Tag Archives: PPFA

“Pro-choice” proponents turn on Planned Parenthood

wolves circling planned parenthoodI wrote on August 4 that a July 28 New York Times article about Planned Parenthood’s decision to abandon the term “pro-choice” had triggered a race war within the abortion movement.

This was because Planned Parenthood steered NYT journalist Jackie Calmes to seven white leaders of abortion groups for quotes but no women of color.

Plus, Planned Parenthood gave no credit to WOC groups for expanding on abortion advocacy to include other “reproductive justice” issues, a term WOC coined two decades ago. This July 31 tweet didn’t come out of nowhere…

On August 5 the racial schism burst into the open when Monica Simpson, Executive Director of SisterSong, published “An Open Letter to Planned Parenthood” at the pro-abortion website RH Reality Check:

Whether stemming from oversight or from deliberate exclusion, the New York Times story, “Advocates Shun ‘Pro-Choice’ to Expand Message,” and the Huffington Post essay, “We’re Fighting for Access, Not Choice,” suggests very clearly that Planned Parenthood did not inform the reporters of the long-term work of scores of reproductive justice organizations, activists, and researchers that have challenged the “pro-choice” label for 20 years.

Many of us received feedback from… Jackie Calmes, confirming that this history was not presented to her by the mainstream reproductive rights organizations with which she spoke. This is not only disheartening but, intentionally or not, continues the co-optation and erasure of the tremendously hard work done by Indigenous women and women of color (WOC) for decades.

[W]omen of color RJ organizations have sought to instill a reproductive justice framework into these fights – not always with the support of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America or its affiliates.

In fact, in 2011, when Planned Parenthood and other allies were given the opportunity to understand and work on the intersectionality of issues in Mississippi while working in partnership with SisterSong, the organization failed to step forward. The fight to defeat both the “personhood” and the voter identification amendment reflected a clear attack on the rights of Black women in the state.

Yet, when urged to see the connection between reproductive health rights and voting rights, PPFA rejected the notion. As a result, “personhood” was defeated and the voter ID initiative passed, leaving Mississippi more vulnerable to new “personhood,” anti-abortion, and other discriminatory and counterproductive laws in the future.

As an aside, that was an interesting take on how voter ID laws may negatively impact abortion at the ballot box. If the theory holds true, voter ID laws will not just help pro-life voter initiatives but also pro-life candidates.

Another aside, it’s also interesting that RH Reality Check published this letter.

monica-raye-simpson sistersong opposed to Planned Parenthood abortion giantSimpson (pictured left) listed several demands that included a “face-to-face meeting between executive directors of national WOC-led RJ organizations and PPFA leadership….”

“This public infighting is something we never used to see,” noted Cheryl Sullenger, senior policy advisor for Operation Rescue, in an email. “They used to keep this kind of thing behind closed doors. It’s a good sign for us.”

Then here’s another good sign, a July 29 letter to the editor in the New York Times from Susan Wysocki (pictured below right), board chairwoman of Catholics for Choice:

As a lifetime advocate for women’s health, I fear that your article may give rise to a misperception about the reality of abortion rights advocacy by highlighting the campaign strategy of one organization, Planned Parenthood….

Election cycle messaging campaigns, whatever they may be, cannot obscure this simple fact: If you will not say that you are in favor of choice, you are no advocate for women’s health and lives.

So Planned Parenthood is now publicly engaged in a two-front war with groups on its own side, on the issues of racism and strategy.

Sabotaging abortion zen

I cannot overstate how unsettling it was to the equilibrium of the abortion movement for Planned Parenthood to publicly renounce the truly hallowed term “pro-choice.” “Pro-choice” is their identity, it protects them, it lets them sleep at night.

Susan Wysocki Catholics for Choice pro-choice organization 2It is even the legal name of hundreds if not thousands of groups, like Catholics for Choice (see above), Center for Choice, Choice USA, Clinicians for Choice, Feminists for Choice, Medical Students for Choice, NARAL Pro-Choice America, Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, Republicans for Choice, Rock for Choice,  Voice of Choice, 4000 Years for Choice, etc.

At least one Planned Parenthood even has “choice” in its name: Planned Parenthood Center for Choice in Houston.

But back to Planned Parenthood and its racism problem – which is really nothing new since it was founded on racism and eugenics – Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards issued a response in an “Open Letter on Reproductive Justice and ‘Choice'” within hours after Simpson posted her open letter.

