Thursday, December 3, 2015

A Letter to My State Assembly Representative, Melissa Melendez, regarding Planned Parenthood

Dear Assemblywoman Melendez:
I don't like to engage politicians over issues related to one's core values, but I feel you've made an error in your statements and position regarding the operations and funding of Planned Parenthood. On 29 July 2015 you released a request for an audit of Planned Parenthood. While you have that right, and the language in your audit request is within the realm of acceptable discourse, it is your public statements accompanying this release that are inflammatory, display ignorance, and show indifference to common values of our nation.
Your actions created three errors that I expect better from my state assembly representative:

  • One, your provocation was a privately-produced video. I shouldn't have to tell you that the video media is very easy to manipulate for the purpose of deceiving viewers. For example, videos argue that the Apollo moon landings were faked and that global warming is not real, and as a result many citizens believe these myths. You should have waited until a more careful review of the video's claims could be reported before taking action. Now, it's clear that extensive edits to the videos show that it is not an honest portrayal of any significant sequence of events. The video creator has also confessed to inserting fictional material.
  • Two: Your statements on 29 July 2015 that Planned Parenthood was engaging in "illegal" and "black market" activities dismisses the notion that in this country the accused is innocent until proven guilty.
  • Three: You've added accusations of "chop-shop", "illegal" and "black market" to an organization that is now enduring an increase in the severity of terrorism. These words coming from a state legislator are irresponsible. How can your words not affect people prone to committing arson and murder who believe they have a righteous cause and an elected official's support? Consider the arson on Oct 1, 2015 at the Thousand Oaks Planned Parenthood and now the murders on Nov. 27, 2015 at the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood.

I come from a family that is majority women, any of which could need Planned Parenthood's services, ranging from contraception, cancer screening, prenatal services, adoption referrals, STI/STD testing, and abortion. What medical services they seek is their business. However, you've helped make it the business of would-be terrorists and witch-hunting politicians.
So please, walk back your public statements. Undo the damage, and show that you

  • Recognize that propaganda should not form the basis of legislative action,
  • That you recognize the American value of innocent till proven guilty,
  • And that you denounce erroneous statements that can be the antecedents to criminal and terrorist actions.

Thank you,
John Garrett