Extreme Makeover: Planned Parenthood Edition
What really motivates the surrender of the "Pro-Choice" label in the abortion debate?
January 28, 2013 - 9:00 am
Here’s what I think is behind Extreme Makeover Planned Parenthood Edition: Big Abortion and Big Money.
Planned Parenthood rakes in more than $500 million in taxpayer money every year. The “non-profit” organization reported a profit of $87.4 million in 2011-2012, in part by performing 333,964 surgical abortions. At $500 per abortion, that’s a stunning $166 million from the baby termination end of the business. They also dispense 1.4 million so-called morning-after pills, many paid for with federal Title X money. A dirty little secret of the abortion industry is that these are not reported in any abortion statistics. While some argue that these do not cause abortions, the prescribing information for the drug says that “alterations to the endometrium that may affect implantation may also contribute to efficacy.”
That means that sometimes it works by making the uterus a hostile environment for a fertilized egg. Most women who receive “Plan B” are not told they could potentially end the life of a fertilized egg, which many consider to be a human life (with its own DNA). By some accounts, Planned Parenthood makes a profit of $20 on each “emergency contraceptive kit,” resulting in a profit of more than $28 million for handing out these pills like they’re candy. In contrast, they made only 2,300 adoption referrals the same year. And prenatal services? According to LifeNews:
In 2009, Planned Parenthood reported performing 40,489 prenatal services for 7,021 prenatal clients, an average of roughly 6 services per prenatal client. Assuming an average of 6 prenatal services per client, Planned Parenthood’s current listing of 31,098 prenatal “services” could be for just over 5,000 prenatal clients. That is 5,000 prenatal clients versus well over 300,000 abortions.
The cold, hard truth is that if women stop aborting their babies, Planned Parenthood as we know it will cease to exist.
The “safe-legal-rare” crowd knows they hold the advantage in the ideological war for abortion on demand by only the thinnest string. Back in 1973, when the Supreme Court forced legalized abortion upon the country, it wasn’t difficult to convince a mother that the man coming at her with the surgical mask and a vacuum device was sucking a “blob of tissue” from her womb, because the technology did not exist to see the baby inside. But with the advent of 3-D and 4-D ultrasound imaging, almost no one denies that what’s inside is a human baby.
In a disturbing Salon piece this month, Mary Elizabeth Williams declared that debate to be essentially over. She admits we all agree that it’s a baby. The only area of disagreement that remains is whether the mother has a right to end that life:
Here’s the complicated reality in which we live: All life is not equal. That’s a difficult thing for liberals like me to talk about, lest we wind up looking like death-panel-loving, kill-your-grandma-and-your-precious-baby storm troopers. Yet a fetus can be a human life without having the same rights as the woman in whose body it resides. She’s the boss. Her life and what is right for her circumstances and her health should automatically trump the rights of the non-autonomous entity inside of her. Always.”
Still, Planned Parenthood makes every effort to shield women from this inconvenient truth. The “Stages of Pregnancy” section of their website looks like something out of a 1940s school textbook, complete with line drawings and banal descriptions like “21-22 weeks: The fetus has a CRL of about 7 inches (18–19 cm).” They also steer women away from centers that may provide more complete information— those that do not provide abortions. In a section about “Crisis Pregnancy Centers,” they claim the centers “may try to frighten you with misleading films and pictures to keep you from choosing abortion.” They work tirelessly to fight laws requiring informed consent before a woman receives an abortion.