walk into a sex clinic, have a pregnancy test done, be taken away to the local Planned Parenthood abortion clinic, have their abortion, be back and go home on the school bus that night? Mom and dad are never the wiser."

I'm not sure why Bachmann thinks school-based health clinics deserve to be characterized as "sex clinics," though it does suggest the right-wing lawmaker has something of a dirty mind.

Media Matters Action Network noted, "Bachmann seems to be getting her information from fringe blogs like Free Republic and WorldNetDaily, both of which have recently promoted similar claims."

PolitiFact.com fact-checked the claim in August: "We see no language in the three main versions of the bill that would allow school-based clinics, which have a long history of providing basic health services to underprivileged students, to provide abortions. Nor would the clinics even be new -- they have been around for three decades. So we rate the claim Pants on Fire!"

Of course, if Bachmann's pushing it, we can expect Beck and others to start parroting it soon.

Steve Benen 12:30 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (47)

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Comments

Perhaps one sentence needs to be revised. It suggests that Bachmann thinks. I am sure that the process for processing information is there somewhere, but I wouldn't call it thinking.

Posted by: bird on October 1, 2009 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK

Evidently she went to a school that had lobotomy field trips.

Posted by: Steve LaBonne on October 1, 2009 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

So silly of her. We're not going to waste staff time and money giving people abortions in schools when we're already forcing them on people in our internment camps.

Posted by: shortstop on October 1, 2009 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

There have been school nurses in American public schools for well over a century; in most places they're coeval w/ the public school system itself. Bachmann's target here is not so much health care reform as the idea of public education.

Most people, including very old ones, remember their school nurse, so I think the term "sex clinic" may be a bridge too far. Or perhaps Bachmann knows of some 3rd grader who, to her mommy's surprise, had gender reassignment surgery after 2nd-period music class?

Posted by: K on October 1, 2009 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

Bachmann is only recalling the trouble she caused during her middle and high school days, which is why she has so much information about what goes on in the schools. Wait, she is still causing trouble. Who let her graduate?

Posted by: withay on October 1, 2009 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

Sex clinics? Is that were all the nurses wear the hottie nurse outfits I see every Halloween? I imagine the doctors go pantless, because they're just cool that way. They probably serve cocktails and quaaludes in the waiting room and make the patients change into sexy underwear before they get their "examination." Forget the kids, where do I sign up?

Posted by: Doctor Biobrain on October 1, 2009 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

You know who else liked "comprehensive primary health services" and "treatment of minor acute medical conditions"? HITLER!!!

Posted by: FreeProton on October 1, 2009 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

It's long past time to hit the ignore button on this lunatic.
We're just feeding her insatiable lust for attention.
Why are we wasting one nanosecond responding to this nonsense? Why am I? Enough, no more rubbernecking.
IGNORE

p.s. this applies to Palin as well, especially since she doesn't hold any public office.

Posted by: Allan Snyder on October 1, 2009 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

"Does that mean that someone's 13 year-old daughter could walk into a sex clinic, have a pregnancy test done, be taken away to the local Planned Parenthood abortion clinic, have their abortion, be back and go home on the school bus that night?"

I don't know, does it? Maybe Ms. Bachmann will do us a favor and ask someone who works in the gubmint if it's twue.

Posted by: flubber on October 1, 2009 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

WTF! Sex clinics?! Seriously? This woman makes Palin and her death panels BS look sane. Honestly, do you really think Bachman believes the crap she says?

Posted by: GiggsisGod on October 1, 2009 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

This incredibly offensive claim needs to be strongly debunked. Planned Parenthood is deeply committed to involving parents in momentous decisions in kids' lives.

Moreover, they work very hard to help kids keep from getting pregnant, unlike the "conservatives" who fund programs that use the public schools to lie to children about the effectiveness of contraception.

Posted by: JayAckroyd on October 1, 2009 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

The biggest mistake was ever turning this idiot into a media sensation after her remarks on Hardball about investigating unamerican members of congress. She should have been thrown on the trash heap then and there, but no, every stupid word she utters is now treated as news.

