The MSM, Gosnell and Planned Parenthood

The MSM, Gosnell and Planned Parenthood all come together in a single post at The Anchoress’ place.  Do read it.  The MSM has many obsessions — that is, stories it covers relentlessly and obviously — but the moral collapse that so often circles around abortion is not one of those subjects.

I continue to want to be pro-choice because I was raised to be that way — to believe in a woman’s right to choose. I keep thinking “what would I do if my daughter, at 15, came home and announced she was pregnant?” My life-long pro-choice brain says “I don’t want her life to be ruined at such a young age.” (Don’t hate me now; there’s more.)

But what I’m beginning to realize is that abortion is the poisonous tree and that there is no fruit that can be sampled without moral, cultural, and societal risk. An honest person has to acknowledge that there’s a life in there, something that I finally figured out thanks to my own pregnancies and sonograms, followed by live births and growing children. Likewise, an honest person has to recognize the moral corruption that has followed in abortion’s wake. Women are no more free. Instead, they’ve become cultural sex slaves, as they have no reason any more to hold out “until marriage.” Men like Gosnell operate with impunity. And organizations such as Planned Parenthood corrupt the communities within which they operate:

On a semi-related subject (media obsessions), I learned from a friend that the MSM has been remiss in ignoring H1N1 this past flu season.  As you may recall, last flu season, the MSM was hysterical about it.  This flu season, the media has wiped it from the radar.  Except that H1N1 is still out there and, when it hits, it’s extremely virulent.  My friend reminded me of this because she came within a whisker of death.  She’s recovering now, thank God, but it’s a slow and painful process.

One doesn’t need to get as hysterical as the media does, but one does need to get that shot.  I didn’t get the shot in October 2010, but you can bet your bottom dollar that I will get it in October 2011 (and, with luck, I’ll stay well until then).

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Comments

  1. Charles Martel says

    Next question for PP: What income does it derive from providing said services? I would bet that sucking out unborn kids generates much more moola than foisting rubbers on teenage kids.

  2. Oldflyer says

    Book, understand your thoughtful post. Certainly, in real-life the dilemma you present would be difficult for anyone; it is also a straw-man that is frequently postulated.
     
    But, it would really help to clarify situations if we would use definitive language instead of euphemisms.  Just substitute “abortion on demand” instead of “right to choose”, and not only is the issue properly defined, it is also crystal clear.
     
    Of course the whole purpose of euphemisms is to obscure that which is ugly or unbearable.

  3. MacG says

    Thanks Zach.  I found this bit intersting from page 6 of the report:

    “For those who are pregnant, Planned Parenthood provides
    pregnancy testing
    prenatal care
    abortion
    referral for adoption (select affiliates)”

    It seems they prefer abortion after prenatal care over adoption and at that only “select affiliates”.

  4. TommyC says

    I have five adopted kids and four adopted nieces and nephews, all foreign adoptions.  Why?  Lack of availability, expense and legal uncertainties in the US.  We got on a few US waiting lists when we first started back in the 80′s.  In all cases they said “don’t expect to hear from us for 5-7 years”.  Sheesh.
     
    There are a lot of people who would love to adopt, but let me tell you, it is a lot more work and a lot more costly than having kids the more traditional way.  Most of the costs are, naturally, legal expenses.  There is a lot more that could be done to make adoption more attractive and feasible for potential adoptive parents.  But even without that, there a lots of people out there wishing to adopt, and whatever PP may say, they and others ‘family services’ organizations definitely do not push adoption as an alternative when it comes to unwanted pregnancies.  Of course, Crisis Pregnancy Centers do, and look at how they get treated by the media – suckering young girls into their evil clutches when they don’t offer ‘full’ services (i.e. abortion).
     
     

  5. says

    MacG: I’d curious to know whether Planned Parenthood spends more time Planning for Parenthood or terminating a life to prevent it for lack thereof.

    ..

    Charles Martel: PP’s 2008 income from abortions was almost $375 million (see link below).

    That’s probably a reasonable estimate. Keep in mind, though, that by providing contraceptive services, they actively reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies and abortions. That’s the answer to MacG’s original question.

