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Joanne was a young graduate student when she became pregnant. She and her boyfriend were still together on February 24, 1955 when she gave birth to a little boy, but they were not married. These were the days before Roe v. Wade, when abortion became legal throughout the United States. Back then most women in Joanne’s situation gave their child up for adoption. And that is what she did. Her little boy went to a loving home, in a solidly middle class neighborhood. And he went on to fundamentally change the world of technology, communications, and entertainment. His name was Steve Jobs and your life is different because he lived.
Steve was lucky. He was born before the response to an inconvenient pregnancy meant almost certain termination for the child. Today, an estimated 56 million babies are aborted every year. At the United Nations abortion is, ironically, called a human right. Policy-makers promote abortion by using terms such as Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR). These “rights,” it is argued, form the foundation for women’s autonomy and full participation in the workplace, creating conflict between women and their own biology and pitting their interests against their own children. UN agencies pressure countries that value life to expand abortion rights through threats and bullying, and they partner with independent organizations to implement their agenda.
Pope Francis has called this pressure “ideological colonization.” The Mission of the Holy See at the United Nations regularly speaks out against this attempt by “powerful and wealthy donors to compel developing countries that were once militarily and economically colonized to accept secularized practices with regard to human sexuality, life, family and even basic anthropology, as a condition for the reception of development assistance.”
Sharon Eubank, the director of LDS Charities, has seen how women who are on the receiving end of ideological colonization ”bristle when somebody from the UN or somebody says ‘why did you have all these children? Wouldn’t it have been better if you didn’t have all these children?’ They say no. These children are my heritage.”
A little background
International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is one of those organizations guilty of ideological colonization. IPPF aborted 1 million babies in 2016. In addition, it performed “3.6 million abortion-related activities including abortion counseling, consultation, and diagnostic procedures.” IPPF was founded by four national Planned Parenthood organizations from Britain, Sweden, Netherlands and the U.S. Today there are 141 national organizations that make up IPPF, of which Planned Parenthood Federation of America is the largest.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), like IPPF, likes to point to it’s record as a provider of women’s health services, such as cancer screenings and breast examinations, but the biggest portion of Planned Parenthood’s business comes from performing abortions – over 300,000 a year. Make no mistake, this not-for-profit is all about the money. Planned Parenthood has over $1 billion in assets, and it makes over $1 billion a year in revenue, the largest portion of which comes from the government. In one three-year period, 2013 – 2015, Planned Parenthood brought in $1.5 billion from American taxpayers.
Experts of distortion
Planned Parenthood claims that the majority of its business comes from women’s healthcare other than abortion. That is what we call a statistical sleight of hand, or fabrication, to be polite. Planned Parenthood accomplishes this by breaking down all the services that one client receives. Let’s say a pregnant woman visits a Planned Parenthood clinic. Her visit will often include a pregnancy test, a pap smear, an HIV test, an STI test, an abortion, pregnancy prevention counseling and implantation of long-term birth control. That would be several “services” for one client, but each would be counted separately for reporting purposes as though they were performed on separate clients. Clever.
Planned Parenthood also likes to claim that their clinics are often the only source of “life-saving care,” providing general health care for men and women. However, in the 2015-2016 fiscal year, only 40,000 services provided in all Planned Parenthood facilities combined could be considered family-practice care. That was out of 9.5 million services. Rarely does a facility provide prenatal care. Instead, the PPFA imposes abortion quotas on its clinics. If people are in need of truly life-saving care, they can find more comprehensive services at the thousands of community health care clinics around the country that outnumber Planned Parenthood facilities 20 to 1.
Really defunding Planned Parenthood once and for all
The federal government has attempted to restrict the funding of Planned Parenthood abortions through enactment of the Hyde Amendment. The Hyde Amendment is a rider added every year to spending bills, which prohibits the reimbursement of abortion services through Medicaid. So while Planned Parenthood does not directly receive money that funds abortion, federal grants given to the organization indirectly fund the procedure. Taxpayer dollars buffer all the other costs Planned Parenthood incurs in doing business including abortion.
In June, the Department of Health and Human Services issued a proposal for a new rule that pro-life advocates are calling the “Protect Life Rule.” If adopted, the rule would stop funding of abortion providers through Title X’s family planning program. Organizations that perform, promote, offer referrals for, or lobby for abortion must maintain a “bright line” of separation between Title X services and abortion, meaning abortion providers that offer Title X services cannot do so in the same facilities and clinics where they perform abortions. This would also reverse a regulation from the Clinton years that required Title X grantees to provide abortion counseling and referrals.
About 11% of all federal and state funds that Planned Parenthood receives come from Title X. Title X is the second largest source of government funding for Planned Parenthood, and the organization spends close to $60 million in funds received from Title X grants every year.
Currently Title X money can indirectly support abortion by subsidizing the cost of facilities that perform both abortion and family planning services. Implementation of the Protect Life Rule will keep Title X funds from mixing with abortion services.
How you can help
Approximately 60 million babies have been aborted in the United States since Roe v. Wade, and hundreds of millions more worldwide since the United Nations and its agencies have embraced the legalization of abortion. How many lives were snuffed out before they could make their own mark on this world? We should be better than this. We are better than this. You can lend your voice in defending life and ending the taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood. Urge the Department of Health and Human Services to implement the Protect Life Rule.
It’s time to stop government funding of the largest provider of abortions in the United States.