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Defunding Planned Parenthood

JCWillke   |   February 01, 2011

Back in the early 1980’s when I was first elected President of the National Right to Life Committee, I began a five-minute daily broadcast that soon aired on most of the major evangelical radio stations in the country. At that time, some of my evangelical friends offered advice. “Jack, we know you are solidly opposed to Planned Parenthood, but understand there is a good segment of our Christian population who still feel that it offers a needed service. They are for responsible family planning within the marriage bond. So do remember this, as your broadcast is going almost exclusively to evangelical stations. You don’t want to turn them off by being characterized as too extreme.”

I did take that advice, but only for a very few years and soon it was no holds barred. Today, if you make the rounds at the annual National Religious Broadcasters Convention and ask their opinion of Planned Parenthood, almost unanimously they will condemn it as probably the leading pro-abortion force in the United States.

Back in 1964, Planned Parenthood’s position was different. One of their brochures read “An abortion kills the life of a baby after it has begun. It is dangerous to your life and health. It may make you sterile so that when you want a child you cannot have it.”

How times have changed. Planned Parenthood today is far and away the leading proponent of abortion in the country, having recently announced that now all of its growing number of mega clinics must do abortions. In its latest financial reports its annual income has crested one billion dollars, with one-third of that being clinic income. In addition, more than 363-million dollars are generated from our taxes. Planned Parenthood’s recent policy has been to progressively close some of its smaller abortion units and build mega centers capable much of a higher volume of abortions. This has been reflected in an increasing number of abortions they do—a staggering 324,008 babies now killed every year.

Over the last several decades it has morphed from an organization primarily dedicated to family planning via contraception to this colossus which is progressively doing a greater and greater percent of all abortions committed in the United States.

To look at these numbers, pro-life people have good reason to be pessimistic about the future. However, there is good news on the horizon.

When Mr. Obama was elected, it was clear that Planned Parenthood felt they could look forward to four and possibly eight years of massive federal support, sharply increased numbers of abortions and substantially increased income and influence across the country. This probably played into their policy in the last few years of building their new mega centers for abortion. However, the November election has certainly thrown cold water on their plans as the House of Representatives now has a strong pro-life majority. The Senate is considerably more pro-life than it was, and perhaps the only thing holding back revision of Obama’s pro-abortion legislation over the next two years will be his veto. There is a definite possibility after the next presidential election that much of the pro-abortion legislation could be reversed.

So now is the time to move forward in a full-court press to defund Planned Parenthood of our tax dollars. The gains in Congress by pro-life candidates, along with a considerably elevated concern regarding government spending, has created a realistic expectation that the pro-life movement can work together to defund Planned Parenthood.

One of our pro-life heroes in Congress, Representative Mike Pence, has recently introduced the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act (HR 217). Mike says the bill prohibits any family planning funds under Title X from going to Planned Parenthood or any other organization that performs abortions. The bill doesn’t reduce the amount of funds going to Title X. It only blocks them from going to the organizations involved within the abortion industry. HR 217 has been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and at this writing has well over 100 cosponsors, but we need every pro-life member of Congress to sign on.

A concerted effort by all pro-lifers to cut off federal funding of Planned Parenthood, if successful, would save millions of lives. Please visit to get an updated summary on HR 217. Go to the box titled “Search Bill Summary & State.” Click on “Bill Number” and enter HR 217 in the search box. Check to see if your congressman is a cosponsor. If he/she is pro-life and is not on the list, please contact their office. Get as many people as you can to contact their member of Congress and ask them to vote for HR 217.

Pro-life groups should alert their email and snail-mail lists. Post it on your websites and spread the word as widely as you can. Momentum is on the side of the babies and their mothers. Together we can defund Planned Parenthood and save their lives.

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