Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards suggested via Vine yesterday that what women need for Valentine's Day is access to a host of reproductive care options — birth control, cancer screenings, well woman visits, breast exams, maternity care, preventative care, and, yeah, safe and legal abortion. But naturally, apoplectic conservative outlets' takeaway from this was "BAD LADY SAY WOMEN NEED ABORTION! LADY BAD."
First of all, Richards didn't just make a Valentine's Day Vine about abortion unprompted; the #WhatWomenNeed hashtag was started as a way to draw attention to political issues that, in the minds of the posters, benefit women. Valentine's Day was just a timely peg. Some posters suggested that women need affordable child care and equal pay. Even the conservative Heritage foundation jumped in, positing that #WhatWomenNeed is school choice. It was a political hashtag. Richards posted something political, which was then taken out of context of a Vine that was taken out of context of a hashtag and presented like she was suggesting that women want abortions for Valentine's Day like she has an insatiable thirst for fetus, rather than what she was actually doing, which was suggesting that ensuring access to comprehensive reproductive health care for women is an important political issue.
— Cecile Richards (@CecileRichards) February 10, 2014
And that's how your anti-choice freakout sausage is made.