Fluffy puff: WaPo’s latest portrait of Cecile Richards cloying enough to make you forget what she does for a living

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In mid-August, The Washington Post released a puff piece about Planned Parenthood prez Cecile Richards that was so fawning, we had to ensure the author wasn’t actually a Planned Parenthood employee writing marketing copy.  The piece, entitled The abortion rights movement is bolder than it’s been in years.  That’s Cecile Richards’s plan, appeared in WaPo’s Style section – which left some commentators scratching their heads.

The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway incisively observed that, “Given the business [Planned Parenthood] is in – violently ending 300k+ innocent human lives each year – obsequious media cover jars.”  And the piece is both jarring and cloying.

Until recently, Planned Parenthood’s PR department worked to furiously scrub the reality of their abortion business from their public image, but today Richards would likely embrace Hemingway’s assessment of her business.  That’s because – as the WaPuff piece gleefully broadcasts – Planned Parenthood has embarked on a new campaign aimed at decimating social opposition to the act of abortion:

Gone is the vaguely conciliatory mantra of the past, the ideal of keeping abortion “safe, legal, and rare” once advocated by Bill and Hillary Clinton.  Today’s activists are bringing the passionately debated procedure into the light, encouraging women to talk openly about their abortions and giving the movement an unapologetic human face.

This tactic is pure marketing, and the desperation of groups like Planned Parenthood to sell abortion to a culture increasingly opposed to elective abortion on-demand is not so thinly-veiled.  Indeed, at the grand opening of a new Planned Parenthood abortion mill in New Orleans, Richards unflinchingly stated: “We definitely built this so we can provide abortions.”

And Planned Parenthood hasn’t overlooked the importance of the political machine in this endeavor.  The piece inventories Planned Parenthood’s furious efforts to elect Hillary Clinton in November.  Clinton, explains the author, “has done an about-face on the issue with a party platform that is pushing, for the first time, for full Medicaid funding for abortions.”  Motivation behind Clinton’s flip-flop is no mystery.

In a classic political quid pro quo, Planned Parenthood’s political arm lines DNC campaign coffers – especially Clinton’s – and in turn DNC guard dogs growl at any D.C. colleague who dares to question the legitimacy of Planned Parenthood’s cool half-billion allowance from taxpayer wallets each year.  Can you say, “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine”?

According to Wisconsin Democrat Gwen Moore, Richards “really transformed” Planned Parenthood and “turned it into the kind of political machine that has been necessary not only to fight back the bad policy positions, but to actually raise money.”  Indeed, few organizations are as simpatico as Planned Parenthood and the DNC.

WaPuff continues: “As the president of the country’s largest abortion provider, Richards is a lightning rod for conflicting passions.  Polarizing?  The word could have been invented for her.”  Polarizing is exactly what Planned Parenthood tried not to be for decades.  In fact, the group fought desperately to create a “women’s healthcare” brand in which abortion was an aside—an afterthought available for those supposedly “rare” cases when women’s health demanded extraordinary measures.  Richards, we are told, is directly responsible for the brand’s metamorphosis from evasively tiptoeing around the abortion issue to cheerleading loudly-and-proudly for the cause.

Planned Parenthood has given no surer sign of PR defeat than finally succumbing to the one marketing ploy that forces them to broadcast what they do and hope that the public is so distracted by their audacity that they overlook the gut-wrenching reality behind the word “abortion.”

In reality, Planned Parenthood had no choice in the matter: there was no coming back unscathed by the undercover Center for Medical Progress videos.  The videos exposed Planned Parenthood’s inmost being, and the result was more ugly, heartbreaking, and infuriating than most people ever imagined.  For Planned Parenthood, embracing and projecting the ugliness as a point of pride was simply a case of assimilate or die.

WaPo’s piece is a giant bowl of potpourri offered to the Planned Parenthood gods, but at this point, can anything mask the stench rising from the gates of the biggest, proudest killing business in America?

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