By Dave Andrusko
We’ve written a lot—a LOT—about Planned Parenthood of the Heartland for the simple reason that it is among the most aggressive abortion conglomerates in the United States. I hadn’t noticed until I visited PP of the Heartland’s Facebook page today that “Planned Parenthood of the Heartland (PP Heartland) and Planned Parenthood of Southeast Iowa (PPSI) have signed a letter of intent to merge into one affiliate by June 30, 2011.” The new—and “expanded organization”– will be [uncreatively] named “Planned Parenthood of the Heartland.”
The president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, Jill June, will retain her titles after the merger of the two organizations is complete. The joint administrative office will continue to be located in Des Moines, Iowa.
As the Lincoln Journal Star pointed out today, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland already covers Nebraska and much of Iowa. It “is looking to expand into the entire state of Iowa by merging with clinics and offices in the southeast part of the state,” wrote JoAnne Young.
Indeed, after the merger Planned Parenthood of the Heartland “will operate 25 health centers in Iowa, four in Nebraska and three Education Resource Centers, in Des Moines, Lincoln and Omaha.”
“Planned Parenthood of the Heartland has been on the offense in Nebraska and Iowa these past few months,” said Julie Schmit-Albin, Executive Director of Nebraska Right to Life. “After combining most of Iowa with Nebraska last year, PP of the Heartland opened a new mega abortion site in Omaha and is poised to open one in Lincoln.” A couple of months ago, PP of the Heartland said it planned to expand into six more Nebraska cities.
On top of that, Schmit-Albin told NRL News Today, “Now they are swallowing up the last bit of Iowa that was not under their control. Clearly PPH is positioning itself to be the go-to abortion provider in Iowa and Nebraska.”
PP of the Heartland took over the struggling Planned Parenthood of Nebraska and Council Bluffs affiliate in September 2009. A little over two months ago, June held a ribbon cutting for a new abortion clinic in Omaha, using the occasion to announce plans to open 12 new clinics in the next five years, part of a $11.5 million capital campaign (of which $7 million was reportedly already pledged).
At the ribbon cutting, June announced that it would be opening a dozen new clinics in Nebraska and Iowa over the next five years, six in each state. In Iowa new clinics are slated for Carter Lake, Clinton, Marshalltown, Mason City, Muscatine, and Ottumwa.
In Nebraska, PP of the Heartland plans to open clinics in Fremont, Grand Island, Hastings, Kearney, Norfolk, and North Platte.
Except for Grand Island, which in the 2000 Census had a population of 42,940, none of these cities had a population of more than 30,000.
While the clinic in Omaha will be doing abortions, PPH did not say whether they were planning to offer abortion at the new clinics. However they would appear to be prime candidates for the web-cam abortions that PPH has become notorious for.
With 25 clinics in Iowa and Nebraska, PPH is spearheading a major effort to develop and promote web-cam abortions” (using the abortifacient RU486). The idea is to fatten the financial bottom line by reaching “under-served” women in rural areas.
PPH began offering web-cam abortions in 2008. Under the webcam system, an abortionist, maybe from a clinic in a large urban center, communicates with a woman at a remote location by means of a video conferencing system.
After a brief screening and counseling session, he clicks a mouse and triggers the opening of a drawer from which the woman takes out the two drugs that make up the “RU-486? chemical abortion regimen: mifepristone and misoprostol.
By January of 2011 sixteen of the PPH’s clinics in Iowa were tied into the webcam system. As of that same date PPH says more than 2,000 women have received webcam abortions.
Getting back to Nebraska, the “mission creep” began a few years ago when the Lincoln Planned Parenthood added RU486 abortions to the surgical abortions it had performed since 1995. Omaha PP adopted the opposite strategy. Its new mega-site is adding surgical abortions to the RU486 abortions it had been performing.
None of this comes as any surprise to Dr. Randall K. O’Bannon, National Right to Life’s Education Director and an expert on Planned Parenthood.
“What we see in Nebraska is the latest Planned Parenthood marketing strategy in action,” he said. The more aggressive abortion affiliates gobble up the smaller, weaker ones, build new glamorous abortion mega-clinics, expand to the wealthier suburbs “and use RU486 and new computer technology to bring abortion to smaller communities that cannot support a full time abortionist,” O’Bannon said.
“These are the same people who constantly tell us abortion is a ‘small portion’ of their business.”