For many, the most obvious similarity between the Confederate flag and Planned Parenthood is that abortion was a “fix” frequently utilized by slave-owners. However, the similarity that I’m thinking about will most likely be revealed in the negative reactions to my opening sentence. The tired argument that “it’s about heritage and not hate” is often trotted out whenever the Confederate flag is connected to chattel slavery. That argument has the same lack of honesty as the argument that Planned Parenthood is about health care and not abortion.
In a nutshell, the Confederate flag’s “heritage” is hate, and Planned Parenthood’s “health care” is abortion.
[Note: I am fully aware of the difference between the Confederate national flags — there were three — and the Confederate battle flag. However, it should be noted that the last two Confederate national flags had the battle flag printed on them. Not to mention that the colloquial use of language means that for all intents and purposes the battle flag is synonymous with the Confederacy in peoples’ minds today. Of course, this note won’t spare me the smug “refutations” that “John Ellis is wrong because John Ellis means the battle flag and not the Confederate flag.”]
Planned Parenthood supporters love throwing around the infamous 3 percent figure. As in, only 3 percent of Planned Parenthood’s services are abortions — the other 97 percent of their actions are healthcare services, according to those supporters. That line of reasoning is used to shame those who are anti-abortion into leaving Planned Parenthood alone. After all, the argument continues, even if you think abortion is wrong, abortion is such a tiny part of what the organization does and shutting Planned Parenthood down would result in the loss of free health care for many women.
Except that figure is a lie.
Back in 2015, Rich Lowry explained in the New York Post, “The 3 percent figure is an artifice and a dodge, but even taking it on its own terms, it’s not much of a defense. Only Planned Parenthood would think saying that they only kill babies 3 percent of the time is something to brag about.”
I encourage you to read Lowry’s article, linked to above, to find out what he means by “an artifice and a dodge.” He does an excellent job of demonstrating that Planned Parenthood is being deceitful when they claim that abortions only make up 3 percent of its services. What’s equally important, and what undergirds my argument in this article, is that the percentage of abortions is irrelevant, as Lowry pointed out. Murdering only one baby is one murdered baby too many; it justifies the accusation that Planned Parenthood is synonymous with abortion.
I mean, Jeffrey Dahmer only murdered 17 people and he was alive for 34 years and six months. He spent the vast majority of his 12,500+ days on this planet not murdering people, yet we still rightfully call him a serial killer. No matter how they try to spin it, Planned Parenthood = abortions.
Likewise, the Confederate flag = chattel slavery.
While typing that previous sentence, I could hear specific friends and family members angrily yelling in my head, “The Northern War of Aggression was fought over states’ rights!”
Yeah, the states’ right to own slaves.
But don’t take my word for it. Hear what the vice president of the Confederacy, Alexander Stephens, had to say in his “Cornerstone Speech.” Speaking of the Confederacy’s constitution, Stephens said that slavery “was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution.”
Well, well, well. Here we have the vice president of the Confederacy explicitly stating the cause of the Civil War. And what was that cause? Once again, I’m going to turn to Alexander Stephens to answer that question:
The new constitution has put at rest, forever, all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institution African slavery as it exists amongst us the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution. Jefferson in his forecast, had anticipated this, as the “rock upon which the old Union would split.” He was right. What was conjecture with him, is now a realized fact. But whether he fully comprehended the great truth upon which that rock stood and stands, may be doubted. The prevailing ideas entertained by him and most of the leading statesmen at the time of the formation of the old constitution, were that the enslavement of the African was in violation of the laws of nature; that it was wrong in principle, socially, morally, and politically. It was an evil they knew not well how to deal with, but the general opinion of the men of that day was that, somehow or other in the order of Providence, the institution would be evanescent and pass away.
Stephens doesn’t stop there, though. Throwing even more dirt on the coffin of the notion that “it’s about heritage and not hate,” the proudly racist vice president of the Confederacy said:
[The Confederacy’s] foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.
If Alexander Stephens’ words aren’t convincing enough, in 1860 South Carolina released the “Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union.” Guess what “causes” the state of South Carolina believed justified secession? I’ll give you a hint: it’s slavery.
Specifically, South Carolina accused the federal government of overstepping its Constitutional boundaries regarding slavery.
Look, I could quote and link to primary text after primary text that plainly states that the southern states seceded because of slavery. But I’ve had this argument enough times to know that the amount of evidence is irrelevant. Most people who believe “it’s heritage, not hate” will stick their fingers in their ears while humming the tune to “Dixie” and then make nonsensical arguments in defense of the racist Confederacy. Similar to how Planned Parenthood supporters respond when confronted with evidence that their beloved organization is synonymous with murdering babies.
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