    Planned Parenthood on Adoption
    http://www.plannedparenthood.org/health-topics/pregnancy/adoption-21520.htm

  6. says

    Charles Martel: PP’s 2008 income from abortions was almost $375 million (see link below).
    Oops. Sorry. Your cite says $137 million, not $375 million. That’s 37% of the health center income, but a smaller percentage of their total income, which includes grants and contributions.

  7. esurio says

    What 3% means from the Planned Parenthood report; 289,750 abortions in 2006 and 305,310 in 2007 more than a 5% increase in abortions in one year.
     
    But why do abortions when you can provide emergency contraceptive kits and flush out the embryo; 1,436,846 kits in 2006 and 1,423,365 in 2007.
     
    In comparison there were only 2,410 adoption referrals in 2006 and 4,912 in 2007.
     
    From Guttmacher Institute: In 2008, 1,212,350 women obtained abortions in the United States, producing a rate of 19.6 abortions per 1,000 women of reproductive age. This rate is virtually unchanged since 2005, when it was 19.4 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44.
     
    To put this in perspective there are approximately 1,400,000 active duty military members in the U.S. today. So in 2008 the women of the U.S. were just 2 million shy of wiping out the equivalent of the entire U.S. active duty military.
     

  8. Charles Martel says

    My bad, Zach. Thanks for the correction.

    While grants and contributions are income, my interest is in what PP does actively to earn some scratch. It’s obvious that abortion is a mainstay economic activity for the organization, much more so than any money it could earn from helping keep the unborn alive.  

    As to whether PP’s provision of contraceptives “actively reduces” the number of pregnancies and abortions, that is pure speculation on your part. However, PP knows that one form of contraception, condoms, has a spectacular failure rate. Since abortion has become for many the fallback to contraceptive failure, PP is in the cat bird’s seat when it comes to solving the problem.

  9. BobK says

    Zach,
    Thanks for providing the link to the PP annual report.  I think it may be a good idea to put some actual numbers to the sterile percentages you cite.
    The 3% figure given represents (as far as I can tell) the total number of surgical or medical abortions relative to the number of clients who received ANY form of service from PP.  By their own report, that comes out to approximately 328,000 induced abortions in 2008-2009 in the United States.
    Center for Disease Control statistics for 2008-2009 show approximately 1,200,000 induced abortions were performed in the United States.  Suddenly that seemingly insignificant 3% of services performed has ballooned to 27% of all induced abortions in the United States.
    I just want to state those figures again: one million, two hundred thousand total induced abortions, three hundred twenty-eight thousand of which were performed by Planned Parenthood.  That does not count referrals (such as the one given by that completely reprehensible female – I can’t even bring myself to say woman – on the posted video).
    Book has (once again) hit the nail directly on the head.  Babies – human beings incapable of defending themselves in any way – are being treated as disposable tissue masses.  Or worse, as raw materials for research projects.  The removal of any form of consequence to our sexual choices has indeed caused “the moral corruption that has followed in abortions wake”.
    Once again, the Christian in me wars with the cynic:  I wonder whether this culture is beyond redemption, but I know that redemption is one thing totally within the Almighty’s power.

  10. BobK says

    Oops!
    Too slow on the numbers here – esurio beat me to it!  (I’ll catch you on one thing, though – induced abortions in 2008 were approximately 200,000 less than the number of active military).

  11. says

    esurio: But why do abortions when you can provide emergency contraceptive kits and flush out the embryo; 1,436,846 kits in 2006 and 1,423,365 in 2007.

    Emergency contraception may prevent fertilization, but like many other forms of contraception, can also prevent the blastocyst from attaching to the womb. It’s doubtful you’re going to succeed in outlawing the Pill in the U.S. 
     
    Charles Martel: It’s obvious that abortion is a mainstay economic activity for the organization, much more so than any money it could earn from helping keep the unborn alive.  

    Yet, they continue to provide contraceptive services.

    Charles Martel
    : As to whether PP’s provision of contraceptives “actively reduces” the number of pregnancies and abortions, that is pure speculation on your part.

    If a woman doesn’t want to have a baby, taking contraception will reduce the incident of abortion.

    Marston & Cleland, Relationships Between Contraception and Abortion: A Review of the Evidence, International Family Planning Perspectives 2003.

