Speaking at a recent health care panel in California at East Los Angeles College, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) said pro-lifers should “love” organizations like Planned Parenthood for their family planning services. The Blaze reports that Pelosi said, “This is really dangerous what they’re [pro-lifers are] trying to do to a woman’s right to choose.”
“So this, we have a fight on our hands,” Pelosi continued. She then made the tired claim that pro-lifers should support Planned Parenthood, implying that Planned Parenthood reduces the abortion rate by supplying contraception. But the facts don’t support Pelosi’s fanciful theory. According to Pelosi, “They [pro-lifers] don’t believe in family planning, so it’s not just about terminating a pregnancy, it’s about preventing money going to people — if you don’t like terminating a pregnancy you should love family planning, right? But they do not support that.”
Pelosi’s basic claim is that people who oppose killing preborn babies in abortion should support Planned Parenthood, which is the nation’s largest abortion chain, aborting more than 320,000 children every year according to its own annual reports. Supposedly, supporting this profit-driven organization will somehow reduce the number of babies killed in abortion. This makes no logical sense.
According to even pro-abortion organizations, contraception doesn’t eliminate a ‘need’ for abortion
First, opposition to the violence of abortion does not naturally require support for contraception, and contraception is not a solution to abortion. Data from the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), the Centers for Disease Control, and from the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute all show that despite the availability and widespread use of contraceptives, abortion is still occurring at alarming rates, and has certainly not been the panacea to end or decrease abortion.
According to a previous article from Live Action News, “BPAS notes, ‘No method of contraception is 100% effective, yet public discourse and some family planning initiatives frequently imply that abortion can always be avoided through the use of contraception.'”
Rejecting Planned Parenthood does not equate to rejecting all forms of “family planning”
Secondly, Pelosi’s characterization of the pro-life movement is completely off-base. Pro-life opposition to funding Planned Parenthood is not a unanimous rejection of all forms of family planning (though pro-lifers do generally reject the use of abortifacient contraception, which doesn’t merely prevent fertilization but may also end the the life of a newly-conceived human being). The consensus in the pro-life movement is that innocent human life should be valued and protected in the womb. Despite abortion activists’ attempts to muddy the water, the question of when a unique human life worthy of protection begins is settled science: life begins at fertilization. Not all pro-lifers oppose the use of all types of contraception, but all pro-lifers oppose the violent and intentional killing of a living child in the womb.
Furthermore, there are multiple types of fertility awareness-based methods of natural family planning, which empower women to learn about and work with — not against — their own natural body cycles to either prevent or achieve pregnancy. These methods were recently noted by the CDC to have a very low failure rate of between 2 and 23%, depending on the method used.
Planned Parenthood’s birth control services are on the decline
Planned Parenthood is not the only source of family planning services for low-income women, and Federally Qualified Health Centers vastly outnumber Planned Parenthood affiliates across the country. In recent years Planned Parenthood’s birth control services and other health services have declined dramatically while its market share of abortions and profits went up. The idea that pro-lifers should support an organization that currently holds 35 percent of the abortion market share in the United States is not a reasonable one.
Pelosi’s mischaracterization of the pro-life movement is an attempt to sidestep the real issue. Pro-lifers’ opposition to Planned Parenthood has nothing to do with contraception and everything to do with abortion. Pro-lifers do not want and should not be forced to support Planned Parenthood, an organization that ends the lives of more than 320,000 preborn babies each year, aids and abets sexual abusers, covers up sexual abuse, and more.
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