By Dave Andrusko
As we end the week before the 4th of July holiday weekend, we’re talking a lot about (what else?) Planned Parenthood. That takes the form of various and sundry legal challenges and the forthcoming creation of a second mammoth clinic in Oregon.
I had also meant to write earlier this week about the monster affiliate that devoured Cleveland: Planned Parenthood of the Heartland which we have discussed in a couple of dozen columns. Not content with dominating Iowa and Nebraska, PPH is expanding out of the Midwest (more about that below).
When PPH assimilated Planned Parenthood of Southeast Iowa it meant that “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,” according to the Lincoln Journal Star.
And that’s just a start. A few months back CEO Jill 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).
June used the occasion to announce that PPH 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.
All this served only to whet its appetite. PPH put out a press release—picked up pretty much intact by the Associated Press—in which it announced it is absorbing (merging) with the Planned Parenthood affiliate that runs the abortion clinics in Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma. The new and enlarged affiliate—consisting of about 30 clinics in the four states–will (as it always does) retain the same PPH name and be headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa.
“Planned Parenthood of the Heartland has, for many years, been one of Planned Parenthood’s more aggressive abortion-promoting affiliates,” said Dr. Randall K. O’Bannon, director of NRL’s Department of Education and an expert on Planned Parenthood. “We see the fruit of that with the profitable and powerful PPH gobbling up a smallerPlanned Parenthood affiliate and set to expand its abortion empire even further.”
PPH is best known outside the Midwest for its championing of webcam abortions, which it 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, a number that is obviously already higher.