Sometimes you can tell who your friends are by the kind of opposition they attract. Planned Parenthood — the largest abortion provider in the United States — is stuffing Virginia post boxes with glossy campaign adverts. The headline reads: “Mitt Romney would go too far and interfere in a woman’s personal medical decisions.” Underneath, feeling they need to translate for their target audience, they choose two Romney statements and then explain what they believe those statements mean: “When Mitt Romney says: ‘Do I believe the Supreme Court should overturn Roe v. Wade? Yes. I do.’ He means: states could be allowed to end safe legal abortions, even in the case of rape, incest, or when a woman’s life is at risk. When Mitt Romney says: ‘Planned Parenthood, we’re going to get rid of that.’ He means:: he would take away all of Planned Parenthood’s federal funding, denying women access to preventative health care, including cervical cancer screenings, breast exams, well-woman checkups, birth control, and the prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases.” Click to see the actual front and back of the mailer.
Let’s have a look at these claims and what their answers reveal, not so much about Mitt Romney, but about Planned Parenthood.
First, should Roe v. Wade be overturned? Well, a lot of legal scholars certainly think that it is bad law. University of Pennsylvania Law School professor Kermit Roosevelt argues. “As constitutional argument Roe is barely coherent.” Archibald Cox writes, “The failure to confront the issue in principled terms leaves the opinion to read like a set of hospital rules and regulations…. Neither historian, nor layman, nor lawyer will be persuaded that all the prescriptions of Justice Blackmun are part of the Constitution.” I am reminded that the decision in Roe argues that if the personhood of the fetus is ever established, then the case would crumble, and yet California Medicine (the journal of the California Medical Association), in an editorial in 1970 claimed: “Since the old ethic has not yet been fully displaced it has been necessary to separate the idea of abortion from the idea of killing, which continues to be socially abhorrent. The result has been a curious avoidance of the scientific fact, which everyone really knows, that human life begins at conception and is continuous whether intra- or extra-uterine until death.” As noting in an earlier blog post, Planned Parenthood knows that Roe v. Wade is based on a lie. They distributed publications in the 1950s and 60s that indicated that they knew that human life begins at conception, and that “abortion kills the life of a baby after it has begun.” So, if Planned Parenthood believed its own early publications, it should recognize the need for Roe v. Wade to be overturned. Instead, it turns away from what it once acknowledged as the truth, and pursues blood money that it knows comes from violently ending the lives of helpless little humans. So when Mitt Romney says: “Do I believe that the Supreme Court should overturn Roe v. Wade? Yes. I do.” What he means is: Roe v Wade was terrible constitutional law, wiping out, via judicial fiat, state laws across this nation which were designed by state legislatures to protect the lives of their most helpless people. It should be overturned, and the decision should be returned to the states to be decided on a state by state basis.
So the idea of returning the policy issue of abortion to responsible voters so that they can decide whether their state will participate in child-killing (Susan B. Anthony’s term) is “too far” to Planned Parenthood. On a related note, I find it interesting that those groups who overuse the “extremist” label tend to be remarkably shy about revealing precisely what would constitute reasonable restrictions.
Second, what would be the consequences of the defunding of Planned Parenthood? Would it really cause the apocalyptic outcome predicted by Planned Parenthood in their campaign advert? One thing is certainly true: denying federal funding to Planned Parenthood would put a crimp in their budget. But when our nation is running trillion dollar budget deficits as far as the eye can see, they will have to cut somewhere. And it does seem to make sense to begin by defunding an organization that is purposefully advocating and engaging in the slaughter of a quarter of your future taxpayers. But even if Planned Parenthood were defunded it would not result in any of the problems they allege. They act as if they are the only available source of the benefits that they claim to provide. However, as Live Action demonstrated, they do not perform claimed services such as mammograms (click here). None of the other services they claim will be denied to women require Planned Parenthood in order to be performed. All kinds of local doctors and clinics provide “access to preventative health care, including cervical cancer screenings, breast exams, well-woman checkups, birth control, and the prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases.” The one “service” that Planned Parenthood provides that many of this other clinics — who are, after all, focused on the health of all of their patients, including the unborn ones — is abortion.
Planned Parenthood tries to make a big deal out of the assertion that 97% of their services go to non-abortion related activities. But none of those services are exclusive to Planned Parenthood. Instead, let’s have a look at what happens to the pregnant women who walk through the door at Planned Parenthood. Their own fact sheet says that they offer prenatal care to just over 7000 clients, but ABORTION PROCEDURES to over 332,000 clients and “Emergency Contraception kits” to over 1.5 million. Even if we disregard the abortifacient nature of the “Emergency Contraception Kits” — Planned Parenthood still aborts 98% of all the pregnant women who seek their services. This is the “service” that they provide that is more uniquely their own — their signature service, you might say.
The defunding of Planned Parenthood would do little or nothing to impede women’s access to medical treatment. There are a lot of federal dollars out there to underwrite those services, and clinics will compete for that business. What it would do is put a substantial dent in Planned Parenthood’s ability to propagandize, troll for clients, and spread a gospel of sexual irresponsibility that leaves children dead, and young women and men cheapened and broken, because they believe a lie.
Planned Parenthood fears the election of Mitt Romney. My only hope is that, if elected and working hand in hand with a pro-life congress, he will make good on his promise to defund Planned Parenthood and that he will select justices with a constitutional understanding of what it means to protect life.