Violence Lets Planned Parenthood Rebound at the End of 2015
By Lynn D. Wardle, Bruce C. Hafen Professor of Law at BYU Law School.
The year 2015 exposed some of the sleazy underside and disturbing practices of the commercialized abortion industry in the United States. Consequently, the past year was a difficult year for the public image of Planned Parenthood, the organization that presents itself as the respectable public face of abortion and the abortion industry in the United States.
Planned Parenthood Federation of American is the leading provider and facilitator of abortion in the United States. According to a 2014 fact sheet provided online by Planned Parenthood By The Numbers, at https://www.plannedparenthood.org/files/9313/9611/7194/Planned_Parenthood_By_The_Numbers.pdf (seen 11 December 2015), there are Planned Parenthood affiliates (68 in total) located in all fifty (50) American States and in the District of Columbia. Planned Parenthood affiliate health centers in the United States provided some services to 2,840,000 million persons in the prior year. Id. Planned Parenthood described itself in that document as “one of the nation’s leading providers” of health services. Id. It states that it has more than 700 affiliate heath centers. Id.
Planned Parenthood also identified itself as “the nation’s largest provider of sex education.” That is an especially chilling title. It suggests that millions of American children are being indoctrinated in Planned Parenthood’s amoral (if not immoral) sexuality values through sex education delivered by Planned Parenthood. The Planned Parenthood factsheet claims that its affiliates have had over 1.1 million persons in their education programs.
Our public schools are being used not merely to propagandize impressionable school children in the shallow and harmful world-views of Planned Parenthood. Our public schools also are being used as recruiting centers and referral centers for Planned Parenthood.
It seems strange that anyone can keep a straight face while calling the killing living human beings in utero a health service (apart from the extremely rare circumstance of a pregnancy in that poses a deliberate and severe threat to the life or health of the mother or unborn child. Nevertheless, Planned Parenthood proudly provides elective (non-therapeutic) abortion services. The factsheet concedes that three percent (3%) of “all Planned Parenthood health services . . . are abortion services.” (It does not explain what that means – e.g., that abortion is 3% of all of the procedures it performs, or involves 3% of its professional services time, or accounts of 3% of its income, or what).
Planned Parenthood claims to have 7,000,000 supporters, activists and donors. Id.
In 2013, Planned parented reported that in the 2011-12 fiscal year it set a record for the amount of taxpayer funds it received. That fiscal year, forty-five percent (45%) of its revenues came from government-funded sources. Sarah Torre, Planned parenthood Sets Record for Abortions and Government Funding, 9 January 2014, at http://dailysignal.com/2013/01/09/planned-parenthood-sets-record-for-abortions-and-government-funding/ (seen 11 December 2015). That same year, it reportedly performed 333,964 abortions. Id. The Susan B. Anthony List calculated that “Planned Parenthood ha[d] performed almost 1 million abortion in the past three years alone.” Id.
However, in May 2013 infamous abortion doctor. Kemit Gosnell, was convicted of first degree murder in the deaths of three infants born alive during abortions he performed, of involuntary manslaughter in the death of a woman patient Karnamaya Mongar, 21 additional felony counts of illegal later-term abortions, and 211 counts of violating Pennsylvania’s 24-hour informed consent law. That scandal cast an unfavorable light upon the abortion industry in general.
In the summer of 2015, an anti-abortion group, the Center for Medical Progress, released undercover videos showing Planned Parenthood officials discussing in grisly detail how to abort fetuses to preserve their organs for harvesting and sale for research, and discussing the sale of aborted fetal parts. The videos became an online mega-hit, and portrayed an image of Planned Parenthood as possibly greedy, commercialized, acting at the margins or law and ethics, and generally insensitive.
The videos also led to a Congressional hearing about the disturbing practice which might violate existing federal laws and which exposes the possible need for further legislation to prohibit profiteering from selling the parts of aborted fetuses and embryos. Ultimately, Planned Parenthood terminated its practice of accepting financial payments for the body parts from aborted fetuses and embryos. It announced that it would stop accepting “reimbursement” from the sale of aborted fetal body parts, and that it would donate them to researchers instead.
However, in late November 2015 a deranged zealot gunman, Robert Lewis Dear, attacked the Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado Springs, Colorado, engaging in a shootout that lasted for hours. In that attack, the assailant killed three persons including a police officer, and wounded nine others.
How tragic and ironic it is that a man who claims to be pro-life commits murder and kills others! There is not now and never has been any place in the pro-life movement for persons who engage in killing or other forms of violence!
The horrific, murderous rampage at the Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado Springs seems to have produced a backlash of sympathy for Planned Parenthood. So instead of ending 2015 with a black eye in public relations owing to exposure of its sleazy practices, Planned Parenthood will end the year with an outpouring of sympathy. Once again, violence defeats good efforts to unmask and stop evil.