    Charles Martel: However, PP knows that one form of contraception, condoms, has a spectacular failure rate. 

    Condoms can reduce disease and pregnancy (from 80-90% for a fertile couple in a year, to about 5-15% for typical usage). It’s usually recommended that a condom be combined with other forms of birth control, such as a spermicide.

  12. says

    BobK: I just want to state those figures again: one million, two hundred thousand total induced abortions, three hundred twenty-eight thousand of which were performed by Planned Parenthood.

    Yes. The vast majority early in a pregnancy.

    BobK: Babies – human beings incapable of defending themselves in any way – are being treated as disposable tissue masses.

    Are you also against the Pill, IUDs, and other methods that can result in the loss of an embryo?

  13. Charles Martel says

    “If a woman doesn’t want to have a baby, taking contraception will reduce the incident of abortion.”

    That simply makes no sense. You are conflating contraception with the avoidance of abortion. What happens when contraception fails? The contraceptive mindset starts out not wanting a baby no matter what. That “no matter what” means that if the contraceptive fails, the fallback position is abortion.

    By the way, if you’d like to be taken more seriously here, a “cite” from the Guttmacher Institute, which is notoriously pro-abortion, is not a good one to make.

  14. MacG says

    Well over 45,000,000 abortions since RvWade.  About 15% of our current population…good thing too cuz the planet would have already flooded with all of the extra CO2 these would be responsible for…See! We are saving the planet! Yeah that’s the ticket!
     
    In his song “Stop the World” Randy Stonehill penned in the 80′s:
     
    Well it’s ok to murder babies but we really ought to save the whales,
     
    We’re putting criminals in office cuz it’s way too crowded in the jails,
    TV is our teacher now the schools are overrun by thugs and
    children skip their innocence and graduate to sex and drugs.
     
    Stop the world I want to get off this is too weird for me,
     
    I get the definite impression this isn’t how it’s meant to be.”
    I guess there really is nothing new under the sun…
     
    Looking for that song on youtube I found this classic stonehill
    Perhaps this one should be in the Most Emailed in the NY thread but it sure sums that thread up.

  15. BobK says

    Zach,
    Yes, I believe that life begins at conception and personally oppose methods of contraception that result in the death of an embryonic human being.  I’ll admit that, as a policy matter, contraceptive methods that prevent implantation (birth control pills and IUDs, etc.) present a more complicated question, as there is no guarantee that a particular fertilized egg (a pre-embryonic human being, if I want to remain semantically consistent…) will implant.
    That being said, I’m not going to crusade for the criminalization of induced abortion, or of contraception that I find morally objectionable.  In these matters I’m clearly an individualist (as opposed to a statist) – government is a necessary evil and it’s business should always be conducted in recognition of that fact.  On the other hand, I’d gladly support efforts to remove any association of local, state or federal governments with the promotion or financial support of induced abortion.  I’ll also state here that Roe v. Wade is a travesty of legal reasoning (emanation of a penumbra, indeed!) and should be overturned, leaving the decisions regarding these matters to legislative bodies.
    I speak as the father of two healthy school-age kids, and also as the father of several children I’ve never had the privilege of holding – lost to miscarriages at a time when national news stories were talking about high-school kids giving birth in bathrooms and leaving their unwanted children to die in toilets or dumpsters.  Truly, as a culture we’ve tasted the fruit of a poisoned tree.

  16. Charles Martel says

    “Are you also against the Pill, IUDs, and other methods that can result in the loss of an embryo?”

    The pill and IUDs are contraceptives, which means they prevent an embryo from forming. The discussion here is about what happens once the human being comes into existence.

  17. BobK says

    Zach,
    Your statement about most abortions occurring early in pregnancy implies that you draw a distinction based on the age of the baby.  Do you believe that a 27-week “fetus” is more worthy of society’s protection than a 7-week “embryo”?  If so, what’s your legal basis for that distinction?  Your scientific basis?  Your moral basis?
     
    Different topic, but included in Book’s post so I don’t feel bad – I experienced H1N1 infection a few weeks ago.  I didn’t have the close shave Book’s friend did, but I haven’t been that sick in years!  It’s a tough one.

