As November broke, I received an e-mail from Planned Parenthood. There were three words in the subject line: “Every. Single. Day.”
In the name of Cecile Richards, PP’s president, the fundraising e-mail from the alleged standard-bearer for women’s health — which also happens to perform the most abortions of any organization in the United States — continued: “Every day, every week, every month, without fail, there is a new attack — on Planned Parenthood, on the people Planned Parenthood health centers serve, and on the men and women who provide care and compassion to clients.”
And here I am again. Not because I have a vendetta against Planned Parenthood — or against my fellow women — but because of what happens in America “every single day.”
In a speech celebrating the 40th anniversary of Americans United for Life, its president, Charmaine Yoest, told the crowd gathered at the Newseum, just blocks away from the U.S. Capitol building, “Four thousand a day.” That’s the total number of abortions performed in this country. “Every day. In a year, Planned Parenthood alone destroys over 300,000 lives. Which is about the population of Lexington, Ky., my hometown.”
I understand that Planned Parenthood is in the business of self-preservation. But surely we can do better than insisting that questioning — and investigating — this taxpayer-funded mammoth, which relies on abortion as a business model, amounts to a “war on women”? Unfortunately, this is the quality of our debate over Planned Parenthood’s public-funding future.
It currently receives a million dollars a day in state and federal funding. Surely, credible questions about fraud and abuse and failure to protect women and girls from sexual abuse and sex trafficking are legitimate ones? Also legitimate is demanding transparency about just what Planned Parenthood is: an organization born out of a eugenics vision, which continues today to support and even proselytize for a radical idea of just what the human person is and what our relationships with one another are about.
The truth is that the “war on women” began long before John Boehner pledged that his House would work harder to keep federal funds from paying for abortions. The war on women — and on men; call it the battle on the sexes — had its watershed in the feminist revolution. And, fifth-column-like, women themselves have served as some of its most prominent leaders.
But so will they in the reconstruction. At that AUL anniversary dinner, Charmaine Yoest talked about Carie and Dennis Stephens, whose son Robert was stillborn earlier this fall. There was “a heart-breakingly tiny casket” at his funeral, where he was mourned by an influential D.C. crowd. His young siblings paid tribute in the front row, with blue-ribbon bracelets.