‘NOBODY’S LIFE IS AFFECTED BY PLANNED PARENTHOOD’…. I don’t think O’Reilly thought this one through.

Conservative activists have long been pushing for cultural riders and, with Republicans back in control the House, have a chance to push them forward. “Why can’t you slash Planned Parenthood and NPR and these — these non-vital programs? Why can’t you slash them?” Fox News host Bill O’Reilly demanded of Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) Thursday evening.

“Well, we’re talking about health care. We’re talking about education,” Rangel replied.

“Health care is another matter,” O’Reilly said. “That has to be taken very methodically because people’s lives are affected. Nobody’s life is affected by NPR. Nobody’s life is affected by Planned Parenthood. These are options.”

Now, I don’t know if O’Reilly even understands what Planned Parenthood does, or the services it provides. But for those who rely on its facilities for access to contraception, family planning services, pap smears, and cancer screenings, it’s fair to say Planned Parenthood affects the lives of millions in positive and important ways.

Indeed, O’Reilly’s concerned about cuts to “health care,” but not concerned about cuts to Planned Parenthood. How is it that any rational person could consider family planning and health screenings as being unrelated to health care?

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.