This map and state chart depict the number of health clinics that serve low-income, medically under-served populations in the United States in comparison to the number of Planned Parenthood centers. If Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, were to be defunded from receiving over $500 million in taxpayer funds per year, there already exist over 13,000 non-abortion providing federally qualified health center (FQHC) service sites and rural health clinics (RHCs) that could receive this sum instead and continue to provide comprehensive women’s healthcare.
Late last week, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) rose to the defense of the embattled Planned Parenthood organization, which is currently caught up in a fetal tissue and organ harvesting scandal following an undercover investigation by the Center for Medical Progress.
In a letter addressed to Senators Joni Ernst and Roy Blunt, HHS insisted that they know of no breach of the law in the actions taken by Planned Parenthood in its selling of fetal remains. In the letter, Jim Esquea, the HHS’s assistant secretary for legislation, wrote, “We have confirmed that HHS researchers working with fetal tissue obtained the tissue from non-profit organizations that provided assurances to us that they are in compliance with all applicable legal requirements.” Additionally, Mr. Esquea went on to assert, “The use of fetal tissue in medical research has been an instrumental component of our attempts to understand, treat, and cure a number of conditions and diseases that affect millions of Americans.” The letter continues, “In addition, research using cell lines derived from fetal tissue has also played an essential role in the field of vaccine development.”
Over the past few weeks you have most likely seen – unless you work at the White House – the undercover videos released by David Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress, which show various Planned Parenthood employees discussing the harvesting and sale of fetal organs and body parts. The negotiations caught on camera suggest that these transactions are not at all unusual for the organization nor are they limited to these few incidents but are, in fact, systemic throughout the organization. This suggests that Planned Parenthood, which performs about 330,000 abortions a year in the United States, has found a way to make abortion even more profitable.
In the wake of the spreading scandal over the sale of human organs extracted from unborn children, members of Congress are calling for the end of federal funding of Planned Parenthood. A first attempt in the U.S. Senate to do this failed on Monday of this week, but a dozen more Senators voted for the cut-off than did so the last time it was considered, in 2011. A cut-off would be condign punishment for an elite institution long given to dismissive responses to evidence of ethical misconduct, but the latest charges are hardly the only reason to wean this mega-wealthy nonprofit from the federal dole. In truth, the stand-alone Planned Parenthood facility is obsolete.
Pregnancy help centers (PHCs), also known as pregnancy resource or care centers and in the past as crisis pregnancy centers, are more likely to be welcomed than Planned Parenthood facilities into communities across the country, according to a 2014 poll commissioned by the Charlotte Lozier Institute.
Survey respondents were asked, in separate questions, whether as far as they knew there was either a Planned Parenthood facility or PHC currently in their community. To measure desirability, each set of respondents who said there was no such facility was then asked a follow-up question, “Would you like one?”
To view as PDF, please see “Abortion World Leaders”
The United States is second in the world in number of abortions each year. If Planned Parenthood were included for comparison, it would rank sixth in the world in number of abortions carried out annually; and the International Planned Parenthood Federation would be fourth in the number of abortions carried out per year.
|England and Wales||189,800|
Annual abortion numbers for countries 2008, PP USA 2013, IPPF 2014
 Most recent verifiable data for international abortion numbers, 2008 from: Sedgh G et al., Legal Abortion Worldwide in 2008: Levels and Recent Trends, International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 37, 84, 2011; Sedgh G et al., Legal Abortion Worldwide in 2008: Levels and Recent Trends, Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 43, 188, 2011; PP USA 2013 information accessed at: http://www.sba-list.org/sites/default/files/content/shared/12.31.14fact_sheet_pp_2013_2014_annual_report.pdf; IPPF 2014 numbers from: Table 1 in http://www.ippf.org/sites/default/files/ippf_apr2014_15_web_4.pdf
Much has been claimed recently regarding the usage of fetal tissue for research. This brief overview provides the facts on the history of fetal tissue research and transplants.
Last Thursday Alaska Governor Bill Walker announced that he would use his executive authority to expand Alaska’s state Medicaid program under the federal Affordable Care Act. Walker’s proposal would extend Medicaid eligibility to all Alaskans earning less than 133 percent of the poverty line. Walker reported that he sent a letter to the Alaska legislature’s Budget and Audit Committee, giving legislators the required 45-day notice of his plan. The committee can make recommendations, but Walker said he has legal authority to move forward without the legislature’s approval.