The Gacy Clown Defense

I’ve seen a lot of what I like to call “the Gacy Clown Defense” in this Komen/Planned Parenthood affair so I’ve decided to detail exactly what the Gacy Clown Defense is. It’s really quite simple and its failing is quite obvious but it’s used all the time to defend the country’s largest abortion mill. Heck, it’s even employed by some prominent bloggers I generally enjoy reading.

The Gacy Clown Defense is when you try to nullify shockingly horrible things someone or some organization has done or is doing by invoking their charity.

In the case of John Wayne Gacy the defense would be, despite the fact that he brutally murdered 30+ people, Gacy would volunteer to dress up as a clown and entertain sick kids at hospitals.

See. He wasn’t really all that bad…

Similarly, despite the fact that they perform hundreds of thousands of abortions per year, Planned Parenthood also gives out free condoms and std tests.

See. They’re not all that bad…

The most recent incarnation of this defense, that I’ve seen, was made by Jazz Shaw over at Hot Air’s Greenroom:

Yes, money is fungible. We all know this. But those without blinders also know that abortions are actually not the majority of the work done by Planned Parenthood. In fact they are not anywhere near the 90% figure once quoted by Jon Kyle. (Disregarding his later politically charged pronunciations that the figures were not intended to be factual statements.) In fact, such procedures account for roughly 3% of the work performed. (EDIT: See below) And Komen, according to every source I can find, has never once spoken out or supported in any way abortion procedures. They raise funds which go to early cancer detection, and this is also something which PP provides at little to no cost to tens of thousands of women, along with other routine preventative health services. I’m only aware of this because of personal family and friend contacts who have made use of these services over the years and who have never had an abortion.

See. Sure Planned Parenthood does hundreds of thousands of abortions (which is actually more like 10% of the procedures they do not 3%) each year but, hey, they also offer “routine preventative health services”. So it’s a wash, right?

The point here isn’t that Planned Parenthood or even John Wayne Gacy never committed a good act in their existence. The point is they’ve committed such overwhelmingly heinous acts that whatever good they’ve done in comparison will never be enough to nullify that. That is why the Gacy Clown Defense will always fall flat. That is why it is deserving of mockery & ridicule.

So whenever you come across somebody making this argument please do identify it as such. Let them know they’re employing the Gacy Clown Defense and let them know how wrong it really is.

(How did nobody guess this guy was a serial killer by the way?)

UPDATE: It seems that Ezra Klein feels the Gacy Clown Defense is as good as some of the Nazis’ ideas. Here is how he’d like to nullify the more than 300,000 abortions Planned Parenthood performs each year:

As you can see in the chart atop this post, abortion services account for about 3 percent of Planned Parenthood’s activities. That’s less than cancer screening and prevention (16 percent), STD testing for both men and women (35 percent), and contraception (also 35 percent). About 80 percent of Planned Parenthood’s users are over age 20, and 75 percent have incomes below 150 percent of the poverty line. Planned Parenthood itself estimates it prevents more than 620,000 unintended pregnancies each year, and 220,000 abortions. It’s also worth noting that federal law already forbids Planned Parenthood from using the funds it receives from the government for abortions.

See. They’re not so bad.

A bit of advice for pro-choicers: everybody knows you don’t think abortion is wrong so don’t try to tell the rest of us that abortion mills are ok because along with the abortions they perform they also do other stuff. Just go with your original line that abortion mills are ok because abortions are ok. It’s far less insulting & bizarre.

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Stephen Gutowski

Stephen Gutowski is an award-winning political reporter who got his start in 2009 when he founded this blog.

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