The buck does NOT stop here (unless it’s $$)

Interestingly, Richards never addressed the huge gaffes Planned Parenthood made in shaping the NYT article other than to say she was “eager to talk to you about the events of the last few weeks, and what we can learn from this experience going forward.” There was no apology.

I stand with Planned Parenthood pro-choice abortion industry leaderFurthermore, although Simpson addressed her letter specifically to Planned Parenthood, outlining where Planned Parenthood had failed WOC abortion groups, Richards dragged the rest of the abortion industry into the melee, writing “how Planned Parenthood and other organizations have sometimes fallen short….”

I’m sure groups formerly known as “pro-choice” appreciate standing with Planned Parenthood as racists.

Double diss.

[Photo of Simpson via elixher.com; photo of Wysocki via flickr.com]

Planned Parenthood tweets pic Lady Liberty holding birth control pills


by Kelli

The organization’s message came after the recent uproar over the Supreme Court’s decision that for-profit company owners with religious objections to providing coverage for abortion-inducing drugs could be excluded from the Obamacare Contraceptive Mandate.

Taking to Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr, Planned Parenthood sent an additional “Happy 4th of July” message as a reminder for safe sex: “Whether you’re watching fireworks outside or making them in the bedroom, stay safe!”

Nice to know this is how Planned Parenthood translates “liberty and justice for all.”

~ Katie Yoder, Newsbusters, July 7

[HT: Susie Allen]

Employees reveal Planned Parenthood’s slave wages and astronomical insurance premiums

2013-11-11_1643Last week I wrote about unsanitary conditions at a Pennsylvania Planned Parenthood clinic that is part of the Planned Parenthood Keystone affiliate.

Other PP Keystone employees have started adding their comments to that post, and they jibe with Lola’s* assessment of their horrible workplace environment.

But I have learned it doesn’t stop there. Wrote PP Keystone employee “CC” (combining excerpts from two comments):

I think what is really unfortunate is the employees of PPKEY work under paid and not paid market rate for there positions. then on top of it work in the unsanitary conditions, like robots, in humane ways to treat humans. Most of the employees working here are on welfare themselves that’s pretty sad….

We should try to start a union! Admin would crap there pants if we all did that, because than we would have rights!

Employee “SickOfKeystone” wrote:

PPKEY spent thousands for a Employee Appreciation at the Country Club so they could all blow they own horns. How bout instead u get me a gift card for groceries. I would appreciate that. How bout Im full time and get food stamps and cant afford insurance for my husband.

Indeed, since writing that post I have received more intel on wages and insurance premiums for PP Keystone employees.

I’m told that PP Keystone workers other than clinic managers and clinicians make only $10-11/hour and are limited to a 35-hour work week. These people include receptionists, medical assistants and “front end and back end staff,” according to my source.

As CC and SickOfKeystone indicated, this pittance of a salary qualifies PP Keystone employees with families for welfare and food stamps.

But it gets worse. It’s no wonder SickOfKeystone can’t afford insurance for her husband. Take a look at PP Keystone’s employee insurance premiums. Take note these are bi-weekly rates (UPDATE 11/13: and the deductible is $3,000):

erin-vellelaI verified that these rates were sent to all staff by PP Keystone Director of HR and Security Erin Vellela (pictured right) in an email dated October 25, to take effect November 1, 2013, through October 31, 2014.

How a PP employee making $11/hour, or $1,540 a month, could afford insurance for his or her family is beyond me. It doesn’t seem possible. It is even less likely that any part-time employee could pull it off without paying PP money.

500x500_229730860Meanwhile PP Keystone CEO Kim Custer, pictured right, made $133,165 in salary and compensation in 2012.

So while Planned Parenthood Federation of America CEO Cecile Richards cheerleads for Obamacare, because “every person in this country deserves a basic standard of health care coverage,” her own corporation has been a prime culprit, forcing employees already making slave wages to purchase astronomically high health insurance, or go without.

The Washington Times reported on November 4 that PPFA “employs 25,000 staff and volunteers at its 750 health clinics.”

Hello, where is the Service Employees International Union? I’m sure PP Keystone employee CC is not alone in wanting to unionize.

