Many pro-choicers become upset or offended when people call them pro-abortion. Some may even claim that nobody is really pro-abortion, and that they actually really want to avoid abortion. If you support Planned Parenthood, though, you are supporting an organization that is much more pro-abortion than pro-choice. If you truly wish to describe yourself as pro-choice, you believe that a woman has the right to choose what to do with her pregnancy, which includes choosing to keep her baby or turn to adoption. This should also mean that a woman receives unbiased information so that she really make a decision she is comfortable with.
Planned Parenthood as an organization very much has a stake and personal gain in abortion, with its own figures showing its clients receive an overwhelming amount of abortions compared to other services related to pregnancy. Planned Parenthood also very much wants to protect its image though, and will oftentimes mislead its proponents and public in order to gain support and funding.
For anyone who wishes to find out more about the truth behind Planned Parenthood, NRLC fact sheets and the Director of Education and Research, Randall K. O’Bannon, provide very helpful information, statistics and figures, and backs up a lot of information in this article. Live Action also has fact sheets.
3% Model Explained
In many appearances she has made, Cecile Richards has said that abortions from Planned Parenthood only account for 3% of their services. If you go by this chart, which is also in the annual report, then a majority of their services include STD/STI testing and treatment, followed by contraception. And, if you want to figure out a percentage of 329, 445 abortions going by the amount of services Planned Parenthood conducted in 2010, which is 11,003,366, then you do get close to 3%.
Here’s the thing though, the organization counts every individual pill and condom as an individual service. When clients come in, they are also given a sort of package deal, where you get other services in addition to an abortion. These services, such as contraception, are not counted in the abortion percentage, but certainly are connected to an abortion visit.
Abortion is also certainly a major source of revenue due to its much higher cost compared to say a condom or pregnancy test. Figures from 2010 show that the average cost of a first trimester abortion is $451, that means that with the 329, 445 abortions performed, abortion would have made up $148.6 million of the revenue made from health care services, that is if every abortion performed were a first trimester abortion. The money made from abortion makes up at least 18% then of what Planned Parenthood makes as its “non-governmental health services revenue” and “government health services grants and reimbursements.” The real amount is likely more since the organization does advertise more expensive, second term abortions.
And, if Planned Parenthood saw 2,900,000 customers at its affiliate health centers in the United States, this means that 11.4% of clients had an abortion.
Unfortunately, people in this country still think that Planned Parenthood does mammograms. If they hear Cecile Richards as the president of the organization, say that “[i]f this bill ever becomes law, millions of women in this country are gonna lose their healthcare access–not to abortion services–to basic family planning, you know, mammograms,” people are going to think that the president of the organization knows what she’s talking about and that yes, Planned Parenthood does indeed perform mammograms.
What’s even more unfortunate, and quite frankly downright frightening, is that the President even hints that the organization provides mammograms when he praises them for their services. And when Democrats reacted to Romney saying he would “get rid of” Planned Parenthood, the main cut discussed was clinic breast exams and cancer screenings.
To find out that Planned Parenthood really does not provide mammograms, you need go no further than Live Action’s Mammosham project link.
Abortion vs. Pre-natal care and Adoption
Now, if you’re truly pro-choice, I certainly hope that you believe that a woman has choices including adoption and pre-natal care, should she choose to carry her pregnancy to full term. When I was discussing coerced abortions with my friend, who is probably truly the most pro-choice person I know, she was very much bothered by such a notion, since it wasn’t really the woman’s choice then. It should bother you too if you’re really pro-choice. And even while Planned Parenthood denounces coerced and forced abortions, it still enables them to happen.
There are other ways to show that Planned Parenthood is really more pro-abortion than pro-choice. Such facts and figures come directly from Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood mentions that they offer adoption referrals and adoption services. And Towson Health Center is not the only center I found which provides such services, but it is interesting to see that adoption services cost $0. That’s very nice that Planned Parenthood is willing to help you out this way for free. But, when we go back to the chart of services for 2010, the number of adoption services, by any clinic, is so small it doesn’t even have its own category. The category of “other services” which adoption services falls under makes up only 0.6 percent. Adoption referrals accounted for only 841 instances. By this rate, abortions that the organization provides outnumber adoption referrals/services 395 to 1.
The number of prenatal services for women who are pregnant actually went down from 2009 to 2010. Only 31,098 services accounted for prenatal care, while abortion services in 2010 amounted to 329, 445. A woman was 10 times more likely to receive an abortion then. This low number may be explained by how the Planned Parenthood clinics which do offer prenatal care services at only 8% of their clinics. Meanwhile, Cecile Richards has said that she is encouraging more Planned Parenthood clinics to provide abortions.
And, if you were trying to conceive (the name Planned Parenthood suggests to me that they will also help you plan to become a parent when you are ready), there were only 168 Planned Parenthood clinics for you to go that would have been able to assist you. Combined with other services though, infertility clinic visits would have accounted for only 10% of all services.
