planned parenthoodHarvard American history professor Jill Lepore has written a lengthy piece for The New Yorker this week entitled, “What’s next for Planned Parenthood?”

The article is informative, written from the perspective of one with a liberal bent but who is scholarly in her research and presentation. I’ve pulled excerpts of interest to pro-life activists…

“This started the day after the mid-terms,” Cecile Richards said when we met in July. Richards, the daughter of the former Texas governor Ann Richards, has been the president of Planned Parenthood since 2006. She’s long-boned and fair-haired and glamorous, and she is in the eye of a perfect political storm….

The campaign against Planned Parenthood has been unrelenting…. “We would wake up and, every day, it would be about something else,” Richards said. “Some days it was about abortion. Some days it was abortion. Some days it was about race. Some days it was about me. Some days it was about kids.”

The fury over Planned Parenthood… has nearly led to the shutdown of the federal government, required Republican Presidential nominees to swear their fealty to the pro-life lobby, tied up legislatures and courts in more than half a dozen states, launched a congressional investigation, and helped cripple the Democratic Party….

Planned Parenthood’s latest round of difficulties dates back about a year…. [A] group called Live Action… sent a man posing as a pimp and a woman posing as a prostitute to Planned Parenthood clinics across the country…. At the beginning of February, Live Action posted on the Internet very troubling videos….

planned parenthood[Planned Parenthood founder Margaret] Sanger was abrasive and impatient and often heedless. She really did court eugenicists…. But Sanger was a socialist, which often put her at odds with the eugenicists….

In the 1950s, the organization was run primarily by men interested in population control….

Most people, when they get to this chapter in American history, throw up their hands.  No matter what you think of the [Roe v. Wade] ruling, what followed was awful….

“Unless Roe v. Wade is overturned, politics will never get better,” the Times columnist David Brooks has written, insisting, “Justice Harry Blackmun did more inadvertent damage to our democracy than any other 20th-century American. When he and his Supreme Court colleagues issued the Roe v. Wade decision, they set off a cycle of political viciousness and counter-viciousness that has poisoned public life ever since.”…

Today, more than a quarter of all abortions conducted in the United States take place in clinics affiliated with Planned Parenthood….

Planned Parenthood is both a health-care provider and a lobbyist…. Critics on both the left and the right charge that these two missions – health care and activism – are in conflict. Richards sees no conflict: “The more patients we  see, the stronger advocates we have, and the stronger advocates we are, the more patients we see.”

planned parenthoodAmericans United for Life ha[s] released a report called “The Case for Investigating Planned Parenthood.” Its chief allegation is that there is a correlation between the amount of federal money Planned Parenthood receives and the number of abortions conducted in its clinics, suggesting that the funds have been treated, illegally, as fungible….

[JLS note: Richards agrees with AUL’s point. See her (underlined) inadvertent and important admission in the previous paragraph.]

Here is where we are. Republicans… made abortion a partisan issue…. but Democrats allowed their party to be defined by it. And, as long as Planned Parenthood hitches itself to the Democratic Party, and it’s hard to see what choice it has, its fortunes will rise and fall – its clinic doors will open and shut – with the power of the Party.

Much of the left, reduced to a state of timidity in the terrible, violent wake of Roe, has stopped talking about rights, poverty, decency, equality, sex, and even history, thereby ceding talk of those things to the Right….

Meanwhile, however divided the electorate may or may not be over abortion, as long as Planned Parenthood is the target the GOP stands only to gain by keeping up the attack, because a campaign against a government-funded provider of services for the poor appeals to the Tea Party….

While I agree “the GOP stands only to gain by keeping up the attack” against Planned Parenthood, Lepore’s reasoning that such an attack appeals to conservatives bent on extracting the government from helping the poor is ludicrous.

In fact, polls repeatedly show that even abortion supporters don’t want to pay for it.

Furthermore, Planned Parenthood affiliates have proven themselves corrupt.  Should an organization receiving government funding be exempted from scrutiny simply because it commits abortions?

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