By Dave Andrusko
Planned Parenthood is to the anti-life side of the abortion debate the equivalent of what National Right to Life is to the pro-life side. Only PPFA has received hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars in governmental grants and contracts and the equivalent of billions and billions of dollars in fawning fre publicity from the mainstream media which hates pro-lifers.
With that backdrop of money and popularity pouring down like rain, it should surprise no one that the efforts by House Republicans to turn off that gushing facet of money are generating hysterical responses from PPFA. To take just one example, there is a long, long interview of PPFA President Cecile Richards conducted by Amy Goodman of the pro-abortion “Democracy Now!”
Obviously, what’s most interesting to us is not the Chicken Little sky-is-falling overkill, but what you tease out between the yelps. There is a lot both between the lines and admitted in a back-handed way.
Richards complains about several pro-life proposals, but for purposes of space, let’s talk only about the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act. H.R. 217 would bar Title X family planning money from going to organizations that perform abortions. Guess who is both (by far ) the largest abortion provider and the biggest recipient (hands down) of Title X dollars? PPFA.
To read Richards, PPFA has barely heard of abortion. But note this comment: “Less than 10 percent of our services are related to abortion.” Their usual talking point is “3%.” That Richards would fess up to more than triple the usual percentage is instructive.
But note, she still focus on “services” rather than business or income. If you calculate what is typically charged for a first-trimester abortion and do some basic arithmetic, it’s clear that at least a third of Planned Parenthood’s total clinic income comes from abortion.
Remember, too, that as NRLC Director of Education Dr. Randall K. O’Bannon explained yesterday, “PPFA is demanding that every affiliate have an abortion clinic within the next two years, or lose affiliation. Does that sound like abortion is a ‘minor’ part of their business?” PPFA is up to its eyeballs in abortion.
Richards trashes the videos taken covertly by the pro-life organization Live Action in which they went into PPFA clinics posing as a pimp and a prostitute and (as Congressman Mike Pence described it) “being facilitated by employees at Planned Parenthood in how to secure secret abortions, STD testing and contraception for child prostitutes.” Richards says several times that the videos are “fake and doctored.” Nowhere does she explain how or any evidence to support her contention. Worth noting is that the initial PPFA response was that the videos were edited. Live Action put the entire videos up on line.
Two other quick comments. First, Goodman primes Richards by stating, “With at least 29 anti-choice governors, the battleground has shifted to the state legislatures.” This is partially true. There have been (and will continue to be) pro-life measures introduced across the country.
Second, Richards’ feigned indignation is so transparently insincere you can’t help but smile. “I actually thought the will of the people [an allusion to a comment by House Speaker John Boehner], based on this last election, was to get the American economy back going and get people back to work,” she tells Goodman. “ So it’s quite stunning to me that instead of focusing on jobs and really getting the economy going they are spending all of their time talking about issues that I think the American people are settled.”
But that, of course, evades the whole point. The abortion issue is more unsettled today than it has been in 38 years. But if there is one “settled” point, it is that the American public does not want its tax dollars lining the pockets of a $1 billion corporation performing more than three hundred thousand abortions a year.