Morning Read: House GOP wants cuts for Planned Parenthood

The Plattsburgh Press Republican is reporting that Planned Parenthood services used by roughly 14,000 women last year in the North Country could be scaled back if conservatives in the House have their way.

Kathie Wunderlich, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the North Country New York, said North Country clinics may not survive without federal funding.

She said North Country women and others in rural areas face worse obstacles to receiving health care than women elsewhere in the country.

“There is a lack of primary health-care providers,” Wunderlich said. “A huge number of patients consider us their primary care provider — their only care provider, actually.”

Planned Parenthood has been a target for conservatives for years, because one of the services the organization provides is legal, safe abortions.

Meanwhile, the Glens Falls Post-Star is reporting that the liberal group MoveOn.org plans a protest outside the Saratoga office of freshman Rep. Chris Gibson (R-Kinderhook).

They will protest the House Republicans’ budget plan, the political advocacy group announced.

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64 Comments on “Morning Read: House GOP wants cuts for Planned Parenthood”

  1. Pete Klein says:

    Of course the GOP wants to attack Planned Parenthood, just like they want to attack education, teachers, SS, the poor, the middle class, NPR, PBS, Medicare and Medicaid, and just about anything except for big business, the banks, the military and the wealthy.
    Isn’t it obvious by now that they really secretly admire all the dictators in the Arab world?

  2. Bill G says:

    There’s a pretty strong argument that restricting or eliminating Planned Parenhood funding will in fact end up increasing the number of unplanned pregnancies and ultimately the number of abortions. This is where ideology and the real world collide.

  3. JDM says:

    Abortion-on-demand is perhaps the darkest slur on this generation. History will look back and wonder how civilized people could incur such atrocities on their own babies.

  4. marcus aurelius says:

    Nationwide, abortion accounts for 3% of Planned Parenthood services. No Federal funds are allowed to pay for this service. They provide preventive care to many underserved women, most the working poor who do not have access to a family physician. I guess that 97% doesn’t count.

  5. JDM says:

    marcus: my words aren’t necessary. Here’s some facts from one state’s planned parenthood annual report:

    The increase in abortions is even more alarming in light of the increased ratio of abortions to pregnancy tests done by Planned Parenthood of Indiana in 2010. According to its annual report, the ratio of abortions to pregnancy tests increased to one abortion per every 3.79 pregnancy tests in 2010 (5,580 abortions vs. 21,156 pregnancy tests) as compared to one abortion per every 4.25 pregnancy tests in 2009 (5,452 abortions vs. 23,151 pregnancy tests).

    Planned Parenthood of Indiana is reporting revenue of $15,670,306 in 2010 with $2,008,760 coming from government contracts and grants. Planned Parenthood of Indiana annually does more than 50% of the total chemical and surgical abortions done in Indiana.

    http://www.irtl.org/2011/01/number-of-abortions-done-by-planned-parenthood-of-indiana-increase-by-over-2-according-to-new-annual-report/

  6. Brian says:

    It is already illegal for federal funds to be used for abortion. It seems to me that if you want fewer abortions, you should SUPPORT family planning efforts designed to decrease the number of unwanted pregnancies. But I guess it’s more important to have an issue to rant about than to actually try to solve it.

  7. marcus aurelius says:

    JDM
    Don’t you think the increasing availability of pregnancy tests at supermarkets and drug stores might be responsible for the drop in tests? This link does not refute the fact that of all services that Planned Parenthood provides, abortion represents 3%.

  8. oa says:

    Don’t mean to gloat, but…
    I called it!
    oa says:
    February 21, 2011 at 3:42 pm
    “Is it time for a trade war with China?”
    No, but evidently it’s time for another yahoo-baiting, uninformed-comment-inducing headline. Not enough juice on the chili cook-off, I guess.
    Next post, Abortion!

  9. JDM says:

    You guys make circular arguments that make one dizzy.

    Let’s just end abortions happening at all at planned parenthood and it won’t matter where the funding comes from or where it goes.

    Until that happens, I go back to my original statement.

    Abortion-on-demand is perhaps the darkest slur on this generation. History will look back and wonder how civilized people could incur such atrocities on their own babies.

  10. Pete Klein says:

    oa is a true prophet!
    And seriously, how can this blog totally avoid any mention of what is going on in the Arab world. This is truly revolutionary.
    Abortion always was, is and will be. And lets not forget all the abortions performed by God, which we politely call a miscarriage.

  11. JDM says:

    In other words, it’s not playing a shell-game with funding that will excuse this generation.

