By Randall K. O’Bannon, Ph.D., NRL-ETF Director of Ecucation & Research
If anyone doubted that there is a new aggressive business plan being instituted at Planned Parenthood, all they need to do is look at the latest from Texas.
Maybe you saw a headlines about the funding cuts and several clinics closing in Texas and got the idea that Planned Parenthood might be closing its doors, packing its bags, and leaving town. Yet on the heels of that news comes the announcement of a new $21.5 million capital campaign by Planned Parenthood of North Texas (PPNT).
And the centerpiece is a new $6.5 million “health center and administrative office” in Fort Worth.
In previous articles, National Right to Life News has laid out how, across the country, Planned Parenthood affiliates are merging, closing down smaller, less profitable (often non-abortion performing) clinics, cutting expensive middle management, and building giant new mega-clinics that can do an increased volume of abortions, one of Planned Parenthood’s most profitable products (see NRL News, January 2011).
These big new mega-clinics feature the trendiest decor and design and are often situated so that they are easily accessible both to poor populations who rely on public transportation and to wealthier suburban clientele who drive themselves and look for easy highway access and convenient private parking lots.
Though a lot of details about the size, location, and design of the new clinic are lacking at this point, you can see several of familiar signs in this latest announcement.
The promotional materials (available at www.plannedparenthood.org/north-texas/ppnt-capital-campaign-36401.htm ) do not tell us whether this is one of those 10,000 square foot plus facilities we call “mega-clinics,” but does tell us that this “will be a new structure three times the size of the current one to provide the space, equipment and services needed by the community’s growing population.”
Helpfully, it informs us that this will include “a larger family planning center, a surgical care center and administrative offices.”
Currently, none of the 21 clinics PPNT has under its own name offer abortions. Those are outsourced to two special surgical centers in Dallas and Fort Worth run by Planned Parenthood Surgical Health Services of North Texas, what PPNT calls “a separately funded corporation of Planned Parenthood of North Texas, Inc.” The reason for the separate corporation is unclear, but Planned Parenthood is careful to remind us that “Government funds are not used to support PPSHSNT”
It is, therefore, unclear whether the new clinic will replace the surgical center, where abortions are their chief product, or one or more of the other four clinics PPNT has in the Fort Worth area. It seems unlikely that they would set up another abortion clinic to compete with the one they already have in place, but expansion of surgical services somewhere is certainly in the cards, and at Planned Parenthood, that has often meant more abortions.
There certainly aren’t any indications that PPNT is planning to open a new birthing center.
An additional $2 million is sought for various “health center improvements,” including “improving and relocating specific sites to more accessible locations.” Some of these funds will also be designated for “participating in research programs and training the next generation of providers.” This will, the materials say, “allow the agency to increase productivity and provide more patients with the care they need.” Money also goes to “implementing a call center to schedule appointments to allow health center personnel to focus on direct patient care…”
Does this mean some sort of new telemedical abortion program like the one in Iowa is in the works, with the new mega-clinic in the middle and all the satellite affiliates connecting to the abortionist by webcams? Time will tell. But with all the new locations, research programs, training, technology, and the desire to increase productivity and patient base, it sure sounds very much like more marketing, more abortionists, more abortions.
PPNT seeks another $6 million for “education programs” that include programs for “area schools, churches, synagogues, social service agencies and conferences across the region.”
An additional $6 million is designated for PPNT’s advocacy or public policy efforts. “Planned Parenthood works to sustain what it believes are essential human rights – the right to comprehensive and confidential reproductive healthcare and family planning services, full access to those services and the right to obtain accurate information about sexual health.” It doesn’t come right out and say “abortion,” but you can bet that PPNT doesn’t consider any reproductive care “comprehensive” without it and doesn’t consider anyone to have “full access” to it without funding.
PPNT says that to address the “many threats to those basic human rights,” it “identifies, educates and mobilizes citizens who share our values.” Precisely what anyone would do launching a lobbying or get-out-the-vote campaign.
PPNT reminds potential donors (there is a “Donate Now” button imbedded in the middle of the announcement) that “The agency works directly with state and federal legislators to keep them informed of the issues, since legislators at every level make decisions every day that influence access to reproductive health care.”
When and where this new clinic and administrative center will be built, we do not know at this point. But we have seen how that PPNT has shaved off some of its smaller, non abortion performing clinics, is looking for new, “more accessible locations,” and has mounted a new multimillion dollar campaign featuring a big new clinic and administrative office.
Planned Parenthood of North Texas isn’t closing its doors. It’s planning on expanding its business.
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