  18. says

    Charles Martel: That simply makes no sense. You are conflating contraception with the avoidance of abortion. What happens when contraception fails? The contraceptive mindset starts out not wanting a baby no matter what. That “no matter what” means that if the contraceptive fails, the fallback position is abortion.

    Some women would not consider an abortion, but many others will. Among women who would consider an abortion, contraception reduces unwanted pregnancies and therefore abortion.

    Charles Martel: By the way, if you’d like to be taken more seriously here, a “cite” from the Guttmacher Institute, which is notoriously pro-abortion, is not a good one to make.

    It’s a review article that cites primary sources. Marston is a well-regarded research who has publishes in peer journals, incluing the BJM. (That doesn’t make her right, but it means you’ll need more than handwaving to discount her conclusions.) This article provides some additional citations.
    http://www.fhi.org/en/RH/Pubs/Network/v21_4/NWvol21-4abortcontception.htm

    Charles Martel: The pill and IUDs are contraceptives, which means they prevent an embryo from forming.

    Both the Pill and IUDs can prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus.

    BobK: Your statement about most abortions occurring early in pregnancy implies that you draw a distinction based on the age of the baby.  Do you believe that a 27-week “fetus” is more worthy of society’s protection than a 7-week “embryo”?  If so, what’s your legal basis for that distinction?  Your scientific basis?  Your moral basis?

    There’s a fire at the local fertility clinic. You have time to save either a small child or a vial containing a dozen blastocysts. Which do you save? One life or a dozen? Most people see the blastocysts as potential life, hope. They would almost all certainly save the one child over any number of blastocysts. What say you?

    Abortion is an ancient practice, and long predates modern medicine. Each society has placed the time of personhood at a different point, often some time after birth, but sometimes at quickening. In any case, laws against abortion don’t address the root of problem, which is unwanted pregnancy.

  19. Danny Lemieux says

    All this talk about abortion distills down into one key question: is a foetus a human life?
     
    If a foetus is a human being, then all discussion of when and how a foetus can be aborted or for how long babies have been aborted in history is a loathsome travesty. It is murder. If the foetus is not a human being, of course, then what’s there to oppose? Discussions about blastocysts and IUDs etc is all talk around the core issue, although I really consider them to be valid points of discussion in and of themselves.
     
    I’ve found that most people fall into either camp. Very few in the second camp have ever witness or bother to look at photos of aborted babies because they would rather not know (similar to the “good” Germans living near concentration camps in the 1930s and ’40s). Most people in the second camp that I have spoken with about partial birth abortion either shut down their senses and stop listening or dismiss it and say, “oh, that can’t be true”.
     
    What I found profoundly interesting was Dr. Bernie Nathanson’s conversion from an abortionist and NARAL founder (see link in #6) to a leading opponent of abortion (and Catholic) when he, on whim, decided to observe an abortion taking place in the womb using a sonogram (the “Silent Scream”. At that point, he knew it to be murder. His life-changing video can be found on the web, by the way:
     
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THS2zZ4m260
     
    My experience is that people already in the anti-abortion camp will see this, people in the other camp will refuse to see it.
     
    Most people with whom I have spoken to about abortion are in one camp or another and there is no happy grey in between. There is a small number of people who do recognize the foetus to be human but rationalize abortion anyway. Some of these have no trouble with infanticide, even up-to the age of one or two years. These are truly evil people.
     
    What I find particularly scary, though, is the gradual erosion in the appreciation of life by an increasingly death-cult society where abortion is the gateway to infanticide and euthanasia. I am not a Roman Catholic but I do agree with the Pope (and his predecessors) that our life-affirming society is in big, big trouble because of the doorways that have been opened by sexual promiscuity and abortion.

  20. BobK says

    Zach,
     
    Your questions have no relation to the questions I presented, but I’ll answer in the hope that you’ll actually state your own beliefs and provide a rational consistent argument to support them.  OF COURSE I would save the one child, and be horrified at the tragedy of the situation and it’s outcome.  This decision, though, says nothing about the legal, scientific or moral status of the lost lives.  All it reveals is that I see the loss of the dozen or more human lives as a tragedy, and you (apparently) find it no more morally compelling than, say, burning a pile of acorns or leaves.
     
