Analysis

Planned Parenthood president: Abortion is ‘critically important’ to what we do

Image: Alexis McGill Johnson CBS interview July 2019

For years, Planned Parenthood has claimed that abortion accounts for “only 3% (or 4%)“of its services, despite multiple instances of debunking. Those who support abortion but only as a “necessary evil” can get a bit squeamish to hear the truth, and the “3%” claim has been an effective marketing tactic, helping to garner support for Planned Parenthood, even from Americans who consider themselves ‘personally pro-life’. But in a recent interview with The Washington Post, Planned Parenthood president Alexis McGill Johnson pivoted away from the idea of diminishing her corporation’s involvement with abortion and continued to disseminate lies about abortion and pro-lifers.

“Proud Abortion Provider”

Previously, to make the claim that abortion accounts for just three or four percent of its services, Planned Parenthood divided its total number of abortions (over 345,000 in 2018) by the number of services it provided. These services included birth control, pregnancy tests, urine testing, STD testing, and more. Instead of counting patient visits, the abortion corporation unbundles its services per visit to make it appear that abortion is just one of its many services, when in reality, it is providing multiple services to each patient who visits primarily to obtain an abortion.

McGill Johnson implied to The Washington Post that while abortion is a small part of the abortion giant’s business (it’s not), it is a vital one.

“[I]t is still a critically important part of what we do,” she said. “So I think when we say, ‘It’s a small part of what we do,’ what we’re doing is actually stigmatizing it. Like it’s really not a big deal that Planned Parenthood does this. We are a proud abortion provider. We believe that abortion is health care, and we believe, fundamentally, that self-determination begins with being able to control your own body and freedom begins with being able to control your own body. So I don’t like to marginalize it in that way.”

She explained that by attempting to exclude abortion as a “critical part” of its “health care” services, Planned Parenthood is failing to show its pride in committing abortions. Tragically, she is minimizing the pain of women who have taken their children’s lives in abortion, and the pain suffered in the loss of children to miscarriage and stillbirth. In stepping further away from the “safe, legal, and rare” mantra that helped to launch legalized abortion, McGill Johnson ends up marginalizing the women injured emotionally and physically by abortion, and diminishing the body count of babies and women the abortion corporation has killed.

Abortion is the deliberate killing of innocent human beings, largely for reasons unrelated to health issues or rape. It is not health care because it is never actually medically necessary. It is not about having control of your own body. Pregnancy doesn’t just happen. Babies aren’t created out of thin air. Women don’t need abortion to be equal to men; they are already inherently equal because of their value as human beings. Their children are denied equality through abortion.

Abortion really is “a big deal,” because many women who undergo abortions — including Planned Parenthood’s former clients — suffer from an increased risk of drug abuse, alcohol abuse, depression, and suicide.

READ: Planned Parenthood abortionist: ‘Abortion is moral. Every reason for one is valid.’

Roe v. Wade

McGill Johnson also trotted out the old claim that 77% of Americans support Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in the United States. This is untrue. According to a Harvard CAPS/Harris poll, the majority of Americans want to see Roe v. Wade either modified or overturned.

The polling showed that 54% believe the Supreme Court got it wrong with Roe v. Wade. Of those, 18% believe Roe v. Wade should be completely overturned and 36% believe it should be modified. Roe v. Wade and its sister decision Doe v. Bolton contain broad language which allows for abortion at any point in pregnancy for any reason. The majority of Americans don’t realize this, and 70% want abortion limited to the first trimester (first three months) of pregnancy.

Pregnancy Resource Centers

McGill Johnson also attacked pro-life pregnancy resource centers and made false claims about their work.

“I also think that there’s a lot of disinformation on the other side,” she said. “And it’s kind of hard to have a conversation with someone who is antiabortion who is leveraging public dollars through crisis pregnancy centers who derail and impact someone who’s made a decision to access abortion. So I’m open to having a conversation. I am not open to not allowing people the freedom they need to make their own decisions.”

There are two lies here. The first is that pregnancy resource centers are publicly funded like Planned Parenthood is. A 2019 Pregnancy Center Study from the Charlotte Lozier Institute found that at least 90% of total funding for pregnancy resource centers is raised through private donations. Of those that do receive public funding, they are required to use it for sexual risk avoidance education, STD testing, and STD treatment. According to the Lozier study, “In 2019, just 17 percent, or 340 pregnancy center organizations (main offices), received government monies at some level through federal or state funding.”

The same cannot be said for Planned Parenthood, which receives over half a billion in taxpayer dollars annually.

The second lie is that pregnancy help centers “derail” someone’s decision to have an abortion. Women visit pregnancy resource centers to discuss the other options available to them, besides abortion. Nearly two million clients accessed the free assistance of pregnancy centers in 2019 alone, receiving pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, material assistance including baby gear and clothing, parenting classes, prenatal classes, and referrals for more services. When these women share why they believe they need abortion — in other words, feeling they don’t have another choice — pregnancy resource centers remind them they do have options and support from others. Pregnancy center volunteers help women find housing, access higher education and childcare, and access financial assistance. Women are then free to choose life, though some will still go on to choose abortion.

Abortion facilities like Planned Parenthood only offer women death. People like Alexis McGill Johnson aren’t actually pro-choice; they’re pro-abortion. They want women to turn to the multi-million dollar abortion industry as the first and only “solution” to unplanned pregnancy. Pregnancy resource centers, though they receive nowhere near the funding of the largest abortion provider in the nation, take “business” away from Planned Parenthood, and that’s the real issue for McGill-Johnson.

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