COLUMBIA — State Sen. Mike Fair of Greenville today compared Planned Parenthood Health Systems to Adolf Hitler in response to a poll the group commissioned on the subject of abortion.
Planned Parenthood this morning released results of the poll of three Senate districts, saying it found that a majority of respondents to the poll said they support access to abortion at 20 weeks after they were told that such abortions are rare and often involve fetal abnormalities.
The organization, based in North Carolina, describes itself as a private, non-profit family planning agency that provides an array of health services, including abortion.
Fair, who describes himself as a pro-life legislator, told GreenvilleOnline.com he doesn't trust any survey done by Planned Parenthood, which opposes the abortion bill passed by the House banning abortions in which the fetus is 20 weeks or older.
"I have no more confidence in Planned Parenthood than I do in Adolf Hitler, if he were around, to ask about whether his signature is binding," Fair said. "He would say, 'Yeah, it is.' It's not, it wasn't. He, by the way, had the same philosophy of Planned Parenthood and that is that some people deserve to live more than other people based on what the culture says."
The poll, taken by Public Policy on behalf of Planned Parenthood, surveyed voters in the districts of Senate Majority Leader Harvey Peeler, Senate President Pro Tempore John Courson of Columbia and Sen. Ray Cleary of Georgetown.
The House bill, sponsored by Rep. Wendy Nanney of Greenville, would ban abortions in cases in which the fetus was 20 weeks or older.
According to Planned Parenthood, the poll shows:
* In Cleary's district, 65 percent of all voters say abortions should be legal after 20 weeks if a woman's doctor determines that the woman would suffer serious, long-lasting health problems if she carried the pregnancy to term.
* In Courson's district, 67 percent of all voters say abortions should be legal after 20 weeks if a woman's doctor determines that the fetus is not yet viable and the woman and her family determine that her health and personal circumstances are such that she should not continue her pregnancy.
* And in Peeler's district, 50 percent of all voters say abortions should be legal after 20 weeks if a pregnancy resulted from rape or incest.
"While women should not have to justify their personal medical decisions, the reality is that abortion later in pregnancy is rare and often happens under heartbreaking and tragic circumstances," said Melissa Reed, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood. "Unfortunately opponents of safe and legal abortion have tried to distort that reality, and it is important for us to get the truth out there."