    My position is that voluntary induced abortion always involves a conscious decision to end the life of a human being.  In some cases, it is true that the life of the mother is in jeopardy and the decision will certainly be complicated, difficult and painful. If you’re honest, you’ll acknowledge that in thousands and thousands of cases, the induced abortion involves a conscious decision to place more value on the convenience of the human mother than on the life of the human child.  This is the result of eating fruit of the poisoned tree that Book mentioned – a cultural climate where it’s generally acceptable to place more value on convenience than on life, and ultimately to crow about how liberated this shows us to be.
     
    Your scenario has no relation at all to the moral consequences of voluntary induced abortion.  Again, what are YOUR bases for your (as yet unstated) personal position on induced abortion?  Let’s have an honest discussion rather than another straw man argument, or a drive-by URL posting.

  21. esurio says

    Bobk, thanks for making that correction.
     
    Danny,
    In support of your observation Abby Johnson (she had 2 abortions herself) walked away from her job for Planned Parenthood on Oct. 6, 2009 after seeing an abortion on ultrasound. She describes her experience in her book “Unplanned”:
    “At first, the baby didn’t seem aware of the cannula,” she writes. “It gently probed the baby’s side, and for a quick second I felt relief. Of course, I thought. The fetus doesn’t feel pain. I had reassured countless women of this as I’d been taught by Planned Parenthood. The fetal tissue feels nothing as it is removed. Get a grip, Abby. This is a simple, quick medical procedure. My head was working hard to control my responses, but I couldn’t shake an inner disquiet that was quickly mounting to horror as I watched the screen.
    “The next movement was the sudden jerk of a tiny foot as the baby started kicking, as if it were trying to move away from the probing invader,” she continues. “As the cannula pressed its side, the baby began struggling to turn and twist away. It seemed clear to me that it could feel the cannula, and it did not like what it was feeling. And then the doctor’s voice broke through, startling me.



    Zach: It’s doubtful you’re going to succeed in outlawing the Pill in the U.S.
    I don’t recall having written anything about the Pill.
     

  22. says

    BobK: Do you believe that a 27-week “fetus” is more worthy of society’s protection than a 7-week “embryo”?  If so, what’s your legal basis for that distinction?  Your scientific basis?  Your moral basis?

    BobK: Your questions have no relation to the questions I presented, but I’ll answer in the hope that you’ll actually state your own beliefs and provide a rational consistent argument to support them.  

    The question was directly related. It concerns the relative value assigned to a human at various stages of development.

    BobK: OF COURSE I would save the one child, and be horrified at the tragedy of the situation and it’s outcome.

    When implies that even though you value the life of human blastocysts very highly, you value the child even more.

    BobK: All it reveals is that I see the loss of the dozen or more human lives as a tragedy, and you (apparently) find it no more morally compelling than, say, burning a pile of acorns or leaves.

    Don’t remember saying that.

    BobK: If you’re honest, you’ll acknowledge that in thousands and thousands of cases, the induced abortion involves a conscious decision to place more value on the convenience of the human mother than on the life of the human child.

    Surely. But having laws forcing women to carry to term can be draconian. Outlawing the Pill and other forms of birth control that can lead to the loss of a fertilized egg is even more so. 

  23. Charles Martel says

    Zach, this latest exchange typifies why so many people here are frustrated trying to communicate with you. I once compared it to talking to a wall, but a better description is that it’s like talking to a placard. Ask you a question and we get a canned response, something that sums up other websites’ takes on things but never something you’ve thought up yourself.

    Somehow you’ve come to believe that participating in a salon-style exchange of ideas is to regurgitate other people’s stuff: “The root of the problem is unwanted pregnancy” or “Abortion is an ancient practice”—phrases cadged from secondary sources.

    So although we know what you are happy to recite, we don’t know what you think. Is the fetus a person? Is the abortion of a fully formed baby wrong, even though the law says it isn’t? Why will you not discuss the actual topic of this thread?

    Forgive me, because you are obviously young and have been taught that thinking involves citing people other than yourself and letting them carry the load. But is it possible you could return to the Zach who so cleverly answered the question about how many people he is? Or are we fated to keep talking to a placard?

  24. says

    OFF-TOPIC

    Charles Martel: Zach{riel}, this latest exchange typifies why so many people here are frustrated trying to communicate with you.

