We all mourn the deaths in Iraq, now approaching 4,000th Americans, in the five-year-old fight for freedom and justice in that nation. But sadly we seem oblivious to the fact that we lose approximately the same number of our fellow citizens everyday to abortion.
The plague of abortion takes one American life about every 30 seconds. But here’s a little good news on this Good Friday: Soon Congress will have the chance to limit severely the ability of this plague’s principal purveyor, Planned Parenthood, to force you to pay for its deadly deeds.
Planned Parenthood spends millions annually to maintain its reputation as the foremost champion of “responsible” sexuality and child-bearing, with, among other things, ads featuring hip, healthy-looking young people and cute, cuddly babies.
But Planned Parenthood’s record refutes its well-honed reputation. In recent years, its affiliates have ignored numerous cases of statutory rape and sexual abuse of minors. Last fall, Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri was handed a 107-count grand jury indictment, with allegations ranging from illegal late-term abortions, “making false information” and “unlawful failure to maintain records,” among other violations. In California, meanwhile, several Planned Parenthood affiliates are under investigation for overcharging the state hundreds of millions (I repeat: hundreds of millions) of dollars on birth control.
Perhaps worst of all, last summer, The Advocate, a magazine published by students at UCLA, conducted an investigation in which an actor posing as a donor called Planned Parenthood centers in seven states and asked if his donation could be used for the abortion of black babies, or as he said, “to lower the number of black people.” All seven Planned Parenthood centers agreed to process the donations, and none seemed concerned at the racist motivations behind the donations.
In fact, during one call, the vice president of marketing for Planned Parenthood of Idaho responded “understandable, understandable” when the caller said, “The less black kids out there the better.” The Advocate later published the transcript of the conversation, which so horrified UCLA students that many are calling for the university to cut all ties with the abortion business. Though Planned Parenthood apologized for this blatant racism, calling it a “serious mistake,” this episode highlighted something Planned Parenthood would perhaps like to forget: its racist origins.
Planned Parenthood’s founder, Margaret Sanger, is revered by many on the Left as “the mother of the birth control movement.” But she was also a devout eugenicist who believed America needed to “cut down on the rapid multiplication of the unfit and undesirable at home.” One of Planned Parenthood’s earliest initiatives, called the Negro Project, was designed to control the birth of minority babies, or “human weeds,” as Sanger called them. She once wrote in a letter, “We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population…”
Today, Planned Parenthood has learned to distance itself from its racist founder with a carefulness that even Barack Obama can appreciate. But the fact remains that blacks are disproportionately affected by Planned Parenthood’s “services.”
Four out of every five Planned Parenthood centers are located in minority neighborhoods, and about one-third of its abortions are performed on blacks, who constitute just 13 percent of the population. Overall, nearly as many black babies are aborted as are born.
Planned Parenthood is the behemoth of the “reproductive rights” industry. In 2006, it raked in record amounts of taxpayer-funded subsidies (over $305 million) and record high revenues ($900 million). And while Planned Parenthood’s media campaigns typically focus on its other services — contraceptives, STD testing, cancer screening and prevention etc.– as Charlotte Allen has noted in the Weekly Standard, its abortion services “accounted for at least one-third, probably more, of Planned Parenthood’s $345.1 million in clinic income reported the last fiscal year.” In 2005, Planned Parenthood performed more than 260,000 abortions in its 287 chemical and surgical abortion sites (out of 860 total centers) across the country.
Planned Parenthood’s revenue gains are curious given that its own research organization, the Alan Guttmacher Institute, recently released data showing a 25 percent decline in number of abortions since 1990, to the lowest point in 30 years. Clearly, with the help of lavish government subsidies, Planned Parenthood is increasing its own market share. Which explains why Planned Parenthood recently embarked upon the “One Million Strong” campaign, during which its political arm will spend $10 million to try to persuade one million people to vote for pro-abortion candidates in 2008.
But there’s hope for pro-lifers. Congressman Mike Pence (R-Ind.) has proposed an amendment to the appropriations legislation that funds the Departments of Labor and Health and Human Services to bar federal funding for Planned Parenthood. H.R. 4133 prohibits any organization that promotes or practices abortions from receiving federal funds.
I understand that the last time Pence offered this amendment it was met with stern opposition not just by House Democrats but also by some Republican colleagues who seem to have fallen for Planned Parenthood’s savvy marketing strategies. Congressman Pence plans to bring his amendment to the House floor for a vote this summer. I hope the Pence Amendment gets a vote. Our elected representatives need to be on record as either supporting or opposing giving hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to a racist, deceptive and corrupt organization that believes pregnancy is a disease for which abortion is the cure.