Of course NPR is going to blame what is being called an HIV epidemic on the fact that a particular Planned Parenthood clinic was shut down. But this is a classic case of post hoc ergo propter hoc. Just because something happens after something else doesn’t mean that the first event caused the other. Correlation doesn’t imply causation.
They’re only blaming the outbreak on the closed Planned Parenthood clinic, because Planned Parenthood’s gotten a lot of flak recently. Someone’s got to stand up for them and all the good that they do. They don’t exist just to perform abortions. They also do cancer screenings and STI testing, services that cannot be found anywhere else outside a Planned Parenthood clinic.
NPR host Linda Wertheimer asked reporter Jennifer Ludden if a big impact can be seen in states that have defunded or closed down Planned Parenthood clinics. Ludden responded:
“You absolutely can. Texas – a study just out this spring – found that a quarter of the state’s family-planning clinics have closed. The ones who are left are only serving half as many women as before. The state’s own study this year found 30,000 fewer women in Texas getting healthcare through its programs. That means fewer cancer screenings, less testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases and, of course, less birth control. Health experts say that the upshot of this will be more unplanned births and more abortions. In Indiana, which has also cut funding to Planned Parenthood, you might recall a big story this spring of an HIV outbreak there. The government called it an epidemic. That happened in the county where the state cuts forced a Planned Parenthood clinic to shut down two years ago.”
She mentioned an HIV epidemic in southeastern Indiana earlier this year. Fox News had reported back in April about that very outbreak:
More than 100 people in southeastern Indiana have tested positive for HIV in an outbreak linked to the sharing of intravenous needles, and officials said Friday they’re trying to combat unfounded fears among drug users that they could be arrested if they take part in a needle-exchange program created to stem the spread of the virus.
The state’s Joint Information Center said there had been 95 confirmed HIV cases and 11 preliminary positive cases tied to the outbreak as of Thursday. That’s up from last week’s 84 confirmed HIV cases and five preliminary positive cases.
All of those cases have been linked to needle-sharing among intravenous drug users, most of whom injected a liquefied form of the prescription painkiller Opana.
So, what’s this got to do with a Planned Parenthood clinic that was shut down two years prior to this? Nothing. Does reporter Jennifer Ludden actually think that if that Planned Parenthood clinic had not shut down, those drug users would not have contracted HIV? The clinic’s closure had nothing to do with these drug users’ bad needle habits. The left simply needs an excuse to justify Planned Parenthood’s existence and need for taxpayer funding.