Thursday, August 6, 2009

Planned Parenthood means abortion (what Will Saletan doesn't understand)

William Saletan, writing at Slate, criticizes NRLC for opposing legislation to send more federal dollars to abortion provider Planned Parenthood. Saletan seems to think that NRLC and much of the pro-life movement must therefore oppose contraception. (NRLC and MCCL take no position on contraception, because the issue of preventing conception is, strictly speaking, not a right-to-life issue: no innocent human lives are at stake.)

But as Ramesh Ponnuru notes, "NRLC has openly opposed contraceptive funding when that funding flows to Planned Parenthood, the country's largest abortion provider. It reasons that money is fungible and therefore giving money to the group promotes abortion. NRLC thus supported the Pence amendment to hold contraceptive funding steady but redirect it from Planned Parenthood."

The truth, then, is simply this: Pro-life advocates oppose funding abortion -- either directly, or indirectly through subsidies for the nation's leading abortion provider/promoter.

More, taken from the January 2009 issue of MCCL News:
In both St. Paul and Washington, D.C., Planned Parenthood approaches legislators every year to lobby for funding initiatives. The pro-abortion organization typically requests money for "family planning" or "pregnancy prevention" programs, but its primary agenda is clear: promote and provide abortions—and make a profit doing so.

Millions of state and federal dollars currently support and enable Planned Parenthood's gruesome work. This is despite the group's record revenue and $115 million surplus last year.

Taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood is more indefensible than ever. Pro-lifers must call on their legislators—at both the state and federal levels—to de-fund this abortion-providing organization.

According to a recent report in the Wall Street Journal, "Planned Parenthood receives about $335 million a year—a third of its budget—from government grants and contracts." Ostensibly, this money is meant "to subsidize contraception, sex education and non-abortion-related health care for poor women and teenagers."

It is clear, however, that funding of Planned Parenthood's projects allows it to redirect other funds to its abortion services and abortion-promoting crusades. Government money keeps hundreds of Planned Parenthood clinics open—clinics that perform, promote or refer for abortions.

Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota received $4.35 million from the government in 2007, and finished the year with more than $24 million in total revenues. These annual numbers have risen steadily in the last several years.

Unsurprisingly, the number of abortions performed by Planned Parenthood has also risen steadily. In Minnesota alone, Planned Parenthood performed 3,911 abortions in 2007—up dramatically from 3,015 in 2005 and 2,452 in 2000. In the last seven years, Planned Parenthood's abortion market share in Minnesota has jumped from 16.9 percent to 28.3 percent. It has been Minnesota's number-one abortionist since 2004.

Planned Parenthood cares very little about "reducing the number of abortions." Its agenda, rather, is to profit from doing just the opposite. Nationwide, Planned Parenthood's ratio of abortion clients to prenatal care clients is more than 20 to 1. For every adoption referral it gives, Planned Parenthood aborts 180 unborn children.