by Alan Sears
September 10, 2007
LifeNews.com Note: Alan Sears is a former federal prosecutor who worked in the Reagan administration. He is now the president and CEO of the Alliance Defense Fund, a pro-life law firm.
Planned Parenthood and its cheerleaders have long claimed they want abortion to be “safe, legal, and rare.”
Let’s examine the recent evidence. Do they promote things that make abortion “safe, legal, and rare” or do they actually support dangerous practices, ignore legal restrictions, and make decisions likely to increase the rate of abortion?
For years, Planned Parenthood aficionados terrified young women with horrific tales of coat hangers, merciless profiteers, and “back-alley abortions.” They demanded limitless, universal access to abortion, proclaiming that this quick-and-easy way to eliminate one’s unwanted offspring was essential for the health and safety of women.
So what gives? This summer the Missouri Legislature – an entity charged with acting in the interest of its citizens – passed Senate Bill 370 to protect women’s health and safety. The bill was signed into law by Gov. Matt Blunt.
You’d think Planned Parenthood – which says it wants abortion to be “safe” for women – would applaud the new law. Its provisions require abortion clinics to be held to the same kinds of standards for cleanliness and safety required of other surgical facilities, so that a woman suffering the gruesome misery of an abortion at least has the same standard of care as she would for a tonsillectomy.
The legislature after hearing a LOT of testimony understood that abortion of any kind, but especially one in the latter stages of pregnancy, can be an intrusive, even dangerous “procedure”—one that by its very nature has risks associated with it (not to mention what’s intended for the unborn child). And Planned Parenthood knows that the surprise complications of even the most “simple” abortions can quickly endanger the health, even the life, of the mother.
But rather than applauding and supporting this effort to increase health protection for their clients, Planned Parenthood asked a federal judge to strike down the law–to overturn the health and safety requirements–apparently because more safety means lower profits for abortionists.
Planned Parenthood also asserts that since some of their clinics mostly issue the abortion-performing drug mifepristone, they don’t need to follow the law either. In making this argument, they ignore FDA evidence that such chemical abortions may require surgical intervention – sometimes on an emergency basis – and for one out of every 12 women in clinical trials.
A 2005 report showed 607 “adverse events” related to the abortion drug over a four-year period, including 237 cases of hemorrhage, 68 which required transfusions, and 42 characterized as life-threatening.
Planned Parenthood complains that enhanced health and safety would require some clinics to close while being retrofitted to standard.
(Can you imagine a restaurant chain refusing to take time out from serving food to correct flagrant health code violations? Or a manufacturer refusing to retrofit its plants to install mandated equipment in their automobiles because doing so is too expensive?)
And while bemoaning its potential loss in profits, Planned Parenthood is silent about its national gross income of nearly $900 million during 2005-2006, which yielded a tidy $63 million profit. They also fail to mention the $3.9 billion in taxpayer money they have received since 1987. Their spokesperson estimated that upgrading a heavily used surgical abortion clinic in Columbia, Missouri, to the 2007 standards would only cost $600,000.
While Planned Parenthood publicly talks about safety, it privately rolls the dice with women’s lives.