Matthews' Mendacity on Family Planning Continues

Following up on Monday's debacle, in which Chris Matthews said that federal funding for family planning "sounds a little like China," and related to rrp's guest post below, Mr. Hardballz took to the airwaves yesterday, after the funding had been dropped from the stimulus package, and continued to misrepresent it as an attempt by Democrats to dictate limits to American families:
Good evening, I'm Chris Matthews. Leading off tonight: Leave the kids out of this! Barack Obama gets Democrats in Congress to drop contraception from his big stimulus bill. It turns out the idea of getting people to have fewer children didn't sell as national policy. Maybe people don't like Washington, which has done such a bang-up job regulating the sharpies on Wall Street, to decide it's now time to regulate the number of kids people might be in the mood for.
It's amazing how much he can get wrong in 81 words—though not remotely surprising, given the contempt with which he spits the word "contraception" out of his mouth like it's a piece of shit. Why do I imagine that Matthews is the sort of fella who doesn't think the federal government should be paying for birth control when the womminz should just learn to keep their legs shut…?

I'll skip quickly past the fact that funding family planning also means funding sex and reproductive education, not just contraception, and the mendacious conflation of the Republican's lack of regulation of Wall Street with the Democrats' alleged attempt to regulate reproduction, and move on to more appalling bit of deception that providing people with contraceptives is equivalent to "getting people to have fewer children."

The particular irony about that misrepresentation is that giving women the ability to plan for children when they want them may have the effect of a higher birth rate—because women who delay childbirth until they are ready are likely to have more children. A woman who becomes a teenage mother, indefinitely delaying her higher education and entry into a secure career, may struggle with her one child for 18 years. That same woman, had she delayed motherhood until she was an established adult in a stable partnership with a willing co-parent, might have become a mother to two or three kids.

(Please note that I am not suggesting that education, nor career, nor relationship are prerequisites for parenting. I'm just offering the hypothetical to show the inherent flaw in Matthews' logic.)

The problem is that Matthews doesn't understand the concept of choice. The availability of contraception does not suggest, to any woman with a desire to control her reproduction, that she shouldn't have children. It means that she will be able to have children when and if she is ready. It puts the regulation of her reproduction in her hands—not the government's.

Despite Matthews' claims to the contrary.

This whole segment, all thirty seconds of it, is an Orwellian masterpiece, really. It asserts that providing women with contraception takes away their choice—and casts the Democrats as the villains who want to control the wombs of American women.

And that damnable lie would be sufficiently objectionable on its own, but is made exponentially more infuriating by the reality that it is Republicans who have endeavored for 36 years (and then some) to leave American women with no choice at all.

Where is Matthews' outrage at the lack of choice intrinsic to criminalizing abortion? Where is the incensed rant about the Republicans' attempt to regulate women's bodies after they did such a piss-poor job regulating Wall Street? Where is the righteous indignation on behalf of "people" who don't want children?

That's some Fox News-style fairness and balance, right there.

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