Planned Parenthood: Women’s Healthcare Advocates or Abortion Extremists?

During the presidential election of 2016, a major health organization known as Planned Parenthood took a lot of flak for turning out to be nothing more than a major provider of abortion services in the United States of America.

Picture Credit: Jacquelyn Martin

From 1970 to 2013, nearly 52 million abortions have been performed in the United States. Until 1970, abortion was illegal in the U.S., and from 1970 to 1973, it was still not legal on the federal level. But that all changed in the 1973 infamous court case Roe v. Wade in which the Supreme Court ruled in favor of legalizing abortion services nationwide (federally). In 1976, the annual number of abortions hit the million mark for the first time, and the number of annual abortions didn’t fall back under a million until 1998 when the number drastically dropped to under nine hundred thousand. They continued to steadily decline until 2013.

In 1916, an organization was founded by three women. The most historically remembered being Margaret Sanger who worked along with Ethel Bryne and Fania Mindell. Because abortion was not yet legal anywhere in the U.S., this organization portrayed itself to the public as anti-abortion. This was the beginning of Planned Parenthood. Sanger, Bryne, and Mindell dreamed strictly of reproductive health care and legalized birth control medication, but as time went on, people began to speculate that Planned Parenthood focused strictly on legalizing birth control medication because the topic of abortion was still socially taboo.

Decades later, the social stigma with abortion was addressed by NARAL and the ‘abortion rights movement’ of the late 1960’s. This was when the ‘beloved’ NARAL, originally short for National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws, was established in 1969 at the First National Conference on Abortion Laws. NARAL’s mission was, and still is, to ensure a more “pro-choice” America. Founded by Betty Friedan and co-founded by Bernard Nathanson, this organization wanted one thing: legalized abortion. Nathanson, while reminiscing on NARAL’s past, has been quoted saying, “The number of women dying from illegal abortions was two hundred to two hundred fifty annually. The number we constantly fed to the media was ten thousand. These false figures took root in the consciousness of Americans, convincing many that we needed to crack the abortion laws.”

Because of this organization’s deception and the movement they promoted, both the social and political stages for legal abortion were set. In 1970, New York was the second state (following Hawaii) to legalize abortion, and the Planned Parenthood clinics in New York offered those services immediately. From then on, once it was federally legalized, abortion services grew throughout the remaining 48 states. Because of some controversial quotes from Margaret Sanger herself (looked at in hindsight), as well as Planned Parenthood’s immediate offer of abortion services in New York, it almost makes you doubt the idea that Planned Parenthood was ever truly ‘anti-abortion’; but rather, slowly playing out a much more liberal agenda. Some also believe the desire of government funding, encouraged by the NARAL, also motivated Planned Parenthood’s change of mind. Though ‘pro-choicers’ deny that any government funding actually goes towards abortion procedures.

Picture Credit: Debra Sweet

Planned Parenthood’s current motives are questioned constantly by the Republican Party due to the controversy of whether or not they provide mammograms or not – one of the most important checkups a woman can receive. The answer is no, they do not. Not one Planned Parenthood clinic contains mammogram equipment. Instead, they simply provide slips of paper on which a nurse can refer a patient to a facility who can actually provide her with the mammogram procedure she needs. Some politicians, including President Barack Obama, have tried to imply otherwise, but it simply isn’t true. So we must ask ourselves: what are Planned Parenthood’s motives?

The recent release of footage from the 2014 and 2015 National Abortion Federation Conventions gives us all the answers we need. Multiple media outlets have taken down this footage from their websites due to the graphic nature of the verbal content captured from these events, but the majority of the horrendous comments have been recorded here by Susan Wright with RedState.

Planned Parenthood’s intentions aren’t to ensure women are healthier, or safer. They are not the leading provider of women’s healthcare; they are the complete opposite. The Democrats for Life of America reports there are fewer than seven hundred Planned Parenthood clinics in the U.S., and more than nine thousand community health centers nationwide. Planned Parenthood clinics have provided 378,692 pap tests while community health care centers across the U.S. have performed 1,787,256.

Planned Parenthood clinics have provided mammograms for 0 women; community health care centers have provided mammograms for over 400,000 women. Planned Parenthood clinics have served 2.7 million patients; community healthcare centers have served 21 million. Planned Parenthood clinics have performed over 300,000 abortions annually; community health care centers have performed zero abortions.

Community health centers protect far more and do far more for women than Planned Parenthood clinics ever want to. So, I think it’s safe to say that Planned Parenthood aren’t the women’s healthcare enthusiasts they claim to be, but are rather just abortion extremists.


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