On July 18, 2016, a press conference was held in San Bernardino, CA with local pro-life leaders and 31st district congressional candidate Paul Chabot. Ryan Hagan, writing for the Sun, summarized the press conference in his article "Paul Chabot, others protest against abortion, Pete Aguilar." As a Latina woman present at the press conference, I wish to clarify some common misconceptions that were embedded in his article.
Misconception #1: Pro-lifers want to deprive women of vital health services.
Truth: Local pro-life leaders want to defund Planned Parenthood so that women can receive health services from organizations they can trust. The evidence of Planned Parenthood’s untrustworthiness is plentiful. The Center for Medical Progress released undercover videos revealing top Planned Parenthood employees discussing the illegal selling of aborted babies’ body parts. On top of that, Planned Parenthood clinics across the country have been sued for failure to report sexual abuse, according to Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). ADF also uncovered that the organization has been sued for fraudulent activity concerning Medicaid patients, the very people it claims to serve. Former Planned Parenthood facility director, Sue Thayer, stated that, “No person, no business should view a woman’s body as a profit center, yet that is exactly what Planned Parenthood does. As a former director of two Planned Parenthood clinics in Iowa, I know first-hand how massive are the profits and how terrible are the costs generated by their predatory practices on women and girls. And all the while, our tax dollars are helping them do it.”
As a woman, I want and deserve health care from a credible organization that views me as a person, not a profit source. In San Bernardino alone, for one Planned Parenthood, there are nine federally licensed health centers (FCC’s) that I can choose from for quality health care. Women deserve better than Planned Parenthood.
Misconception #2: It is in the best interests of Hispanics to vote for a Hispanic Democrat.
Truth: As a Mexican American myself, I know that family values, including a deep love and respect of the unborn child, are important to Hispanics. I have spoken with many Hispanic families who are adamantly pro-life and do not know that Aguilar is a supporter of Planned Parenthood and abortion. Sadly, they are not the only ones who have been deceived.
Growing up with a Mexican mother in a Catholic home, I was accustomed to Mass every Sunday, a strong emphasis on family, as well as an understanding that abortion was evil. Regardless of these strongly held beliefs, my mother always voted democrat without realizing that the democratic candidates she was voting for were typically pro-abortion. On being approached by a Planned Parenthood representative who asked her if she would like to help women in need, my mother was ready to make a donation. Only after I, her teenage daughter, asked the representative about Planned Parenthood’s abortion services, did the woman admit that Planned Parenthood did indeed provide abortions. On hearing this, my mother, like many Hispanics would in her place, immediately refused to donate to an organization that did not represent what she believed in most strongly. My mother is not an exception; she is among many individuals who have been deceived into supporting an organization or a candidate who is pro-abortion.
Hispanics need to be fully aware of who they are voting for so they can vote according to their values; not for a man who has a Hispanic last name, who claims to be Catholic, and yet is opposed to the principle that human life is precious at all stages, a principal that is essential to both Catholics and Hispanics. Hispanics deserve better than Aguilar.
Misconception #3: There is no clear connection between Aguilar and Planned Parenthood, and even if there was, it would appear irrelevant.
Truth: Pete Aguilar is vocally pro-choice and a supporter of Planned Parenthood, which puts his own integrity in question. According to the Federal Elections Commission, two years in a row Planned Parenthood gave Aguilar $2,500 for his campaign - the largest amount of money they could legally give a candidate. Aguila has shown unswerving loyalty to Planned Parenthood despite their controversial malpractices. When undercover videos recording Planned Parenthood representatives illegally selling body parts of aborted babies for research were released, Aguilar immediately wrote an oped article defending Planned Parenthood. This immediate support to clear criminal evidence puts Aguilar’s integrity into question. Furthermore, the fact that Aguilar claims to be Catholic and yet is a proud supporter of an organization that goes against fundamental Catholic beliefs further puts his integrity in question. If he cannot accurately represent his own Faith’s beliefs, how can he begin to represent the beliefs of those in the 31st district? The people of the 31st district deserve better than a politician who is not a man of integrity. We deserve better than an organization that claims to provide women’s healthcare and yet exploits women at the same time. We deserve a politician who lives what he claims to profess. We deserve comprehensive centers with more resources for women. The people of the 31st district deserve better than Pete Aguilar and most definitely deserve better than Planned Parenthood.
Patricia O’Leary, Survivors Cristeros Missionary.