    It’s abortion-on-demand that is the dark spot on this generation. It needs to stop.

  12. verplanck says:

    JDM,

    Where’s the circular argument?

    Plus, one PP study from another state doesn’t make a good case for a national, long term trend.

    So glad you are here to take a complex argument and shove it back into the binary system the larger media uses to categorize an issue.

  13. JDM says:

    Planned parenthood receives federal funding. Planned parenthood performs abortions. Abortions need to be stopped.

    Clouding the issues with 3% this and accounting issues that doesn’t excuse it.

    This is a holocaust. It is our turn in history to step up and deal with it.

    Take away abortions, and marcus, apparently is saying that 97% of planned parenthood funding is still needed for non-abortion purposes.

    Fine. Let’s take away abortions, and see if he’s right.

    Let’s take away abortions, period.

    What I don’t hear is any agreement on the need to eliminate abortions. What I hear is obfuscation to make it sound like abortions aren’t really the issue.

    Well? are they? are abortions an evil on this society?

    That is the issue.

  14. Pete Klein says:

    Is a caterpillar a butterfly? If not, then why is a fetus a human?
    And why no response to the question about God being the number one abortionist?

  15. Myown says:

    JDM – no one likes abortions. But unfortunately sometimes it is the lesser of two evils. Totally ending abortions immediately would create a whole new set of problems we aren’t prepared to deal with. I agree we should be working to get the numbers down. And funding PPH helps that happen, besides all the other women’s health issues they address.

    What I don’t understand is the opposition (from those who want to make abortion illegal) to family planning, pregnancy prevention, sex education and all the other methods that reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies – and therefore abortions. Just seems counter-productive and illogical to be against efforts (like them or not) that actually reduce the frequency of abortions.

    OA – yes, you called it. (or maybe precipitated it – only Brian M. knows for sure) :-)

  16. marcus aurelius says:

    Exactly, Myown. Why end funding to the things that are guaranteed to reduce unwanted pregnancy and therefore reduce abortion?

  17. JDM says:

    myown: “JDM – no one likes abortions. But unfortunately sometimes it is the lesser of two evils.”

    Abortion is killing a baby. What is the other greater evil?

  18. Mervel says:

    The funding they are debating is not paying for abortions so it is a different debate. Personally I don’t think this funding does much or is very effective, but because of the contentiousness of the abortion issue the debate just stops with that.

  19. Pete Klein says:

    Abortion is not killing a baby. It is killing a fetus, just like what happens with a miscarriage.

  20. phahn50 says:

    jdm – planned parenthood reduces the number of abortions, (for the zillionth time), among the other good works that it does. Funding should be increased.

  21. JDM says:

    3% of services that marcus referenced is 264,943 abortions in 2005 (apparently the last year where figures are available) divided by 10,112,642 “total services”.

    “Total services” is just about every contact PP makes with an individual. This number is intentionally skewed upward to drive down the “3%” number, and to ease everyones’ collective conscious.

    Planned parenthood doesn’t make it easy to find out how many abortions-per-year they do. This is also to ease everyones’ collective conscious.

    Again, in 2005, 1-in-5 abortions done in the US was done at Planned Parenthood. The last easy-to-find number available.

    Extrapolating that information from 2000-2010, when 13 million US abortions were performed, puts Planned Parenthood at 2.6 million over the decade or 260,000 per year, on average.

    Put your heads back in the sand. This is not good. This blood is what history is going to lay on our hands.

    At very least, we should at least be able to say that we did all we could to stop it. And covering our ears and closing our eyes isn’t a very good report.

  22. myvoice says:

    What about funding for all those classes? What about funding for all those breast/testicular exams? What about funding for HIV counseling & testing? What about funding for education on choosing the right birth control method? What about funding for the pill, the ring, or the patch? What about counseling on how to talk to your parent about sexuality? What about funding for (fill in the blank with any sexual or reproductive health care item)? Only the right-wing idealolgues want to make this about abortion. The rest of us are just trying to figure out how to find services for the underserved men, women, and teens.

  23. TomL says:

    Abortion is a legal health service in the US. 100% of Planned Parenthood’s abortions are safe & legal health services, just as are the other health services provided by the agency.

    It is nothing but pure nastiness and cynical showmanship to defund Planned Parenthood because it provides a legal health service with non-governmental funds. If Congress wants to eliminate abortions in the US, fine – pass a law. Congress has had 35 years to debate a constitutional amendment or other legal mechanism to eliminate abortion, but it has never tried. Not even under Gingrich’s congress. Nor have Republican Presidents Reagan, Bush or Bush lead on the issue. The fact is, the federal government representatives of both parties accept that abortion will remain legal. But the Republicans will continue to cynically take symbolic measures like defunding Planned Parenthood, just to keep fooling the antichoice crowd into believing that some progress will be made in eliminating this medical procedure.

