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Planned Parenthood and Obama: Exchanging Political Favors

Oct 15, 2012 | 04-Fall 2012 NRL News

NRL News
Page 14
Fall 2012
Volume 39
Issue 4


Planned Parenthood and Obama: Exchanging Political Favors

By Randall K. O’Bannon, Ph.D.

Although Planned Parenthood’s formal endorsement of President Barack Obama did not come until May 31, the two have long had a symbiotic, mutually beneficial relationship. How far PPFA is willing to go to re-elect him became increasingly apparent to those who watch politics carefully but is a complete mystery to the ordinary citizen. What they “know” is the PPFA line that is routinely repeated by the media: abortion constitutes only “3 percent” of its “services” and PPFA is the very embodiment of “good medicine.” Politics? Never heard of the word.

In fact PPFA’s political arm–Planned Parenthood Action Center–endorsed Obama in 2008 and then worked to corral votes for him and other pro-abortion candidates. They said they sent out nearly three million pieces of mail supporting Obama and opposing Sen. John McCain, knocking on over 100,000 doors and making 500,000 phone calls in nine key battleground states, contacting over a million voters altogether.

It was an effort that paid real dividends to Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards was invited to the health care summit at the White House. Over the next few years, Richards was a frequent visitor to the White House and was a leading advocate for ObamaCare (which, it should be noted, opened the door to more government funds for the organization).

When Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services issued a “final rule” mandating that groups, including religious schools and hospitals, provide health insurance plans that cover certain birth control drugs and procedures, even if that violate the groups religious and moral beliefs, it ignited a firestorm of opposition. When Obama came up with a bogus “accommodation,” he made sure to check with Planned Parenthood

Writing a puff piece on Richards for The Nation (3/26/12), reporter Karen Mitchell tells what happened.

“Planned Parenthood endorsed Obama (only the second presidential endorsement in its history); he returned the favor in conference calls, White House meeting invitations and a promise to veto the budget bill if it defunded Planned Parenthood. When hammering out a compromise for the Catholic bishops on contraceptive coverage this year, Obama placed three phone calls–one of them to Cecile Richards.”

Obama’s Justice Department returned the favor. It was there to intervene in 2011 when Indiana passed a law to route family planning monies away from organizations such as PPFA that perform abortions to alternatives such as local hospitals and health centers. Planned Parenthood of Indiana stood to lose about $3 million.

This election cycle Planned Parenthood is politically busier than ever on behalf of Obama. Months before its latest endorsement, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund (PPAF) launched its “Women Are Watching” campaign and website (11/8/12).

The website says that “Women are Watching is Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s 2012 campaign to educate women across the country about the unprecedented attacks on women’s health and where candidates stand on pivotal health care issues, empower women to hold anti-women’s health candidates of either party accountable, and work to elect pro-women’s health candidates up and down the ballot.”

If there is any doubt as to what Planned Parenthood means by “women’s health,” the website notes that candidates are assessed on their positions on birth control, sex education, and “access to safe and legal abortion.” Barack Obama receives a “100%” score to go with PPAF’s endorsement, while Romney gets “0%.”

Planned Parenthood aborts over 330,000 unborn babies every year. Yet Planned Parenthood tries to downplay its commitment to abortion by saying that it represents only 3% of its services. How can that be when a 2009 Planned Parenthood factsheet confirmed that 12% of Planned Parenthood’s clients–nearly one out of every eight women–was an abortion patient?

PPFA comes up with the highly misleading 3% figure by counting every pregnancy test, every box of condoms, every packet of birth control pills, as well as every abortion, as a separate service, even when these may be sold with the abortion, and even when abortion may cost 20 or 30 times what these other services cost.

Count the pregnancy test, the test for STDs, and the packet of birth control pills with the abortion visit and all of a sudden, 3% becomes 12%. And, to repeat, nearly one out of every eight PPFA clients was an abortion patient. And that doesn’t even count those who were considering abortion but only ended up not getting one because their pregnancy test came back negative. How many “services” did Planned Parenthood sell those young women?

Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards was a featured speaker at the Democratic National Convention, supporting Obama as a man who “understands,” “trusts,” and “stands with women” (except those unborn women, obviously), while complaining that Romney wants to get rid of Planned Parenthood (he wants merely to cut off federal funding) and overturn Roe v. Wade.

That was hardly the last of it. After spending $1.4 million on ads in Iowa, Florida, and Virginia, Planned Parenthood began a new $3.2 million ad campaign in the critical swing states of Ohio and Virginia. The first set of ads tells women that Romney wants to “turn back the clock for women.”

Planned Parenthood is flooding mailboxes with the same message.

Women are Watching has also launched a bus tour, traveling to Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and eight other so-called “battleground states.” To coincide with the beginning of the presidential debates, PPAF announced the launch of a new online campaign called “ASK MITT”–“to generate enough online buzz so that Romney … is forced to answer for his record and agenda during the debate.”

Back in 2004, shortly after Richards took the helm of the organization, she bragged in a speech that Planned Parenthood had more members, employees, and staff than the 50 state Democratic parties combined. “[T]hat’s a lot of power,” Richards noted, and she said, “We’re going to use it.”

Mitchell, the reporter from The Nation, notes how that Planned Parenthood, because of its clientele of young, unmarried voters, people of color, stands poised to fill the political vacuum left by the demise of the community activist group ACORN. Planned Parenthood’s three million patients are “potential pro-choice voters and canvassers,” Mitchell points out. And of course, there is the even larger group of Planned Parenthood’s activists, donors, and supporters.

In 2008, Planned Parenthood developed Catalist, a national voter file. Richards has been no less aggressive in the 2012 campaign. Mitchell quotes Richards as saying,

“Because we have so many supporters … we use every new technology for folks to take action from their homes, to contact their representatives, to do block walking. We have seen an explosion in social media for Planned Parenthood. Women are too busy to focus on politics. They are too busy particularly in this economy. They don’t have time to watch TV or follow politics. But they are on social media. Women listen to other women. And they listen to Planned Parenthood. And this will be the silent majority, but it will be a majority of voters in 2012, all of whom communicate with each other with less traditional means, but through a very powerful network.”

It is clear that Planned Parenthood’s campaign for women voters is well funded and well organized.

Challenging the distortions will not be easy. Because of the years of spin and diversion, many women falsely associate Planned Parenthood with women’s health care and not realize how wedded to abortion the organization is.

But National Right to Life has labored to get the truth out—and NRLC has! Once people understand how brazen and deep is the commitment of PPFA and Barack Obama to the destruction of human life, to the exploitation of women for political purposes, the spin will falter and the support will wilt.

They will know the truth and the truth will set them free.