by Liz Smith | bio

I was interested in how the many Democratic presidential candidates in the debate held last month in Las Vegas answered questions about abortion.

Every single one of them deflected the very word "abortion" and did not repeat it.

And every single one of them who addressed the issue labeled it "a privacy issue" concerning a woman’s right to do as she sees fit with her own body and that the matter should be "closed and private." 

In other words, the very word "abortion" is so taboo and so riven with meaning that nobody wants to deal with it. So they call it "the right to privacy by women." 

Well, I guess that’s OK if you don’t like calling a spade a spade.

And one of my pet organizations, Planned Parenthood, now led by the dynamic Cecile Richards, doesn’t seem to like to be simply labeled with the pro-choice description. Planned Parenthood says it is helping all women, mostly hoping they will deal intelligently with contraception and family planning — and making many services available to them.

The eldest daughter of the late governor of Texas, Ann Richards, Cecile Richards has certainly lent a lot of "political and social muscle" to Planned Parenthood.

If you like movie stars and big names, here are just a few of the show business faithful who are big supporters of Planned Parenthood: Felicity Huffman, Bill Macy, Julianne Moore, Kathryn Erbe, Alex Trebec, Blythe Danner, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Westfeldt, Cynthia Nixon, Tamara Tunic, Kate Walsh, Kathy Griffen, Kathleen Turner, Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda.

And you can add Fran Lebowitz and Liz Smith to that mix. 

These are issues that all women, menopausal or not, need to join and help.

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Liz Smith, columnist for the New York Post, is WVFC’s first Ann Richards Troublemaker in Residence.

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