Based on the amount of money that Planned Parenthood stands to make off of abortions, it sadly makes sense that the organization would sell an abortion to a pregnant woman as the best option. Remember how the 3% figure is really much higher? If we’re only talking about pregnant women, that percentage grows to 91%, since 9 in 10 pregnant women who walk into a Planned Parenthood end up being sold on abortion.
Cover Ups, Misinformation and Abuses
Live Action has done an amazing job investigating Planned Parenthood and documenting the misinformation, abuses and cover-ups that the organization has engaged in. And I say this as someone who learned about and watched these video projects long before I started writing for Live Action News.
Planned Parenthood has covered up and aided sex traffickers. Surely the women being trafficked for sexual purposes don’t really have a say in the matter. Planned Parenthood has also given women medically incorrect information about their pregnancies.
In addition to such medical misinformation, Planned Parenthood often hides behind their procedure of abortion as “emptying the uterus” and neglects to mention that the uterus contains an actual human baby. Planned Parenthood has also gone against laws that say if an underage person has sex with an adult it must be reported immediately, and rather suggests to underage girls how they can go out-of-state for an abortion.
Planned Parenthood, Abortion and Race
The founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, was quite possibly a racist and a firm believer in eugenics. She spoke at a women’s auxiliary meeting for the Ku Klux Klan and also had plans like the “Negro Project” to get African-American pastors, as prominent members of the African-American population, to go along with her plan and drawn in others from the community.
Allegations of racism from abortion advocates, like Sanger, and the troubling rate at which black babies are aborted have been discussed in the film Maafa 21. The flagship Planned Parenthood clinic in New York City is even called the Margaret Sanger center. Another one of Live Action’s projects shows Planned Parenthood clinics having no problem accepting donations for racist abortions.
As far as the demographic of women who get abortions, the amount of blacks and Hispanics are disproportionate compared to how much those demographics actually account for the overall population. According to information gathered from the US census for race and abortions, black women make up 13.1% of the population, but accounted for 31% of abortions in 2000. Hispanic women made up 12.8% of the population, but accounted for 20.1% of abortions in 2000.
Each time a vote comes up for a state to defund Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards gets to work defending Planned Parenthood as she mentions why it is in need of funding, and how millions of poor women will lose access to health care if funding is cut off. The link provided above, of Cecile Richards speaking with Eliot Spitzer on CNN, was in reaction to North Carolina placing such a vote. And Live Action’s mammosham project comes after Cecile Richards appeared on the Joy Behar Show in response to the House of Representatives voting to defund the organization. Each time such a vote is in place, Planned Parenthood wants to scare Americans into believing that the financial situation for their organization is worse than it actually is, and will even lie about their services in order to ensure as much public support as possible.
It’s not just that Cecile Richards lies and misleads about her organization in order to get funded, it’s that there is not such a need for funding as is claimed. Since Planned Parenthood operates as a non for profit organization, the money made off of abortions and other health services is not profit, it’s an excess of revenue over expenses. And an “excess of revenue over expenses” comes in at $18.5 million. While almost half of funding for Planned Parenthood comes from the government, there is still the $18.5 million and loyal supporters who vote and make private donor contributions.
In the unlikely instance of Congress agreeing to defund Planned Parenthood tomorrow, it is likely that salary cuts, this excess of revenue of expenses and private donors could help to keep the organization open, at least enough to provide its common services to do with STI’s and STD’s and contraception.
Besides this “excess”, Planned Parenthood also receives a significant amount of funding from private donor contributions, which amounts for 21% of their total revenue. There are those who are loyal enough to the organization, corporations and individuals, who step in to make considerable contributions. There have been instances where cuts have been announced by an organization or state, and then donations to Planned Parenthood have been given in response. Such recent, notable examples include New York City Michael Bloomberg and the Obama administration stepping in with a significant donation to finance and keep Planned Parenthood open. In the instance of the $395,000 donation from the Obama administration, such funding is coming after the state of Tennessee has decided to redirect funds to other providers.
With a pro-abortion President, and a Democrat majority in the senate, it is unlikely that the organization will be defunded at the federal level. However, this current administration is at the same time making it difficult for defunding to happen even at the state level in favor of keeping Planned Parenthood clinics open.
When faced with cuts, Cecile Richards has mentioned that “millions of women in this country are going to lose their health care access–not to abortion services, to basic family planning…” However, there are still other Title X clinics which do not provide abortions, and which women could still go to for this “basic family planning” as well as other forms of reproductive health, such as contraception and treatment and prevention for STI’s. Regardless as to if Planned Parenthood has financial difficulties, there are alternatives when it comes to women having access to health care. And when states do defund Planned Parenthood, family planning services do remain intact to ensure that women receive more comprehensive health care.
