By Dave Andrusko
Planned Parenthood no more lacks for media defenders than it does for money from the federal government. Take the Washington Post, one of the three or four most influential newspapers in the United States.
To borrow from football, the Post operates like an offensive lineman. The Post both pulls back like a tackle to defend Planned Parenthood from oncoming rushers and takes off aggressively like a pulling guard to attack its critics. It’s a combination of “oh, you don’t understand that when it comes to our services, abortion is just a drop in the bucket” (defense) and “without us the world as we know it would end—and you don’t care” (offense).
Last Friday, the Post obligingly ran a piece titled, “Five Myths about Planned Parenthood,” based on an exhaustive study by several non-partisan experts. Well, not actually. In fact the piece was written by Clare Coleman, described as “a Planned Parenthood affiliate chief executive, supervising a network of clinics in New York state.” I guess no one else in the known universe could debunk myths about PPFA better than a PPFA functionary.
In case anyone missed that independent expenditure made on behalf of the largest abortion provider in the United States (and the world, for that matter), the Post doubled down yesterday morning. Easy to understand where this op-ed, I mean news story, is headed: “In Montana and elsewhere, Planned Parenthood serves broad function.”
So what do we learn from Sandhya Somashekhar’s account?
The lead paragraph tells us that on a Friday in an idyllic setting in Billings, Montana, the PPFA staff sees 24 patients. AND ONLY TWO HAVE ABORTIONS. The clear implication? No big deal.
Before we go any further, we shouldn’t just pass by the significance. Two lives snuffed out, two mothers who are mothers no more. But just another day at the Planned Parenthood factory.
But let’s return to the promo piece for PPFA. The 1 /12th figure (two of 24) will be deeply misleading when used for propaganda purposes later. More about that below.
We also learn that PPFA exerts considerable political muscle. “Planned Parenthood and a California affiliate together spent more than $700,000 on federal lobbying last year, according to the Center for Responsive Politics,” Somashekhar writes. “Its political action committee contributed more than $148,000 to federal candidates during the last election cycle and recorded more than $900,000 in independent expenditures, the watchdog group said.”
And, of course, no puff piece would be complete without the obligatory hypocrisy story at the end where the erstwhile pro-life woman decides she can’t have another baby and comes to PPFA for an abortion.
What DON’T we read in this story, or virtually any story in the “mainstream” press?
We don’t see even the slightest quibble with PPFA’s own claim matter of factly noted in the story that abortion represents “3%” of its services. This is bizarre because in PPFA’s own February 2011 Factsheet, while the organization does repeat the claim that 3% of its “health services” are abortions, it also admits that the percentage of its clients receiving “abortion services” is actually 12%! That means that not one in every 33, but nearly one out of every eight women walking through the door of a Planned Parenthood clinic has an abortion.
(Director of Education Randall K. O’Bannon explains in full how PPFA arrives at its 3% figure at )
Moreover, while there is some larger context in the story, there is nothing to suggest that PPFA is an abortion behemoth getting larger by the year. Just three illustrations of many that could be offered.
As Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) pointed out during House debate, since 1977 PPFA has aborted over 5.4 million—probably closer to six million were more current figures available. The killing curve grows sharper by the year. During all the recent years while the number of abortions went down, PPFA’s totals went up! Over 332,000 babies died at PPFA clinics in 2009.
And no matter how PPFA finagles the “3%” figure, they can’t evade the truth that more than one-third of clinic income is generated by selling abortions, based on the going rate for a first-trimester abortion. And that income will grow because PPFA’s central office has mandated that as the price of staying an affiliate, every affiliate must have at least one abortion clinic in their regional Planned parenthood chain by 2013.
And there’s just a passing reference in the story to a major development: About “75 percent of the abortions conducted here [in Montana] are induced with the abortion pill” [RU486]. Chemical abortions + webcam abortions=the ability to “serve” what PPFA loves to call “underserved” populations, in this case women in rural areas. Again, more abortions, more money.
And if that isn’t enough evidence that PPFA is up to its eyebrows in abortion—and looking for more—it is consolidating clinics. Abortion is the money-maker, so you know the ground is being prepared to have these larger clinics perform chemical abortions, if not both chemical and surgical abortions.
We can agree that there are myths about PPFA, but they are myths that hide Planned Parenthood’s deep ideological and financial commitment to performing one in four abortions today with a goal of performing a much, much higher percentage in years to come.
I would very much appreciate your help by way of feedback on National Right to Life News Today. Please send your comments to email@example.com. If you like, join those who are following me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/daveha