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Rep. John Fleming Proves That Republicans Will Literally Believe Anything

Last updated on February 10th, 2012 at 04:36 pm

Satire is one of the finest forms of comedy, through which something akin to a political stance can be mocked by way of sarcasm, ridicule, or the use of the extreme; however, satire is also often a test for gullibility and intelligence since some people will believe the most ridiculous things ever written.

Louisiana Republican Congressman John Fleming (or, to be fair, a member of his staff) failed his recent gullibility test, calling The Onion’s Planned Parenthood Abortionplex article to be “abortion by the wholesale” on his Facebook page, according to an Atlantic Wire story.

The Onion story is classic over-the-top satire, with the goal of mocking those on the extreme right who actually believe that Planned Parenthood is some sort of abortion factory rather than an organization serving many needs. Planned Parenthood spends 97% of its modest budget on things not related to abortion, specifically testing for STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) and STIs (sexually transmitted infections), contraception, cancer screening, and other women’s health issues, meaning that it spends roughly 3% on abortions.

In other words, Planned Parenthood devotes much more of its resources to preventing pregnancies than to ending them. The name sort of gives it away–family planning, not family un-planning.

The satirical story in this case, then, would naturally mock those who think that Planned Parenthood is an abortion factory by writing an outlandish story about what an amazing abortion factory it is–an “Abortionplex.”

Here are a few details that seemed to be plausible in Congressman John Fleming’s world, where liberals must run amok:

  • Planned Parenthood’s new motto: No Life Is Sacred.
  • The facility will be able to perform an abortion every one to three seconds.
  • The “Abortionplex” facility is 900,000 square feet, which is approximately one-third the size of the stadium of the Dallas Cowboys.
  • The “Abortionplex” has 2,000 rooms to “ensure that women visiting the facility can be quickly fitted into stirrups without pausing to second-guess their decision or consider alternatives, such as adoption.”
  • The state-of-the-art facility will feature an IMAX movie theater as well as multiple fetus incinerators.

It’s hard to know whether an author who has his satire taken as fact should feel insulted or complimented, but I bet that Mark Twain would laughing in his grave at Fleming’s Facebook post. Well, actually, he’d probably be laughing at Facebook in general, but that’s a different story.

Correction: Article has been updated to correct that Planned Parenthood is not a government program.

(Image from The Onion)

Paul Yeager

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