February 7, 2020

Be Our Guest / Marc Tuttle

A disturbing change in Planned Parenthood’s approach to expanding abortion services

It was a thrill to see a record number of between 1,000-1,100 pro-life Hoosiers attended the third annual Indiana March for Life in downtown Indianapolis on Jan. 22. Public events like this one are just one of the ways Right to Life of Indianapolis continues to promote respect for all human life.

Another way is through education and awareness. That’s why, in addition to sharing the good news of this year’s Indiana March for Life, we also want people to be aware of a disturbing change in Planned Parenthood’s approach to expanding abortion services in Indiana.

I’ll start with some news that on first glance seems nothing but positive.

Last July, Planned Parenthood (PP) announced they were shuttering their non-abortion-providing clinic in Seymour and directing all of their patients to Planned Parenthood in Columbus.

But this is just the latest of a string of closures of Planned Parenthood clinics in Indiana. In fact, the number of PP clinics in the state has dropped by more than half in the last decade. In 2007, there were 35 PP clinics in Indiana. Now, with the closing of the clinic in Seymour, there are only 15. This is, of course, a good thing.

But this latest closing seems to be part of a trend on the part of Planned Parenthood to double down on performing abortions, abandoning any feigned commitment it might have had to “health care” outside of abortion.

During the same decade that the number of clinics in Indiana plummeted, the number of abortion-providing facilities actually increased, as did the number of abortions committed by Planned Parenthood. Since 2007, abortions have increased 8 percent at Planned Parenthood facilities in Indiana—from 5,160 in 2007 to 5,611 in 2019.

Despite their claims that abortion makes up only 3 percent of the services they provide, an examination of annual reports of PP in Indiana reveals the organization’s deep commitment to expanding abortion. From 2007-17, the number of pap tests performed by PP decreased 72 percent, the number of breast exams fell by 65 percent and the number of cancer screenings decreased by 68 percent.

In terms of their reproductive services, contraception services dropped by 33 percent, prenatal care dropped 17 percent and adoption referrals dropped 42 percent.

Meanwhile, in the same 10-year timeframe the number of abortions by PP in Indiana increased by 9 percent.

It’s clear, Planned Parenthood is committed to providing more abortions—no matter what.

And due to a new “alliance,” PP in Indiana and Kentucky, known as PPINK, will have even more money and power to increase abortions and chip away at Indiana’s pro-life legislation.

Last year, Planned Parenthood’s Great Northwest affiliate announced that it would take over PPINK. An Associated Press story called this move “a first-of-its-kind consolidation based not on geography but on reallocating resources to fight new abortion restrictions in the Midwest and South.”

The article quoted Chris Charbonneau, the CEO of the Great Northwest affiliate, saying, “The political environments in Indiana and Kentucky have been particularly oppressive.”

The article noted that PPINK “has faced the legal costs of challenging far-reaching limits on abortion rights sought by Republican lawmakers in both states.”

This new “strategic alliance” (a “takeover” in reality) makes for a budget of up to $90 million. That means more money for lobbying and for potentially building new abortion centers.

It can happen with little to no public awareness. Last October, PP managed to secretly build an 18,000-square-foot facility—one of the largest abortion centers in the country—in southern Illinois, just 13 miles away from St. Louis, the site of Missouri’s only remaining abortion facility. They kept the facility a secret by constructing it under a shell company so there was no way to trace the building back to PP.

Abortion is necessary for Planned Parenthood so it can fulfill its original three-fold mission, as laid out by Margaret Sanger when the organization was founded.

She promoted birth control as an instrument of social change, not health care. She was clear in her objectives: untethering sexuality and sex from marriage; eugenically using birth control to promote “racial hygiene”; and undermining the moral authority claimed by Christianity in society. Planned Parenthood has to remain committed to not only providing but also promoting abortions in order to stay true to their founding mission, which is fundamentally transforming society.

Planned Parenthood’s abandonment of their clinic in Seymour isn’t about health care or trying to more efficiently serve “patients.” And PP’s Great Northwest affiliate taking over PPINK is not about improving the organization’s ability to provide health care services.

Despite all their claims to the contrary, Planned Parenthood’s closing of clinics and its new “strategic alliance” between the Great Northwest and PPINK affiliates are about increasing abortions by providing more resources, more staff and more abortion centers.

We must remain active, vigilant and prayerful in opposing PP’s efforts at creating a culture of death in our state. And we must continue to vote for and support the efforts of our pro-life legislators so that PP doesn’t chip away at the progress they’ve made to keep the culture of life strong in Indiana.

(Marc Tuttle is president of Right to Life of Indianapolis.)

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