Planned Parenthood Puts Pocketbook Above Women’s Interests

Opinion   Bill Saunders   Nov 17, 2010   |   8:21PM    Washington, DC

The Obama Administration is taking advice from Planned Parenthood again. 

This time, the nation’s largest abortion provider was invited to advise the Institute of Medicine on what should be included in the “preventive care for women” mandate in the health care reform law.

Without disclosing her organization’s huge conflict of interest – Planned Parenthood stands to gain financially if abortion or abortion-inducing drugs are included in the definition of “preventive care” –  Dr. Westohoff of Planned Parenthood began her remarks by saying, “I’m just going to jump ahead, pregnancy is dangerous.” 

She proceeded to advise the panel to include “all FDA approved” contraceptives.  However, in the FDA’s lexicon, this includes abortion-inducing drugs and devices, such as IUDs and so-called “emergency contraception.” 

Last year, when Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) added the amendment to health care reform requiring all health insurance plans to cover “preventive care for women,” pro-life groups like Americans United for Life warned that this provision could be used as a back-door abortion mandate. 

In August, when the FDA approved the drug ella, which has the same chemical make-up as the abortion drug RU-486 and can kill an implanted embryo by blocking nutrients necessary for its survival, as “contraception” a new avenue for realizing an abortion-mandate was created.  

If “contraception” is included in the definition of “preventive care for women,” Americans will not be able to choose a health insurance plan that does not provide full coverage for this abortion-inducing drug. (The new rules prohibit cost-sharing for those items and services that constitute “preventive care,” under the rationale that even a co-pay could be a deterrent to what is considered “essential care” for women.)

Americans United for Life attended the Institute of Medicine meeting to deliver a statement during the open comments period at the end of the meeting, advising the panel not to include abortion and abortion-inducing drugs in the definition of “preventive care for women.”  (AUL has also submitted a written comment to the Department of Health and Human Services on its interim final rule regarding “preventive care.”) 

Contrary to Planned Parenthood, AUL only has the interest of women, not its pocketbook, involved in this battle.