Wednesday, 04 September 2013

Abortion Clinics Shut at Record Pace; Planned Parenthood Struggles

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Across the country, dozens of tax-funded Planned Parenthood offices and abortion clinics have reportedly been shuttered so far this year, a new record that is sparking enthusiasm and celebration from pro-life activists working to save the lives of unborn children. As part of that apparent trend, the number of surgical abortion clinics nationwide is also on the decline, with pro-life organizations reporting that around 43 have closed just this year compared to 24 throughout 2012. Advocates for unborn children, unsurprisingly, are celebrating what they view as highly encouraging news.

Meanwhile, since 2010, data compiled by the generally pro-abortion Huffington Post show at least 54 abortion clinics across 27 states either shut down or stopped perpetrating abortions. At least several others are just barely hanging on after activist federal judges temporarily forced taxpayers to continue funding the institutions via state governments. Among states for which data was available, 10 saw a 20-percent or more decline in the number of abortion providers between 2010 and 2013. Just two states, Nebraska and Massachusetts, had an increase — one new clinic each.

Pro-life activists cited, among other potential contributing factors, shifting public opinion, which polls show has become increasingly opposed to unrestricted abortion — and especially the coercion involved in forcing taxpayers to subsidize something that flies in the face of their moral beliefs. Others point to stepped up efforts by activists to rescue unborn children through education, offering support to mothers facing crisis pregnancies, and similar initiatives taking place across the country.

While analysts and activists on both sides of the issue had varying explanations for the trend, most also pointed to the recent dramatic escalation in state-level efforts to rein in taxpayer support for abortion providers while tightening regulations and oversight. At least one pro-abortion zealot called the developments a “nightmare,” but pro-life activists are celebrating the news and gearing up to work even harder in the battle to save unborn lives.

Operation Rescue, one of the numerous pro-life organizations working to protect pre-born children in America, vowed to keep up the pressure for as long as it takes. “We will work through legal avenues to make sure this trend of abortion clinic closures continues until there are none left to inflict human misery upon vulnerable women and their children,” said Troy Newman, the president of the organization.

Defeating tax-funded abortion behemoth and lobbying powerhouse Planned Parenthood, which recently received a massive taxpayer-funded grant from the Obama administration to promote the controversial ObamaCare healthcare takeover, is at the top of the group’s agenda. While the tax dollars continue to flow, so far, activists say the trends on that front are encouraging as well.

Among the Planned Parenthood offices closed so far this year was an abortion clinic in Midland, Texas, which reportedly shut down due to its inability to meet new health and safety standards. In New York, meanwhile, five Planned Parenthood clinics severed their ties with the abortion mammoth after it mandated that all affiliates end the lives of unborn children in at least one facility. Others have closed following cuts in state taxpayer funding, declines in demand, and a lack of doctors willing to perform abortions, the pro-life group documented.  

“Abortion numbers are down so there is less demand for Planned Parenthood,” said Operation Rescue’s Newman. “Couple that with recent scandals involving Planned Parenthood that have resulted in increased disapproval of their abortion business and it’s easy to see why these clinics are closing on such a large scale. While Planned Parenthood officials like to portray these closings as the end of the world for women, in reality, there are plenty of other competent health care providers who are not in business to sell them abortions that stand at the ready to assist women.”

The abortion giant, which receives hundreds of millions of tax dollars every year from all levels of government while performing hundreds of thousands of abortions annually, has come under increasing scrutiny amid a seemingly never-ending series of scandals. As The New American reported last month, for example, the organization is now being investigated by the federal Government Accountability Office (GAO). Responding to widespread concerns among the public and lawmakers, the GAO plans to find out how exactly the abortion-providing, pro-abortion lobbying group spent more than half a billion in federal tax dollars last year.

While the highly controversial organization has a rabid supporter in President Obama, the non-stop scandalous headlines about Planned Parenthood continue to take their toll on the group while dampening already minuscule levels of public support. Among the myriad recent scandals highlighted by pro-life activists are dozens of medical emergencies at the abortion clinics requiring transportation to hospitals, a recent $4.3-million settlement for Medicaid fraud, a series of ongoing lawsuits by whistleblowers from the organization, the reportedly widespread failure to report sexual abuse, numerous exposures of how Planned Parenthood allegedly targets minorities for abortion in keeping with its founder’s goals, and much more.     

Before the more recent outrages, Planned Parenthood has come under fire for allegations of “gendercide,” too. Critics also point out that an organization receiving gargantuan amounts taxpayer funding has no business lobbying, which Planned Parenthood has been doing successfully at the state and federal level for years. Of course, controversy over the organization’s founder, Margaret Sanger, has also never really died. Among other radical and racist positions, Sanger became infamous for her self-described work “to assist the race toward the elimination of the unfit.” Congressional testimony last year also implicated Planned Parenthood in United Nations support for the Communist Chinese dictatorship’s forced abortions and “one-child policy.”  

Perhaps even more astounding than the decline in abortion clinics, however, is what is happening right now in Iowa. Despite the vast increase in the availability of abortion “services” — the number of towns where women could abort their children tripled with the introduction of so-called “web camera” abortions — the number of “terminated” children is down by 30 percent. Instituted by Planned Parenthood in 2008 in a bid to expand access to abortion across the state, the video-conferencing system allowed doctors to provide pills that end the child’s life while supervising the mother from afar throughout the traumatic ordeal.

Instead of surging death, however — widely expected by pro-life activists and pro-abortion zealots — state data cited in news reports show the number of abortions perpetrated in Iowa has actually been plunging. According to figures from the Iowa Department of Public Health cited by USA Today, there were 6,649 unborn children killed in 2007. By 2012, the last year for which data is available, 4,468 pregnancies were “terminated” in the state. Last week, the Iowa Board of Medicine voted to eliminate web-camera abortions entirely, which pro-life activists hope will help save even more children.

Despite the decreasing number of clinics, as of early 2013, a study by The Daily Beast showed that over 700 abortion-providing facilities remained open across the country. To pro-life activists, that means a lot of work remains. However, with current trends showing a decline in abortion providers and increasing public opposition to the barbaric procedure, advocates for the unborn are hopeful.

Numerous strategies to eliminate abortion are currently being developed, including the "personhood" effort, which would define unborn children as people entitled to all of the rights and privileges inherent to all humans such as the right to life. Contrary to popular wisdom, meanwhile, a reversal of the Supreme Court’s wildly unconstitutional Roe v. Wade ruling is not needed to re-criminalize the killing of unborn children. It will take hard work, but activists are increasingly optimistic that it can be done.      

Alex Newman is a correspondent for The New American, covering economics, politics, and more. He can be reached at

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Photo of abortion clinic: AP Images


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