For an organization that has at the root of its business model the destruction of human life, it's not surprising that Planned Parenthood has had to resort to deception to defend itself after taking some of its worst PR hits in its history. But the more Americans learn about Planned Parenthood, the less they like. Purporting itself to be the arbitrators of "women’s health care," it has successfully siphoned more than $300 million a year of taxpayer dollars out of the economy. Planned Parenthood defenders in the General Assembly, Congress and the media are quick to claim that the majority of services provided by Planned Parenthood are not abortion related. If you weren't paying attention you'd think that without your money being diverted to its coffers women would not have access to any health care.
That, of course, ignores the truth. Now, former Planned Parenthood clinic director Abby Johnson and many others are finally exposing Planned Parenthood for what it is — and what we've said it is all along. The organization has had to resort to deception and hiding behind the White House to protect its public financing.
Most recently, in the debate over federal funding for the nation's largest private supplier of abortion, Planned Parenthood apologists made the assertion that abortion amounts to only three percent of the organization's services (a claim we've heard over and over again in the General Assembly). For an organization that has at its core abortion and the politics of abortion, this claim makes no sense, yet politicians and pundits alike have puppeted the talking point.
Planned Parenthood's claim that abortions make up just 3 percent of its services is also a gimmick. That number is actually closer to 12 percent, but strategically skewed by unbundling family planning services so that each patient shows anywhere from five to 20 "visits" per appointment (i.e., 12 packs of birth control equals 12 visits) and doing the opposite with abortion visits, bundling them together so that each appointment equals one visit. The resulting difference between family planning and abortion "visits" is striking.
Further proof of Planned Parenthood's emphasis on abortion is the directive that recently came down from Planned Parenthood's national headquarters mandating that all its affiliates provide abortions by 2013. In addition, its adoption referral number is appalling, and has been decreasing exponentially for years. Per Ms. Johnson:
. . . 98 percent of Planned Parenthood's services to pregnant women are abortion.
That's just the beginning. It also made the claim that it provides cancer screenings such as mammograms, but the truth is that it simply refers women to facilities that do mammograms, something any free clinic can do. No Planned Parenthood clinic has the equipment to do mammograms (of course, those would cost money, and based on what we've seen in the debate over abortion center regulations, safety is not a high priority for Planned Parenthood).
Of course, nearly every "service" provided by Planned Parenthood, with the exception of its primary money winner — abortion — can be done at free clinics and can be paid for through Medicaid or Medicare. There is absolutely no reason that an organization that has faced accusations ranging from targeting African Americans for abortion to covering up sexual abuse of underage girls should be subsidized by taxpayers. But you knew that already.
In Virginia, we have successfully defunded Planned Parenthood by exposing the money that was being diverted to its clinics. But this reminder seems fitting during tax season: Our federal government continues to provide more than one third of this political organization's budget with your tax dollars.
In Virginia, Planned Parenthood continues to advocate for more money, freedom from minor regulations, and against every single attempt at helping women make a better choice for their unborn children. If a proposal is going to reduce the number of abortions in Virginia, it is sure to oppose it, including funding successful abstinence education programs.
The good news is that this year, we were able to defeat Planned Parenthood over and over again. From passing abortion center safety regulations to abstinence funding to protecting taxpayers from underwriting abortion in Virginia’s health insurance exchange, to defeating its legislative agenda, Planned Parenthood suffered overwhelming defeats this year.
Let's pray we can build on this momentum!