By Dave Andrusko
Editor’s note. While my family and I are on vacation, we are running some of our favorite NRL News Today stories from the last four months, entries from our “Roe at 40″ series, and an occasional update.
My thanks go out to the New York Magazine which this morning emailed me Jeffrey Toobin’s “Daughters of Texas: The fight for abortion rights” from the current edition. I guess they assumed any publicity (including critical publicity) is good publicity. And, true enough, we are indeed going to talk about the latest in a seemingly endless stream of hyper-laudatory profiles of Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood. Toobin’s piece is a kind of travel log as Richards lands in Texas just in time for the successful effort by pro-abortionists to extend, in their own way, the eleven-hour filibuster conducted by state Sen. Wendy Davis that temporarily stifled HB 2. The measure passed in a second Special Session and pro-life Gov. Rick Perry signed it into law. Tobin lauds Richards as “the face of women’s health in the United States.” (You get the sense that Toobin may feel she has little competition, surely not from the “cerebral and careful” President Obama, who is “the undisputed leader of the liberal cause.”) So what do we learn from “Daughters of Texas”? That there is a “paradox” in Richards seven-year tenure as head of PPFA. They have more much money and, they say, many more members than ever before, yet, Toobin writes, “Since the Republican gains in the 2010 midterm elections, abortion rights—and Planned Parenthood itself—have been under siege in the states.” It of course goes without saying that Toobin never bothers to probe WHY, beyond the election of pro-life Republicans, so many pro-life measures passed in the state legislatures. If he had, Toobin would have to acknowledge they’ve moved forward because they are built around ideas and positions the public agrees with: ending abortions performed on pain-capable unborn children; making sure (post-Kermit Gosnell) that abortion clinics do not go unlicensed and/or uninspected for decades at a time; bans on sex-selection abortions; and opting out of abortion in the federal insurance “exchanges” established by ObamaCare—to name just four. Here are five other takeaways:
#1. Richards and her ilk are very popular in Austin, a very liberal pro-abortion city, but Austin is not Texas writ small. Just the opposite: “In short, the interior of the Texas Capitol [where the pro-abortion demonstrators gathered en masse], as opposed to its grounds, is deeply hostile to Richards and her organization.” That is why the other main player in the piece—Davis—may have lots of money but likely very little chance of becoming governor, should she decide to run (as Toobin thinks she might).
#2. PPFA and Obama are as close as two coats of paint. Illustrations are littered all through the piece. That includes the tweet the President put out the night of the mob assault on the capitol: “Something special is happening in Austin tonight” with a link to the live stream posted by the Texas Tribune. And as Toobin put it, “Under the Obama Administration, the capital [Washington, DC] has been a kind of promised land for Planned Parenthood, and that is especially evident in the President’s signature legislative achievement”—ObamaCare.
#3. Apropos both the pro-abortion reluctance ever to utter the “A” word and the rhetorical switch from “pro-choice” to trying to position the nation’s largest abortion provider as “pro individual rights, pro women’s health care and anti-government interference,” the word abortion rarely gets mentioned. One of the cutest lines in the piece is the “assertion” that PPFA performed over 333,000 abortions in 2011. The figure comes from PPFA’s annual report, so if anyone “asserted” it, it was PPFA.
#4. Toobin writes, “When it comes to public opinion about abortion, a great deal depends on how questions are asked.” Well….yes! Toobin manages, once again, to avoid the polling data that demonstrates 60%+ support for a ban on abortions after the 20th week. And finally
#5. There are two sentences which concede that Richards is not necessarily on the right side of history. “Richards is facing formidable political adversaries,” Toobin writes. “Her focus on women’s health can’t obscure the parts of the debate where her advantage is less clear.” Put another way, PPFA and Richards yammer incessantly about how abortion is such a small part of its agenda (“3%”) that it’s almost a rounding error.
But as Dr. Randall K. O’Bannon, NRLC’s director of education, has explained many times, PPFA rakes in a huge amount of money from abortion. As he told NRL News Today earlier this year
“Abortion is a huge profit center for PPFA. At going rates for a standard surgical abortion performed at 10 weeks, the 333,964 abortions Planned Parenthood performed represent an income of at least $150.6 million. And it is no secret that Planned Parenthood advertises and performs more expensive chemical and later surgical abortions, indicating that abortion revenues are likely considerably higher. Collectively, the organization and its affiliates took in nearly $1.2 billion in revenues ($1,199,100,000 to be exact).”
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We all understand why PPFA minimizes the enormous amount of money it takes in from abortion; why it would prefer to talk about anything other than those 339,964 abortions it performed in 2011 (that’s one lost life every 94 seconds); and most of all the grim truth that about one out of every nine women coming through Planned Parenthood’s door will have an abortion! But all the misleading talk in the world about “only 3%” of its services can’t obscure the reality that PPFA is the largest abortion provider in the nation and is taking aggressive steps to expand that murderous empire — building central abortion megaclinics, adding chemical abortions to their smaller offices, experimenting with technologies such as “webcam” abortions. This can only mean more victims and higher revenues at the abortion giant for years to come. If you like, join those who are following me on Twitter at twitter.com/daveha. Please send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.