Tuesday, 08 March 2011

“Pro-Choice” Columnist: Abort Planned Parenthood’s Federal Funding

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Give Kirsten Powers credit. She may be a liberal, abortion-rights supporter, but she is also willing to modify her opinion on the basis of an objective review of the facts.

Having delved into the research regarding Planned Parenthood and its agenda, Powers, writing for the Daily Beast, came to the only conclusion possible: Planned Parenthood is “a blindly ideological organization” dedicated not to its advertised objectives of women’s well-being and family planning but to population control. Moreover, she says, the organization willfully ignores the statistics regarding birth control and abortion, even when compiled by the Guttmacher Institute, which began as a division of Planned Parenthood and has since become the de facto research department of the entire abortion-contraceptive industry, in order to continue its “fleecing of taxpayers.”

Powers explains that she began her investigation of Planned Parenthood when, in an effort to preserve its federal funding, “the organization claimed that its contraceptive services prevent a half-million abortions a year” — an argument Powers “bought” because “it makes intuitive sense.” Upon looking into the matter, however, she found that “access to contraception … doesn’t necessarily reduce” the abortion rate. Indeed, as she points out, “a 2009 study by the journal Contraception found, in a 10-year study of women in Spain, that as overall contraceptive use increased from around 49 percent to 80 percent, the elective abortion rate more than doubled.” Likewise, according to Susan Wills, assistant director for Education and Outreach in the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, “Numerous studies in the United States and Europe have found that greater access to contraception fails to reduce unintended pregnancies and abortions.”

Powers hastens to add that correlation does not necessarily imply causation, but it seems likely that the false sense of security provided by (often sporadic) contraceptive use leads women to engage in more sexual activity, in turn resulting in more unplanned pregnancies and, thus, abortions.

There is a reason Planned Parenthood hasn’t done anything to reduce abortions: Abortion is the organization’s raison d’etre. As Powers discovered in reading Planned Parenthood’s latest tax filing, the group’s self-proclaimed purpose is “achiev[ing] … a U.S. population of stable size in an optimum environment.” As Powers paraphrases it, “the real mission is to keep the birth rate at whatever level the leaders believe it should be.”

This should not come as a surprise to anyone possessing even a passing familiarity with the history of Planned Parenthood. The organization was founded by eugenicist Margaret Sanger, whose goal was to see to it that those she deemed inferior, especially racial minorities, were not permitted to reproduce. Toward that end her organization has been remarkably successful: “The great irony is that abortion has done what the Klan only dreamed of,” said Dr. Alveda King, niece of the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “In the last forty-plus years, 15 million black people have been denied their most basic civil right, the right to life. Roughly one quarter of the black population is now missing.”

The contrast between Planned Parenthood’s public face of “Pap smears or breast exams or prenatal services” and its leaders’ actual motives caused Powers to “wonder what else they are hiding.” (Covering up sex trafficking of minors, perhaps?) The group, she maintains, is “at core a blindly ideological organization, not a run-of-the-mill charitable nonprofit,” that deceives the public — or at least its elected officials — into filling its coffers with taxpayer dollars.

Of course, if elected officials at the federal level abided by the document to which they all swear fealty upon taking office, no amount of feel-good public relations from Planned Parenthood would be able to wrest a single dime from the U.S. Treasury for its so-called charity. As James Madison put it, “I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on the objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.”

Powers, no constitutionalist, nevertheless comes to a similar conclusion: “Whatever you think of abortion rights, this is not the kind of organization that taxpayers should be funding.”

Note: Since this article was written, Kirsten Powers has added the following note to her column:

Author's Note: I made a serious error in reporting this column that undermines the conclusion I drew. I compared statistics on contraceptive use from a January 2011 Guttmacher Institute fact sheet to a year 2000 study on the same issue. However, I did not realize that the 2011 fact sheet derived its statistics from the year 2000 numbers, so my argument was not supported by the data. I am deeply sorry for the error, which invalidates my piece.

We have removed the portion of the original article containing the erroneous information, in order to avoid perpetuating misinformation. We regret any inconvenience. — The Editors

Photo: AP Images

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