Planned Parenthood of Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma apparently plans a news conference Wednesday to announce a new alliance with a Des Moines-based Planned Parenthood organization.
Rose Mimms of the anti-abortion Arkansas Right to Life jumps out ahead of the announcement with a strategic message relayed through James Jefferson of Stephens Media that she's sure Planned Parenthood wants to expand availability of abortion here.
Well, if she means preserving access to prescription-drug-based abortion — now common in the early stage of pregnancy — I hope so. Because if we're left to the Rose Mimmses of the world there will be no abortion available in Arkansas except the dangerous, illegal kind. The anti-choice forces wouldn't allow dispensation of so much as a morning-after pill.
Mimms is loaded with punchy phrases like "webcast abortions." What that means is telemedicine, a salvation to people lacking medical services. Through the wonders of the Internet, doctors can see and consult with patients in remote locations and prescribe drugs for them. Astonishing that someone might consider doing this so that women may continue to enjoy a full range of medical services and drugs, rather than be forced by increasiingly punitive legislation into back alleys or expensive trips to other states.
Planned Parenthood, by the way, says it has made no decision about expansion of services here.
Safe, legal, rare. The Clinton formulation is still the best one. Right to Life wants it illegal and, consequently, unsafe. Many of their allies also oppose proper sex education and ready availability of contraceptives to prevent unwanted pregnancies.