By Dave Andrusko
Round One: The House votes to cut off federal funds to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) and 102 named PPFA affiliates. That it is only Round One does not make this 240-185 victory any the less sweet.
The strongly affirmative vote is a testimony to the dogged persistence of a lot of veteran pro-lifers in the House, including the author of the Pence Amendment, Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana. But without your support—in helping elect a pro-life majority in the House and in making certain that you contacted your House member these past few days—PPFA would have fended off what it so richly deserves.
What follow on this site is NRLC’s response to this afternoon’s vote. After that comes the statement Rep. Pence delivered. What do they tell us?
First, that after years and years of smooth sailing, PPFA has hit a very, very rough patch of water. But unlike what they insist, no one steered them in that direction. It was the actions of their own affiliates that is causing their ship to take on water.
NRLC notes, “Recent media reports regarding abuses associated with PPFA-affiliated clinics in multiple states provide additional justifications for the amendment. The allegations regarding abuses, uncovered by independent journalists posing as sex traffickers, have received substantial coverage in mainstream news media in recent weeks, including this story in the New York Times (www.nytimes.com/2011/02/03/us/03parenthood.html?_r=1&ref=politics).”
Second, PPFA’s picture-perfect profile is falling apart, like the portrait of Dorian Gray. Its leadership works day and night to minimize its up-to-its-elbows involvement in abortion by talking about “services” (which it exaggerates) rather than revenue (which it grossly minimizes).
But the truth is if you calculate what is typically charged for a first-trimester abortion and do some basic arithmetic, at least a third of Planned Parenthood’s total clinic income comes from abortion.
If that weren’t enough, PPFA headquarters is demanding that every affiliate have an abortion clinic within the next two years, or lose affiliation. NRLC Director of Education Dr. Randall K. O’Bannon asks, “Does that sound like abortion is a ‘minor’ part of their business?” (And don’t forget all the gigantic mega-abortion clinics PPFA has erected, the better to lure in “clients” and create a near-monopoly for itself.)
Third, this (and much more) is why NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnson can justifiably say, “This landmark vote demonstrates that most House members now recognize Planned Parenthood is a hyper-political, under-regulated, out-of-control mega-marketer of abortion as a method of birth control.”
Again, I understand that it’s true that this is Round One. But it is no less true that this is the first time we have ever been able to get in the ring.