The Corner

President Obama Should Address Planned Parenthood’s Problems

This morning, President Obama addressed Planned Parenthood. That is, the president spoke at a Planned Parenthood event. President Obama failed to address Planned Parenthood’s known scandals, burgeoning abortion business, or lack of transparency.

 These issues should be of concern to our president.

 According to financial reports released by Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) in January, the abortion chain received over a billion dollars in taxpayer funds between June 2010 and June 2012 — nearly $1.48 million per day.

 And during these hard economic times, with 45 percent of its revenue coming from taxpayers, Planned Parenthood reports that its revenue exceeded expenses by $242.9 million. That’s nearly a third of a million dollars profit every single day.

 What “services” was Planned Parenthood providing as it padded its bank account? 

 Not mammograms. As recently as June 2012, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has confirmed that no Planned Parenthood clinic is authorized to perform mammograms. And Planned Parenthood’s most recent annual report revealed a significant decrease in the breast-health services it did provide.

 Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood’s abortion business was growing.

 Planned Parenthood’s annual report suggests it performed a record-high number of abortions: 333,964. But an average of 914 abortions per day, one every 94 seconds, may be understating its growing abortion business. Planned Parenthood’s annual report curiously fails to disclose the services it provided in the last quarter of 2011.

 Instead of reporting, as it has always done, the services provided for the calendar year, Planned Parenthood’s “2011” figures are actually for October 1, 2010 through September 30, 2011. Why would Planned Parenthood suddenly use a different reporting year that does not coincide with the calendar or its fiscal year? It raises the question: Is Planned Parenthood hiding something? With nearly half of Planned Parenthood’s revenue coming from taxpayer dollars, Americans deserve greater transparency in its reporting. 

 But even full disclosure of its services for 2011 would fail to describe the abortion-centric nature of the organization that President Obama addressed today. 

 PPFA purified its brand this year, mandating that all Planned Parenthood affiliates perform abortions. As polls continue to show Americans becoming more pro-life, Planned Parenthood is more committed than ever to an agenda of increasing its abortion business. 

 And a “Big Abortion” agenda is more important to Planned Parenthood than the health and safety of women seeking abortions.

Two weeks ago, for example, Planned Parenthood was in Richmond, Va., lobbying against health and safety regulations for abortion clinics being considered (and now adopted) by the Virginia Board of Health. Seeking to drum up opposition to the Virginia regulations, Noah Mamber, the public and legislative affairs manager of Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, signed his e-mail with “Keep abortion legal and available.” Tellingly absent from Planned Parenthood’s concerns: that abortion be safe.

Ironically, Planned Parenthood’s opposition to the Virginia regulations came on the very same day that the grisly details of the Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell’s trial began to receive attention from the national press. Abortion clinics like Kermit Gosnell’s West Philadelphia “house of horrors” make abortion available – but clearly not safe.

Recent revelations by former nurses at a Planned Parenthood of Delaware clinic—of an unsanitary facility, unsterilized equipment, and an abortionist’s refusal to wear gloves during procedures—show that an affiliation with the national abortion chain does not inoculate a patient against the epidemic of substandard conditions and practices at America’s abortion clinics. 

It is time for President Obama to stop pandering to Planned Parenthood and actually address the problems of the taxpayer-funded, scandal-ridden, abortion chain. 

— Anna Franzonello is staff counsel for Americans United for Life.

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