Why is Planned Parenthood the bad guy?

3 Mar

It is almost unbelievable that the New York City Council had to approve legislation yesterday that requires crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) to disclose whether they offer abortion services.  These organizations are notorious in the reproductive health community for posing as abortion clinics but being staffed with uneducated anti abortion proponents who spout medically inaccurate information.  They advertise abortion services and counseling, and instead harass, abuse, and lie to the women who are in need of accurate information.

Yesterday, the New York City council voted 39-9 with one abstention to pass the bill.  Council Speaker Christine Quinn, a potential 2013 Democrat mayoral candidate, said that the focus of the bill is on “truth in advertising,” and that its basis is in “consumer protection.”

Is there any other business or organization that makes spewing lies about something as fundamental as a woman’s health its sole purpose?  When Quinn says, “I quite frankly don’t understand why people are afraid of disclosure.  If you hide what you do, one is only left to believe that you are embarrassed or for some reason you believe the only way you can reach people is through deception,” I can only nod my head and applaud her concise summation of the problem with CPCs.

Anti-abortion Congressmen want to take away Planned Parenthood’s funding, yet they have made no move to regulate or take away the millions of dollars of grant funding that these sham medical offices receive each year.  A CPC may lose its tax exemption if an activist takes the time to file forms with the Internal Revenue Service, but while it is an effective way to squelch these reproductive health fungi, it is hardly the same as the kind of sweeping legislation that threatens the health and continued existence of Planned Parenthood.

And yet, Planned Parenthood has always made it clear that they offer HIV testing, cervical cancer screenings, birth control, Pap smears, and, yes, abortions, to the women who need them.  Planned Parenthood has never operated the medical equivalent of a Ponzi scheme, while CPCs gleefully lure women into their offices, confusing them until they have either bullied them into giving birth or delayed the abortion that the CPC had no intention of giving the woman to the point that it is no longer legal.

But Planned Parenthood is the bad guy?  An organization that saves taxpayers millions of dollars each year in avoiding unwanted and unintended pregnancies rather than the cancer of CPCs sucking up tax deductible contributions and grant monies as they spread across the country.

Quinn is right; any organization that has a problem with legislation that requires them to disclose whether they provide abortions, prenatal care, emergency contraception, or make referrals to organizations that do, or – gasp! – have a licensed medical provider on site, is not an organization that any woman should seek medical advice from.

5 Responses to “Why is Planned Parenthood the bad guy?”

  1. Serena March 3, 2011 at 2:56 pm #

    Excellent question.

    One question I have is where is the discussion about how the elimination of Title X funding will affect private women’s health providers. PPFA will survive these funding attacks – they are an international corporation. But how will small clinics fair?

  2. NYCprochoiceMD March 4, 2011 at 3:22 pm #

    It’s a good question Serena. Unfortunately I’m not convinced that Planned Parenthood would be able to continue providing services to uninsured women who are unable to pay out of pocket if funding were restricted. Right now many of those women are covered by Title X. I think you’re right that they will be able to continue providing services to women who have insurance or Medicaid, and may be able to provide some services that are funded by grants, but there are no grants or donations big enough to fill the need for reproductive health care. That kind of money only comes from federal and state governments. This is particularly a problem when we start talking about paying for treatment of abnormal pap smears, which can cost in the thousands of dollars. We also can expect a higher demand for abortion services at the clinics, which tend to lose money in aggregate on such services.

    I also think you’re correct that this would hurt other Title X clinics in a different way, and certainly would significantly increase the burden on the states for many more pregnancies and births than they have had recently.

  3. pro-life March 4, 2011 at 6:49 pm #

    I just want to say that I work at a CPC and we never hide the fact that we don’t do abortions, we don’t offer contraceptives, and we do have a licensed medical professional; in fact, we have 2. Please don’t generalize since you obviously hate the fact that others generalize all pro-choicers. Its not fair to either side nor to women. We should be speaking 100% truth no matter what side we are on for we know that it is the truth that will set the captives free.
    Thank you for being open and honest about your feelings. It is hard for many to do.

    Bless you!

  4. NYCprochoiceMD March 6, 2011 at 5:31 pm #

    Hi pro-life, thanks for your comments. What do you tell people who come to you about abortion and contraception? Multiple studies have shown that the majority of CPCs offer incorrect information to women and have no licensed medical professionals on site. Unfortunately the workers often think they are telling the truth, when in fact what they tell women has no basis in fact.

  5. Rajwant March 7, 2011 at 8:35 am #

    I also used to work at a CPC and I feel ashamed of admitting it that we never used to disclose that we were not doing abortions. Most of the things mentioned in this post are really what we used to do out there. But I always thought it was really not good and it should come to an end so I left my job after a few years to work for a private Sex Treatment center at NY. The system has to change for the better.

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