Its sad and frightening to think that this is the level of people who are making the major decisions for the nation.

Posted by: SaintZak on October 1, 2009 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

I find it fascinating the the two most stupid and ignorant women in America (her and Sarah Palin) and possibly the world managed to get elected to high office. How? How I ask you is this possible?

Posted by: Liam J on October 1, 2009 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

Word choice alone would make one wonder about the sanity of Rep. Bachmann! With her casual use of such rhetoric, it becomes obvious Ms. Bachmann perceives her world as a miserable, confused place where bad people are after her! What bilge rot! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on October 1, 2009 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

I'm sure that the GOP leadership will demand a vote to discipline Bachmann for making such outrageous claims in a floor speech and CNN will have her on to be grilled by an intense panel of objective journalists.

BWA-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! I crack me up.

Posted by: Lifelong Dem on October 1, 2009 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

Has Bachmann been hanging out with Vitter? Sounds like Vitter showed her the ropes to his favorite haunts.

Posted by: Silver Owl on October 1, 2009 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

I'm certain this is related to asstrology. The planets must be aligned in a certain way that makes her brain perform in a fashioon that has been never befor been experienced by mankind.
ooops! Sorry that can't possibly be. She has no brain. There's nothing but empty space there.

Posted by: Gandalf on October 1, 2009 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

"We see no language in the three main versions of the bill that would allow school-based clinics,... to provide abortions.

What I think Bachmann is pointing out is that many conscientous parents would like the language of the bill to specifically DISALLOW these clinics to take their kid off to facilitate a secret abortion.

Call Bachmann names if you like, but when something in a bill is not specifically disallowed, it is implicitly ALLOWED. At least Bachmann is reading the bill.

Posted by: marybel on October 1, 2009 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

Of course, if Bachmann's pushing it, we can expect Beck and others to start parroting it soon.

And, from Beck + others, it will quickly make its way into the 'liberal' MSM, at which time it will become a received truth amongst the commentariat.

-Z

Posted by: Zorro on October 1, 2009 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

You know what really bothers me about these two nutjobs? The affect their terrorizing tactics have on their own children. Neither one is afraid to employ fear/manipulation/terror tactics to get what they want. They had to have practiced on someone before taking it to strangers.

Posted by: Silver Owl on October 1, 2009 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

Planned Parenthood is deeply committed to involving parents in momentous decisions in kids' lives.
Posted by: JayAckroyd on October 1, 2009 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

Did you never read a while back how Planned Parenthood was "Acorned"? A woman posing as a 14 year old impregnated by 30 year old, was told to lie about her "boyfriend's" age, so they could do the abortion and wouldn't have to report him to Children's Social Services. They also promised to not tell her parents. This was repeated in several PP clinics with the same result, despite their duty to report statutory rape to social services.

Sorry, Jay, your statement above is horribly misinformed. This is not the Planned Parenthood you think you know.

Posted by: marybel on October 1, 2009 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry marybel. I know these people, and you obviously don't.

Posted by: jayackroyd on October 1, 2009 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

At least Bachmann is reading the bill.

Posted by: marybel

That's quite a leap of faith you're taking, marybel.

Posted by: Lifelong Dem on October 1, 2009 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

Bible Spice I think we should just ignore. I do, however, look forward to Bachman's pronouncements on anything, secure in the knowledge that it will provide comic relief. She is so crazy I really do not see her as ever being a real threat.

Posted by: Terry on October 1, 2009 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

I often make an attempt at humor in my comments to Steve's posts.

Lately, however, his reporting of GOP antics are able to stand alone in the humor department. . .

Posted by: DAY on October 1, 2009 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

Okay, Jay, rather than just dismissing me as not knowing "these people," let's have you substantially address/dispute the point I made about Planned Parenthool.

Planned Parenthood absolutely is not "deeply committed to involving parents in momentous decisions in kids' lives," and I gave you a concrete example to back that up.

Are you saying the reports I cited are false?

Google is your friend. You might want to look into the instances I referred to. It's quite shocking.