  24. Mervel says:

    JDM,

    Yes I am pro-life and would not care in the least of Planned Parenthood ended as an organization. However that is not going to happen and some other service provider would jump in to keep the precious abortions going, abortion is a solid part of our culture with over one million a year it is largely used as birth control and that is not caused by Planned Parenthood. In addition the the whole issue will be largely mute as most abortions in the US will likely be accomplished at home using some combination of drugs.

    I am not putting my head in the sand just looking at where I can help and that for me is working from the ground up to work toward the root of the problem which is not the provider but the basic desire itself for people to choose an abortion or to lead lives where babies are brought into solid loving two parent homes.

  25. Bill G says:

    I recognize the moral/ethical dilemma of abortion, but I don’t hear any real solution to dealing with it. How do you stop it? Who gets sanctioned? What are the effects of doing so? How do you sanction the father? It’s pretty simple minded to say, stop abortions. How do you do that in a responsible way? It is pretty depressing to see men expressing self righteous positions when it is women who bear the burden.

  26. Nancy B says:

    Planned Parenthood is not in the business of reducing abortions. They are mandating that all of their clinics provide abortions. Also, in 2007 they received approx $125 million and performed 165 million abortions; in 2009 they received $300 million and performed 345 million abortion (number not exact but in the ballpark to make a point). Do you see the trend here????? Abortion is NOT “like” miscarriage; abortion is the intentional killing of a person. Don’t beleive it check out the pictures from the Kermit Gosnell killing center in PA. Go to http://www.100abortionpictures.com and then tell me the fetus isn’t a person. There are many women AND men out there that regret their abortions, talk to them to see how hpappy they are with a “choice” they made. http://www.silentnomoreawareness.com has video and written testimonies of regret, coercion, forced abortions.

  27. JDM says:

    I think we have made abortion is too easy an option.

    There are many more parents willing to adopt a child than there are children to adopt.

    Women do not fare well, emotionally, contrary to propaganda, after an abortion. It goes against nature.

    If the abortion option is taken off the table, there will not be a crisis.

    There will be more children in well-suited families, and there will be less emotional duress on women.

  28. JDM says:

    take out “is” from the first sentence.

  29. Nancy B says:

    I’m with you JDM

  30. Nancy B says:

    To be clear, in 1997, Planned Parenthood, according to their own fact sheet, they received $165 million from taxpayers and performed 165,174 abortions. They performed 305,310 in 2007 and received $363 million.

    Oh, and did I forget to mention their support for sex trafficking?

  31. phahn50 says:

    JDM – there will be less emotional duress on women if they have better access to low cost birth control which they get from Planned Parenthood. I dont think you care very much about women’s emotional well-being. You think abortions are wrong.

  32. Nature says:

    Pete Klein,

    In response to your statement:

    “Is a caterpillar a butterfly? If not, then why is a fetus a human?
    And why no response to the question about God being the number one abortionist?”

    Caterpillars and Butterflies are both living beings. If you kill either, you have killed. It may also be worth pointing out that we are neither caterpillars nor Butterflies.

    If God is the number one abortionist then he is also the number one killer of all human beings (even the ones pro choice folks feel qualify for full human status). Many people die of what we call natural causes. This happens in the womb as well. If this fact makes people understand God to be cruel or unloving, then I guess I can see why they would have issues with the concept of God.

    As Pete’s comment alludes to, it seems that folks who are pro-choice do not think that abortion ends a human life. I believe that they genuinely believe that abortion does little or no real harm, and in fact does good. I would encourage anyone who feels this way to reconsider what life really is.

    Life can be very hard. An unplanned pregnancy can make it even harder. These facts don’t change a human being into a fetus. These facts don’t make one human being less valuable than another.

  33. phahn50 says:

    JDM – for example, if it were proven to you that a woman’s emotional well being would be much better if she had an abortion than if she didnt, you would still think that abortions should be illegal. You would just come up with some other irrelevant bumper sticker statement. (Im sorry, I find this offensive).

  34. phahn50 says:

    Nature – you are describing a religious belief – presumably yours. But when you try to make it sound scientific or rational, it doesnt work.

    An embryo or fetus is not a child, and a child is not an adult. These are words in English that have distinct meanings.

