Salon.com is a pro-choice publication that seems to exist to fearmonger about President Trump and push propaganda for Planned Parenthood. They recently published an article that seemed to just be a Planned Parenthood press release, and didn’t seem to ask some obvious questions.
The article is titled, “Health officials fear the pandemic will cause STIs to increase.”
While opening by talking about the serious issue of pregnant women having syphilis, which can lead to infant death, the rest of the article tries to make the point that STIs will increase and that’s why Planned Parenthood is necessary.
The article notes, “Now, healthcare professionals are concerned the pandemic could exacerbate the already worrisome trend. Thirty-eight Planned Parenthood affiliates around the United States received over $80 million in loans from the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) which was part of a small business relief program to help employers during the pandemic. Thanks to letters obtained by NPR, news surfaced that the Trump administration has been asking these affiliates to return millions of dollars.”
It then goes in to talk about Planned Parenthood’s role in testing for STIs. In fact, the remaining 8 paragraphs are solely quotes from Planned Parenthood or paraphrasing of Planned Parenthood statements.
Furthermore, there are no counter-points or critical questions raised. For example, if people were following the lockdown orders, they should have been cutting down their sexual interactions to only people they live with (in an ideal world, that’s their spouse). Also, is Planned Parenthood really important to the testing and treatment of STIs?
Without a doubt, Planned Parenthood does test and treat for some STIs, but their role is minimal in the grander scheme of things. According to its latest annual report, Planned Parenthood diagnosed 240,384 STIs. They also list about 40,000 prevention or treatment services. Charitably, that translates to a treatment rate of only 16%!
Furthermore, Planned Parenthood performed just under 5 million STI tests last year. It’s unclear how many tests are performed every year, but the CDC reports that there were about 2,500,000 STDs diagnosed in 2018. That means Planned Parenthood diagnoses only 10% of all STDs. Not great for a national health care organization, especially one that claims to be focused on those basic health care services such as STD testing and well-woman exams.
Salon.com didn’t commit journalism here, they committed propaganda.