The NRLC factsheet also points out that while the organization may complain about a lack of funding, if one were to look at the annual reports from 1998-2010, the contributions from “Government Health Services Grants and Reimbursements” have actually gone up each fiscal year.
Also, when Cecile Richards is making as much as $354, 716 in pay and benefits, the organization doesn’t seem to be doing too badly.
Someone who is pro-choice may certainly support government funding for Planned Parenthood. Just keep in mind though that the organization has misled, lied, and bullied its way in order to get funding and support for such funding.
The Politics of Planned Parenthood
People like Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ.) will try to tell you that it the Republicans who are making things too political when he says “House Republicans continue efforts to put politics in the way of vital health care for women by attempting to reinstate the global gag rule…” For an organization that has graphics trying to keep the focus on women’s health by saying “It’s about health and safety” and has rallies to protect women’s health, Planned Parenthood has gotten rather political over the years.
In 2008, Planned Parenthood formed the Planned Parenthood Action Fund “The Action Fund is the nonpartisan advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The Action Fund engages in educational and electoral activity, including legislative advocacy, voter education, and grassroots organizing to promote the Planned Parenthood mission.” While Planned Parenthood Action Fund may claim to be nonpartisan, Planned Parenthood is pretty much a “shill for Democrats” according to former CNN and NBC anchor Campbell Brown.
While Cecile Richards has no medical background, she does have an extensive background in political activity. She is the daughter of the late, former Texas Democrat Governor, Ann Richards, and is the former deputy chief of staff to the pro-abortion Democrat House Leader, Nancy Pelosi. Planned Parenthood and President Barack Obama also seem to be rather close allies, with the organization endorsing the President and Obama having spoken in support of the organization in many instances. The organization has also put out ads against Romney for this presidential election. The video is by their YouTube channel, PPVotes. If anyone has any doubts about how political Cecile Richards is and how close she is with the current administration, it is worth noting that Cecile Richards has been to the White House, as a top adviser. Planned Parenthood also has an Obama official as their Vice President.
Rejection of Abortion Limits
More Americans today are pro-life than ever before. This year’s Gallup poll reports this, but also that only 25% of Americans believe that abortion should be legal in all circumstances. Therefore, if you are pro-choice but still are part of the majority of Americans who believe that it is okay to limit abortion in certain circumstances, Planned Parenthood is more radical than you are.
Even though Planned Parenthood may oppose abortions based on the sex of the baby, they will still perform such an abortion, except where it is prohibited by law. This comes from a spokesperson from the organization, and has been shown to happen by the current Live Action project, Gendercide in America. Planned Parenthood recently lobbied against the PREDNA bill to make it illegal for someone to perform or make money off of an abortion he or she knew was based upon the sex of the baby. A poll from the Lozier Institute found that 77% of Americans would favor such legislation.
Planned Parenthood also fought against the Woman’s Right to Know act in Texas and in other states. They also filed a lawsuit against it in North Carolina. Planned Parenthood’s own statement says that it “always puts women’s health first and we fought against this law because there is no medical reason for requiring a woman to come 24 hours in advance. The Woman’s Right to Know act actually ensures that women are completely informed of the risks associated with abortion, in the form of booklets, which is one helpful and unbiased piece of information found under the resource section of Texas State Department of Health Services, Woman’s Right to Know Act.
Such a statement may say that there is no medical reason for requiring a woman to come 24 hours in advance, which shows that Planned Parenthood is also against such waiting periods, which are designed to give women more time to find out information about abortion, alternatives, and to make an informed choice. With such a statement from the organization, it suggests that they are forgetting about a woman’s psychological health associated with abortion, and that they may not even care. A person who is truly pro-choice should welcome waiting periods, as they give women time to really consider her choices before making a decision. Since abortion is still legal in this country, her decision may ultimately be abortion.
Parental notification laws are also quite popular with Americans when it comes to abortion. Support for them is at 70%. Parental notification laws, as is the case with the recent bill, The Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act (CIANA), H.R. 2299, are common sense because they actually seek to help minors in obtaining an abortion. For any other elective medical procedure, a minor must have parental permission. Also, parents may be able to help their daughter before, through, or after this decision, and may know medical history about their daughter that she may not, which may be necessary information when it comes to the abortion. Such laws may also reduce teen suicide rates.
Yet Planned Parenthood is against such common sense parental notification laws as a form of an abortion limit which may actually save a young woman’s life. Planned Parenthood issued a statement against the Colorado Parental Notification Law and filed a lawsuit against such a law in Alaska, a law which was agreed upon by more than half of Alaskan voters.
While such things may be difficult and uncomfortable to hear about Planned Parenthood, it is important to know the truth, especially when it comes to the distinction between being pro-abortion and pro-choice. Someone who is pro-choice believes that the options a woman has when it comes to abortions should also involve the option and help to carry her baby to full term. Unfortunately, Planned Parenthood doesn’t seem to be much for that choice.