    Every time you move, you kill human cells.

  35. Mervel says:

    pnelba,

    thanks.

  36. JDM says:

    phahn50: “if it were proven to you that a woman’s emotional well being would be much better if she had an abortion than if she didnt” …

    … then you would be correct.

    but, the “if” needs to be true, first.

  37. Mervel says:

    Bill

    Many women are against abortion. But yeah I personally think the solution is working toward a society that values families, that provides help to women and men who have children and also provides the economic supports for families with children who are the poorest families in the US.

    We also need to change how we view the relationship between sex and children and marriage. These are very long term things I realize that. I also realize that sexual restraint outside of marriage is pretty counter cultural right now.

    I don’t think sanctioning or blaming is the answer. But like JDM I also see no reason to make abortion easy or value neutral, it should be neither.

  38. myvoice says:

    Mervel says: “We also need to change how we view the relationship between sex and children and marriage. These are very long term things I realize that. I also realize that sexual restraint outside of marriage is pretty counter cultural right now….”

    Planned Parenthood provides individual and group educational programs on these subjects EVERYDAY through Title X funding. These include abstinence based programs for teens and harm reduction programs for adults that help people think about their values and consequences of their behavior.

    You may want to keep talking about abortion and shaming women into enforced birthing of children they didn’t want, but why take away the money set aside to help men, women, and teens avoid unplanned pregnancy and disease?

  39. phahn50 says:

    I would say that this is a subject where, ideally, people would mind their own business.

  40. Bret4207 says:

    I don;t have ant strong feelings on the concept of Planned Parenthood, I do believe abortion is murder of a living being, be it a baby or fetus, caterpillar or butterfly, it’s still a living being whose life is deliberately ended.

    My concern is PP’s really dismal track record over the past few years. When tapes of “pimps” getting their underage “girls” information on abortions becomes common, when other undercover people can go in posing as underage girls and get the same help, the the agency needs some serious oversight.

    I don’t like abortion, but it is legal. I can accept that. I can’t accept an agency like PP getting Federal funding to commit illegal acts.

  41. phahn50 says:

    Bret – you really should try to “quantify” that statement about track records. How many prostitutes and drug addicts walk into any hospital emergency room to get health care information? How many airline employees are bribed to pass illegal stuff through customs? How many military service members sell stolen military issue firearms? I would guess that even though Planned Parenthood uses many unprofessional volunteers that their record is better than most organizations.

  42. marcus aurelius says:

    Brett – it is quite a leap from one doctored video from Lila Rose to a practice “common” to Planned Parenthood.

  43. Bret4207 says:

    Funny, you apply different standards to PP than you do to right wing issues. What happened to holding public servants to a higher standard?

  44. phahn50 says:

    Bret – Planned parenthood people arent public servants. Im not sure what your point is.

  45. Nature says:

    phan50,

    I am not describing a religious belief. I am describing my belief. And yes, I do think it is a rational belief. A child is not an adult and an adult is not a child. But they are both human beings. The dictionary is a great place to look up the meaning we ascribe to words. I use it quite often. However, even though a dictionary can tell me the meaning of the “word” life. It cannot tell me the meaning of life, nor can it tell me when life begins.

    Doctors, scientists, and judges have determined that a human life does not start until sometime after conception. My gut, heart and brain tell me otherwise.

  46. Mervel says:

    Well even just from a scientific perspective, a human life form does indeed begin at conception. That life form feels pain at some point prior to conception, it has a beating heart it has a brain etc. The reason that ultrasound technology has been such a blow to the pro-abortion crowd is that is shows what is actually being killed by an abortion. In India and China they use the ultrasound to kill fetus’s that are girls. Of course this is also legal in the US.

    So no it is not an infant, but it is a human.

  47. Mervel says:

    oooops prior to birth not conception.

  48. Bret4207 says:

    Phan, point taken, but PP receives a large portion of it’s funding from gov’t. Do you condone illegal acts, to say nothing on unethical acts, by those receiving public funds? They have a problem that needs to be addressed.

  49. phahn50 says:

    Bret – I dont condone unethical acts but I know many people – mostly close family members – who have worked at PP or been treated there and I consider them to be highly ethical. As an organization they are more like an NGO or even a religious charity that receives some government assistance for taking care of the poor.

    Mervel and Nature: a fetus/embryo is, technically, not a human, but it is comprised of human tissue (as is the placenta or your arm for that matter). The question of when a soul enters the body has been debated for many thousands of years. It is not really resolvable by rational/scientific discourse.

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