I am going to write an ellistical post about the undercover video campaign against Planned Parenthood. That means I am making a list of things to consider. This isn’t an op-ed piece, it’s a call for reflection. It is a list of questions I am asking myself about Planned Parenthood.
1) According to FactCheck.org, 3% of Planned Parenthood funds go to terminating pregnancies. No federal funds go to abortion services. So, cutting Title X funds to appease anti-abortion voters is a political maneuver. Title X Funds are used for contraceptive services, cancer and STD screenings and family planning.
2) I was unaware of the organ and tissue donation program. I had a visceral reaction to the way that process was handled when I saw those undercover videos. A friend said today, “Planned Parenthood should have come out immediately to say this is not who we are.” The revelation that some pregnancies may have been terminated in a surgical fashion that left body parts intact is repugnant and should be dealt with swiftly.
3) People are not terminating pregnancies to provide organs and tissues for research purposes. That is a connection that is unfounded at best.
4) Many people think gay marriage and abortion are personal issues that, in an ideal world, wouldn’t fall under the realm of government or the courts. Don’t women in crisis need protection the same way gays need to be protected from discrimination? Do the Republicans realize the message they are sending when they say they won’t include contraception in Medicaid expansion and when they try to eliminate Title X funds for Planned Parenthood, based on a limited program that Planned Parenthood will likely abandon?
5) The campaign against Planned Parenthood isn’t a campaign about tissue donation. It is an attempt to shut Planned Parenthood down and to eliminate abortion altogether. Hospitals and Medical Centers are providing similar services and it is perfectly legal. The bottom line is no one should be harvesting tissue or organs for research. But cures to diseases like Alzheimer’s and M.S., to Stroke and Cancer lie in research on donated tissue. It will be a blow to research if the Planned Parenthood debacle curbs tissue donation and research. According to FactCheck.org, while it is true that vaccines to measles and other diseases are the results of research on fetal tissue done in the 60’s, most tissue research comes from other sources today.
6) I am for respecting individual differences on abortion and recognize people, particularly women, have a right to be pro-life. I understand their reluctance to use government funds for abortion services. That’s why the use of federal funds for terminating a pregnancy is banned. The fact is a Christian view on reproductive services is dominating the conversation on the right. What impact will that have on Election Day for the growing population of women entrepreneurs from other faiths?
7) If the Republicans succeed in defunding Planned Parenthood, and turn to other service providers for education and family planning, how will they choose the recipients? If Planned Parenthood is defunded immediately, when will funding resume for other providers of education and contraception?