    We engaged this thread because there was a straightforward question asked.

    MacG: I’d curious to know whether Planned Parenthood spends more time Planning for Parenthood or terminating a life to prevent it for lack thereof.

    The answer is yes. Planned Parenthood spends more time on contraceptive services than on abortion.

    We argue issues which are arguable. Morality isn’t arguable. All one can do is show the implications of moral choices. For instance, if you accept that a blastocyst is just as valuable as a child, then you would save the vial of blastocysts before you would save the child. No one does that, so there’s a disconnect.

    Charles Martel: Is the fetus a person?

    The term is too vague to have a clear answer. However, we will admit to a fondness for the human species.

  25. suek says

    >>But having laws forcing women to carry to term can be draconian.>>
     
    How so?  Did someone force them to get pregnant?
     
    A woman has a right to choose – and she _makes_ that choice when she elects to have sex with a man.
     
    Hard to believe with all those abortions that a woman is only fertile about 5 days out of the month…

  26. says

    So long as the Left doesn’t help create a theocracy here in America like they did in Iran, there won’t be any draconian laws. And if there are, you can attribute it to the push back effect of Leftist social activism.

  27. says

    What I find particularly scary, though, is the gradual erosion in the appreciation of life by an increasingly death-cult society where abortion is the gateway to infanticide and euthanasia.

    Like Islamic suicide bombers, they have become intoxicated by their dreams of Utopia and ever lasting power/pride.

    The key ingredient on the path to evil is to expect bad things to happen to others, but never to yourself. This sets up a “I am God” complex. Once a person goes down that road, it requires a miracle to turn it around.

    It’s a symptom of weakness and personal vice. That they need to divide themselves from their victims in such a fashion. If they were really strong, they would accept their place with their victims in the same cosmology and acknowledge that what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. What goes around, comes around. If they were willing to accept such consequences, they would be making a judgment on reality, rather than delusions of immortality.

  28. says

    Your questions have no relation to the questions I presented, but I’ll answer in the hope that you’ll actually state your own beliefs and provide a rational consistent argument to support them.

    Don’t hold your breath. Zach’s previous record here should be enough proof that Zach has 2 primary issues. Certain problems explaining things without a committee of 20 or 200 helping him along with his decisions. And a certain reluctance to commit himself to anything that requires a logical explanation. Doesn’t even need to be true, just logical, yet he can’t do it.

  29. jj says

    I find myself wondering when, and how, abortion got to be what it currently is.  I don’t care that much, so I was never a careful follower of the arguments over the years, but it seems to me that I recall (perhaps inaccurately) that Roe permitted abortions during the first trimester.  How did that get slid out to include the second trimester, then the third – to the point where now it’s evidently okay to suck the kid out thirty seconds before it would have been born naturally as a live birth?  Were there actual discussions, suits, and rulings about this dramatic expansion?  (If there were I don’t remember them – though as I said I could have missed them because it’s not a hot issue for me.)  Or – did it just sort of happen because it is the nature of human beings to, when granted an inch, take a mile?  Are 90% of the abortions being done today in fact – at least technically -illegal?  Or, if not positively “illegal,” at least something somewhat-less-than-legal based on the “right” that Roe conjured out of thin air?

  30. Charles Martel says

    Roe v. Wade always allowed abortion up to the point of birth. The decision says simply that a child in utero has no rights under the Constitution because it is not a person. The magic occurs when its (hopefully) not punctured head clears the birth canal.

  31. jj says

    Hmm.  Everybody around here thinks they remember it as being restricted to the first trimester, as originally decided.  I imagine you’re right, Charles.  I don’t remember, either.

  32. says

    The decision opened the way to abortion at any time.  However, what it did with the trimester thing was try to balance the interest of the state versus the interest of the mother.  In the first trimester, when the infant isn’t viable, the state has almost no rights.  By the last trimester, when it’s a potential citizen, the state may intrude more in decisions regarding the infant.  I used to accept that as perfectly logical.  Now, of course, I recognize its insanity, since the only difference between the 16 week fetus and the 36 week fetus is time — it’s still the same life.  This goes to a point I’ve made before about the narcissism of the pro-abortion movement:  as long as it doesn’t look like me (i.e., human), it’s not human.  End of story.

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