Posted by: marybel on October 1, 2009 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

marybel - you are absolutely right! the bill does not say that abortions are prohibited in these in-school. let's put that in ASAP. but why stop there? let's make sure that the bill stops sex-reassignment surgery of our middle-schoolers. Who wants little Johnny to come home as little Janey? I want my boy to come with his johnson still attached, thank you very much. No more implants! When I send my 13-year-old to school, I want to make damn sure she doesn't come home with D-cups. Let's write that in. Let's see... let's definitely ban those in-school sex clinics from doing tongue piercings and vasectomies. Oh -- no plastic surgery of any kind!! Definitely need to watch out for that, with those rascally in-school sex clinics. I guess we also need to ban the REVERSE of abortion: let's make sure to ban in vitro fertilization of our school-age children! Under no circumstances do I want my little girl to come home pregnant because a fertilized ova was sneakily implanted in her uterus by those damned, perfidious in-school sex clinics. I bet they'd tell her it was just a routine ear cleaning, too, those scamps.

Thank you, Michele Bachman, and thank YOU, marybel, for protecting us from the unfettered hell that we might have gaily jumped into.

Posted by: Travis on October 1, 2009 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

I believe Marybel that the burden of proof lies with you. Let's see YOU prove your accusations. You and Bachman are the perfect arguments for abortion.

Posted by: Gandalf on October 1, 2009 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

Bachmann and Palin are indeed, as noted several times here, a pair of halfwits. That's why rather than hoping sane people will simply ignore them I hope their nitwittery gets maximum exposure. Every time they comes out with one of these zingers and the alleged GOP leadership sits silent, it becomes clearer and clearer that Republicans have lost either their minds or any vestige of courage.

The best disinfectant is sunshine.

Posted by: Mandy Cat on October 1, 2009 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

Gandalf,

A quick Google of "planned parenthood, statutory rape":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlmbcbqrK5Y

This is just one of many.

Posted by: marybel on October 1, 2009 at 3:32 PM | PERMALINK

Now don't go getting all hysterical marybel!

Blame each state for funding public education in the first place. Without public schools, sex-clinics wouldn't even exist according to the inferences made by your hero Ms. Bachmann. Without public schools, your fear that Planned Parenthood would just move right into any school campus USA and begin offering abortions on demand to our precious teenagers would never have to be feared! Yes, marybel, your fear is the only fear you need to fear, so please leave the rest of us to point out the stark and naked hypocrisy and fearmongering from the likes of people like Ms. Bachmann!

For yourself, just relax and watch as we try to wretch the reigns of obstructionism from the hands of the current Republican leadership who haven't yet recognized their party has now been on the losing end of the last two election cycles!-Kevo

Posted by: kevo on October 1, 2009 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

I'm sure Newt Gingrich, David Vitter, Mark Sanford, and Larry Craig are all calling Representative Bachman to find out the location of their nearest school sex clinic.

Posted by: jim on October 1, 2009 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK

yes, marybel ... clearly Google anecdotes count as research in the minds of the semi-literate wingnut masses. But they usually don't constitute proof of anything.

btw, I reject your implicit assumption that it is always in the 13 year old's best interest to have her parents involved in decisions regarding her body. That's why I tell my patients' parents to leave at some point in the interview.

Stable and mature parental influences are awesome, if you can get them ... unfortunately, even Mayberry has too many meth-head parents to be reliable, anymore.

Posted by: Gonads on October 1, 2009 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

unfortunately, even Mayberry has too many meth-head parents

This explains a great deal about Floyd.

Posted by: shortstop on October 1, 2009 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

I would very much like to live in a world where all parents support their daughters at difficult moments in their lives, where there is no rape, where there is no incest.

I know, unquestionably, how committed PP is to the most supportive environment possible for young people, that they view parents as the best source of support, and that they help kids summon the courage to seek their parents' support.

But there are cases where that support will not be forthcoming, and even instances where it would endanger the kid (think stepfather rapist) to turn to her parents.

To pose as someone in such a circumstance is appalling, and evidence of nothing.

Posted by: jayackroyd on October 1, 2009 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

That's why I tell my patients' parents to leave at some point in the interview.

