Since 1945, the Lasker Awards have been granted by the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation to recognize “the contributions of scientists, physicians, and public servants who have made major advances in the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of human disease.” This year’s recipients include Michael N. Hall, who “discovered the nutrient-activated TOR proteins and their central role in the metabolic control of cell growth.” James P. Allison, a 2015 recipient, “discovered and developed a monoclonal antibody therapy that unleashes the immune system to combat cancer.” Over 80 recipients of Lasker Awards have gone on to win the Nobel Prize.
Which is one reason many people were left scratching their heads when it was announced that this year’s winner of the Lasker-Bloomberg Public Service Award is none other than Planned Parenthood. Other than shattering records for numbers of abortions performed — if you count that sort of thing — we’re not exactly sure what awe-inspiring scientific breakthrough Planned Parenthood is responsible for. Any guesses?
According to the announcement, the abortion giant is being honored for “providing essential health services and reproductive care to millions of women for more than a century.” Providing contraception is mentioned as an important factor in this – which is why we can expect Walmart to follow as a Lasker nominee, as they sell a whole lot of condoms at low cost.
The granting of a science award — with such a long list of honorable recipients — to an abortion business is suspicious, to say the least. Planned Parenthood is not exactly known for advances in science. The organization isn’t even known for understanding science. Consider the following comments, made by representatives of Advocates for Choice, Planned Parenthood’s student outreach group:
- We are not going to try and use science or evidence. The fact of the matter is that this is opinion. We all have our own beliefs about when life begins.
- Science cannot be applied to my body.
- We’re talking about science as if it is something that is absolutely concrete, like there is absolute proof that there is life and there is not life.
Denying science and evidence aren’t exactly award-worthy. Replacing biology with philosophical ideology isn’t exactly a pioneering scientific breakthrough. While these embarrassingly ignorant comments are of course the comments of individuals and do not necessarily officially represent the views of Planned Parenthood as a business, these are hardly isolated examples.
Beyond the science, Planned Parenthood’s “care” is hardly award-worthy. Incentivizing abortion-selling by offering pizza parties to employees who sell enough abortions? Refusing to provide patients with ultrasounds – unless they agree to an abortion? Lying to patients about offering prenatal care? Heck, there are so many scandals we don’t have time to cover them all!
So, not only is Planned Parenthood lacking in award-worthy scientific breakthroughs, they’re actually opposed to science. And evidence. And their care is shady, to put it nicely. So why exactly did they win this award? Easy: politics.
Mary Lasker was a president of the American Birth Control League, which became Planned Parenthood. The name “Planned Parenthood” was reportedly coined by none other than Albert Lasker. The Lasker Foundation’s current president, Claire Pomeroy, had this to say in support of abortion:
A good starting place is to look at abortion from a feminist standpoint. Within feminism, the debate over abortion is not based in the morality of abortion… it is about how abortion fits into our culture and how a women’s choice to undergo or not undergo an abortion influences the status of women within our culture.
This narrow perspective willfully excludes the importance of science in identifying what exactly a preborn human baby is (hint: it’s a human) and the moral implications of killing that human, and instead focuses solely on culture and gender status. So if killing other humans advances the status of women within a culture, then we should start killing? Does this approach apply only to the preborn (if so, why?), or can we use it on other people, too?
Considering the Lasker Foundation’s long history with Planned Parenthood, it’s no surprise Planned Parenthood received a Lasker Award. While many recipients of Lasker Awards have been highly deserving of acclaim due to their contributions to humanity in science and medicine, it is a disgrace to each of them that a scandal-ridden, abortion-focused business now joins their ranks.