Thursday, November 5, 2009

Planned Parenthood obscuring the truth

You may have read the story in the last couple of days about the Planned Parenthood clinic director in Bryan, Texas who quit her job after watching an abortion take place on an ultrasound monitor.  The former director said she had become uncomfortable with the fact that the organization was pushing workers to increase abortion numbers.  She has now joined a pro-life group in praying outside the location of her former employer.

Planned Parenthood has moved into damage control mode, winning a temporary restraining order against her and the pro-life group.  A company spokesperson commented, "Planned Parenthood's focus is on prevention.  Nationwide, more than 90% of the health care Planned Parenthood affiliates provide is preventive in nature... A core component of the organization's mission is to help women plan healthy pregnancies and prevent unintended pregnancies." 

Whether or not this statement is accurate, the fact remains that Planned Parenthood does only one adoption referral for every 120 abortions done in its clinics.  If the organization claims to be predominantly focused on “prevention,” its numbers seem to be going in the wrong direction – the total number of abortions performed in Planned Parenthood clinics per year increased from 168,509 in 1998 to 305,310 in 2007.[1]  Every year, it refers to other facilities almost as many abortions as it does in its own clinics.[2]
“Prevention” is indeed the name of the game, but the question is “prevention of what?”  Planned Parenthood is nothing if not a political organization with a liberal agenda.  Political organizations need funds.  There is no money to be made in preventing pregnancies, but there is much money to be made in preventing births.  The organization brought in $374.7 million in “Health Center Income” for the year ended June 30, 2008.  That’s even more than it received in government grants.  (Consider the monumental conflict of interest in giving government grants for the purpose of preventing pregnancies to an organization that makes the bulk of its income from terminating pregnancies.)  It’s obvious that fewer abortions means reduced income, which means a decrescendo in the volume of the organization’s liberal agenda.  Planned Parenthood has nothing to gain and everything to lose by preventing pregnancies.
So it’s no wonder that the organization is doing what it can to mute the truth spoken by this former clinic director.  It’s also no wonder that this director had worked for Planned Parenthood for 8 years before ever seeing an abortion take place.  The organization profits from ignorance about the different abortion procedures.  The organization’s website speaks about the procedures in such mild terms that it's not clear at all that what is being described is in fact an abortion.  In the entire description of the two most common abortion types, the baby in the womb is referred to only once, and that reference is to “tissue.”  The most graphic language on the site? “In later second-trimester procedures, you may also need a shot through your abdomen to make sure there is fetal demise before the procedure begins.”  Fetal demise?  Why such sterile language?  Because calling it what it is may result in the mother having second thoughts.  The truth would damage the bottom-line.

This is precisely why Planned Parenthood does not want their workers (or expectant mothers) to see ultrasound images of the baby in the womb or of an abortion taking place.  It’s bad for business. 
It is becoming more and more common for pro-life crisis pregnancy centers to offer free ultrasounds.  The motive is to tell the mother the truth – that what is in her womb is not a clump of “tissue”, but a baby with fingers and toes.  When presented with this truth, it is not at all uncommon for the mother to choose to give birth to the child rather than have an abortion.  Of course, Planned Parenthood deplores this practice, warning on its website, “Beware of so-called ‘crisis pregnancy centers.’ These are fake clinics run by people who are anti-abortion. They have a history of giving women wrong, biased information to scare them into not having abortions.” 
A free ultrasound is “wrong, biased information”?  If Planned Parenthood is so interested in providing women with the full, accurate truth regarding pregnancy, it seems that an ultrasound would be an obvious tool?  But Planned Parenthood understands that giving mothers full disclosure of this kind will result in a drop in the organization’s income.  In the end, Planned Parenthood does whatever possible to obscure the true nature of abortion. 
This is also why the organization downplays the emotional effects that may result from having an abortion.  On a page of the website entitled, “If I have an abortion, how will I feel afterward?”, this is the conclusion: “Ultimately, most women feel relief after an abortion.”  I assure you that those who have counseled women who have had an abortion will tell you that this is a categorical lie.  There may be those out there whose consciences are so seared that they do feel relief after having an abortion, but they are in the vast minority.  So why would Planned Parenthood propagate such a falsehood?  Because the truth does not achieve their goal.
For an organization like Planned Parenthood to claim that its highest aim is to prevent unwanted pregnancies is ludicrous.  Unless this former director is one-of-a-kind, even the organization's own workers know this is not the case.
What’s interesting is that the former director, in describing her change of mind, said, "I would say there was a definite conversion in my heart ... a spiritual conversion."  I pray that she is referring to a literal conversion to Christianity.  But whether she is or not, this makes a significant point.  As the pro-abortion lobby thrives in a truth-deprived environment, so the pro-life cause benefits from the truth.  And the greatest force of truth at our disposal with which to combat the depravity of our culture is the gospel.  An intellectual argument for the pro-life position may win a few people to our side, and free ultrasounds may dissuade some mothers from having an abortion, but these can never be substituted for the proclamation of the gospel, which not only changes minds, but changes entire beings from the inside out. 
The evil of abortion benefits from the scarcity of truth.  When we hear stories like this one, we should be encouraged by such a triumph of truth.  We should also be emboldened to speak the truth about what abortion is, about what the abortion lobby is actually pursuing, and most importantly, about the only Savior who can redeem such a fallen world. 


[1] http://www.all.org/article.php?id=10123
  http://www.plannedparenthood.org/about-us/annual-report-4661.htm
[2] http://www.abortionfacts.com/

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