My brother is a pediatrician, and he does the same thing. It is obviously tricky drawing an age line, and, of course, kids mature at different rates.

But there is certainly some point where the kid is his or her own person, capable of consent. The trouble is that the line is blurry and variable.

Posted by: jayackroyd on October 1, 2009 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

Gonads,

I don't know what state you have patients in, but if that 13 year old minor is impregnated by a person over 18, you may well have a mandated obligation, as does Planned Parenthood, to report statutory rape to social services.

And I believe this obligation is legally binding even if the parents are less than stable and mature.

Remember, my original challenge was to JayAckroyd's statement ---"Planned Parenthood is deeply committed to involving parents in momentous decisions in kids' lives." --- and I disagree with his opinion even if you think over 26,000 google hits is just a bunch of semi-literate anecdotes.

Posted by: marybel on October 1, 2009 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

Again, I actually know and work with the organization. This characterization could not be more abjectly false.

But what really pisses me off about this is that the people who work at PP really are dedicated to helping young women. And the people who claim otherwise, by innuendo and by lying, deserve nothing more than contempt and dismissal.

/trollfeeding

Posted by: jayackroyd on October 1, 2009 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

even if you think over 26,000 google hits is just a bunch of semi-literate anecdotes

And googling "Ronald Reagan raped an actress" brings back 71,000 hits.

What's your point, Marybel?

Posted by: Dwight on October 1, 2009 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

marybel,

Anecdotes != data.

And by your very loose standards of innuendo, it'd be even easier to prove that the Republican Party advocates a military coup to gain power. After all, the RNC funds NewsMax, which printed that jackass' thinly-veiled call for a junta takeover. Sure, the Republican Party says it's for democracy...

Jackass.

Posted by: Gregory on October 1, 2009 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

I haven't looked at the videos, so I don't know if they're doctored or not, but I notice that the anti-choice child impersonator, Lila Rose, who claims PP told her to lie about the age of her (father?) impregnator only visited PPs in Tennessee.

Interesting.

Posted by: Tom K on October 1, 2009 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

And just to clarify, the purpose of my post isn't to endorse the Reagan allegation, but to point out the weakness of using total Google hits to prove the validity of an assertion.

Posted by: Dwight on October 1, 2009 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

Dwight, I believe I've made my point.

And yeah, jay, I'm with Planned Parenthood too. In fact, I have to leave for work. Aren't you just really annoyed by all the investigating that's going on around there?

Posted by: marybel on October 1, 2009 at 5:27 PM | PERMALINK

I believe I've made my point

Um, no, you haven't, at least not with Google.

Posted by: Dwight on October 1, 2009 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks to our school nurse, my parents were forced to get my eyes tested. It took two years of calls to my mother, but I finally got my glasses. She also made sure I was getting fed enough. I was very thin at the time, but it was natural and I actually ate like a horse. I remember we all got TB patch tests (I think yearly). The school clinic was certainly not in any way hiding things from parents, in fact, the nurse was in contact with parents over anything that might be of concern.

Michelle Bachmann is just a paranoid twit with limited powers of reason. It's too bad she isn't ignored by the MSM, but I guess she makes good copy (or maybe that should be more correctly labeled bad copy).

Posted by: Alison S on October 1, 2009 at 10:48 PM | PERMALINK

>Call Bachmann names if you like, but when something in a bill is not specifically disallowed, it is implicitly ALLOWED.

The bill says NOTHING about giving Ms. Bachmann a swift kick in the keister every time you see her.
Since the bill implicitly ALLOWS that, I look forward to much foot movement to her backside until her don't-kick-me amendment passes.

File under: Oh puh-leeze.

Posted by: bartkid on October 2, 2009 at 10:17 AM | PERMALINK

Michele Bachmann is a disgrace to the USA, MN, and the 6th. If you're interested in getting rid of Bachmann, support democratic candidate Dr. Maureen Reed! You can learn more about Maureen, and donate, at:
http://maureenreedforcongress.com/
and
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maureen_Reed

Posted by: MNBlue on October 5, 2009 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK
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