And shouldn’t feminists support decent wages and health insurance for workers providing healthcare to mostly women?

downloadI’ve seen SEIU in action when it was trying to strong-arm my employer to unionize hospital workers. SEIU is a master at shakedowns. SEIU is always on the lookout for more healthcare workers to bring into its fold.

But could it be that Cecile Richards’ husband Kirk Adams, International Executive Vice President of SEIU, is keeping his friends away from PP? I’d say that’s a safe bet.

But is it good for either SEIU or PP workers? Absolutely not.

Planned Parenthood employees who may be reading this blog for the first time should check out the salaries your affiliate CEOs and PPFA corporate heads are making. You should also know PPFA has topped $1 billion in assets since 2009-2010. There’s money to pay you. Management is just keeping it for themselves.


Three abortion groups admit sex-selective abortion a problem in U.S.

Until now pro-abortion groups have opposed state and federal bans against sex selective abortions by simply denying they exist, for instance Jezebel only six days ago:

[I]n the U.S., there’s no evidence or noteworthy numbers to indicate that women are having abortions based on the sex of the infant….

Apparently, abortion industry leaders have decided they can no longer carry on the ruse. Public opinion is so persuaded against sex-selective abortion, the other side must have decided they have to enter the conversation in order to remain players and try to influence the outcome.

The first to fall was Guttmacher Institute in its Spring 2012 Policy Review, published sometime after May 1:

There is some evidence – although limited and inconclusive – to suggest that the practice may also occur among Asian communities in the United States….

[T]wo studies using 2000 U.S. census data to examine sex ratios among Chinese-, Indian- and Korean-American families found that although the ratio for first-born children in such families was normal, there was evidence of son preference in second- and third-order births, if the older children were daughters.

Then yesterday fell RH Reality Check:

Son preference, missing girls, sex selection: We may seek to label these Chinese or Indian issues, but they exist here in America. And with anti-choice crusaders desperate to destroy Planned Parenthood Federation of America, America’s leading provider of affordable reproductive health care for women, the purportedly spreading practice of sex-selective abortion is back in the news….

However, as birth order rises, apparently so does selection – at least, in certain ethnic groups. With U.S. 2000 Census data, researchers investigating Korean, Chinese, and Indian communities found that, after one girl, parents have as many as 1.17 boys per girl the second time. With two girls at home, this goes up to 1.51 boys per girl for the third child. These skewed ratios aren’t present among other ethnic groups in America.

Finally, NARAL in an email alert and petition drive launched today conceded:

Sex-Selection abortion is a real problem – and it needs to be addressed.

Of course, none of these groups think sex-selective abortions should be banned. But what is it they say, acknowledging a problem is the first step toward solving it?

[Graphic via RH Reality Check]

Pence introduces Planned Parenthood defunding bill

UPDATE 1/10, 10:48a: The list of cosponsors is up. Is your congressperson on the list? If not, ask him or her to sign on, as I just did with my own. Also, we have a bill number: HR217.

1/7, 5:40p: I wrote yesterday that in the coming days and weeks House pro-lifers would be introducing 4 important bills.

The 1st, a bill to repeal Obamacare, has already been set in motion.

And today, Congressman Mike Pence introduced our 2nd bill, the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act, which would cut off Title X funding to organizations that commit abortion. The most obvious target is Planned Parenthood, which Congressman Pence spotlighted in his statement:

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Planned Parenthood Golden Gate’s IRS/state filings a mess; former employees squealing

I reported last week that Planned Parenthood Federation of America is cutting ties as of September 3 with Planned Parenthood Golden Gate, which operates 7 clinics in the San Francisco area.

Well, the backstory is getting juicier as reporters investigate federal and state documents (or lack thereof), and former employees begin to leak information and internal documents to the press. The latest Bay Citizen piece provides the most details, while the San Francisco Examiner puts it all in a nutshell:

PPGG has been thrown under the bridge. Past donors included celebrities like feminist Gloria Steinem (pictured right with former PPGG president and CEO Dian Harrison) and Democratic strategist Donna Brazile (pictured on page 2, left with Harrison). But tax documents reveal that for the year ending June 30, 2009 PPGG lost as much as $2.8 million. Interim CEO Therese Wilson admits her group is in a “desperate financial circumstance.”…

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Up on Drudge: “Planned Parenthood’s missing millions”

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Currently up on Drudge is a link to a Washington Times op ed by Rita Diller, national director of American Life League’s Stop Planned Parenthood. Excerpt…

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