Imagine how the media would react if the vast majority of experts advising the Department of Energy on policy were oil industry lackeys. Or visualize the coverage if only hedge-fund managers had the government’s ear on Wall-Street rulemaking? Badly, I suspect.
Yet this is not always the case. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) releases a document called “Providing Quality Family Planning Services Recommendations”—which is compiled in conjunction with a distastefully Malthusian sounding “U.S. Office of Population Affairs”—that sets policy recommendations on planning your family.
Spacing. Numbers. Disposal. That sort of thing.
As The Federalist reported yesterday, since 2010, baby-crunching specialist Deborah Nucatola was one of the “experts” advising the Obama administration on family planning policy, hired by the CDC to help increase the likelihood that “children are born healthy.” Yes, this is ghoulishly ironic, but it’s worth pointing out the CDC policy guidelines on having salubrious babies (or, not so much) were drafted in “consultation with a wide range of experts and key stakeholders” that go well beyond Nucatola and pull in pro-abortion activists from around the country. A lot of them.
And “stakeholders” is the best way to frame the position of these specialists. The “Expert Work Group” the CDC has recruited, as far as I can tell, is almost exclusively comprised of professionals who advocate for abortion or make a living terminating human life themselves.
Killing Is Kind of Like Cultivating, Right?
Abortion providers like to consider their vocation one driven by deep idealism and compassion—and perhaps they’ve convinced themselves of this lie. The reality is they’re involved in a moneymaking enterprise, heavily subsidized by taxpayers. What these experts represent is morally reprehensible to many Americans, but their presence also represents a huge conflict of interest beyond any ethical questions. Planned Parenthood is the worst kind of crony capitalist.
The CDC policymaking, for instance, is prefaced by this ludicrous statement:
CDC, our planners, content experts, and their spouses/partners wish to disclose that they have no financial interests or other relationships with the manufacturers of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services, or commercial supporters. Planners have reviewed content to ensure there is no bias.
We can haggle over the word “profit,” but according to its annual report, Planned Parenthood performed 327,653 abortions in 2013 and 327,166 in 2012. Terminating a pregnancy is Planned Parenthood’s most expensive service. Since most Planned Parenthood advocates have no qualms about abortion—Cecile Richards has argued that life begins “at delivery”—we have no reason to trust any of these experts have a desire to see a world with fewer expensive procedures. Certainly, they should not be dominating a discussion on how many “children are born healthy.”
In fiscal year 2013-2014, Planned Parenthood took in around $528 million in taxpayer funds through government grants, contracts, and Medicaid reimbursements. That’s more than 40 percent of its imposing revenue flow. Since Planned Parenthood advocates speak of their organization as a priest might of his church, we have no reason to believe they want more competition for those dollars, either.
The recommendations outlined in by the CDC are “family planning services,” contraceptive services, pregnancy testing and counseling, infertility services, preconception health services, and sexually transmitted disease services; all of which are infused with ethical issues that the CDC chooses to ignore. As Mary Hasson points out, others on the CDC list have problematic backgrounds for those who pro-life. But it should be reiterated that nearly everyone in the expert working group is either connected to Planned Parenthood or benefits from increased numbers of abortion.
In addition to Nucatola we find:
- Dr. Vanessa Cullins, vice president for external medical affairs at Planned Parenthood;
- Dr. Michael Policar, former national spokesperson for Planned Parenthood, the medical director of Planned Parenthood in San Francisco and Alameda, Calif., and author of a book on abortion procedures;
- Dr. Mark Hathaway, an abortion advocate trotted out by Planned Parenthood as a go-to media voice;
- Dr. Clare Coleman, a liaison to Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s National Medical Committee and former president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Mid-Hudson Valley, New York;
- Courtney Benedict, director of Women’s Health for the Marin Community Clinics, who has worked in conjunction with Planned Parenthood;
- Jan Chapin, who was featured in a playful Planned Parenthood newsletter a few years back. Chapin and her mom, who “were first brought in to Planned Parenthood by their friend and fellow volunteer” soon found their “calling as “Condom Queens.” Unmentioned, abortionist;
- Jacki Witt, a board member for The National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association;
- Daryn Eikner of the Family Planning Council;
- Jule Hallerdin an advisor to the Office of Population Affairs, who also worked on the book “The Abortion Resource Handbook“;
- and Dr. Beth Jordan, a board certified internist, specialist in women’s health, and abortion advocate.
The people above are offering “technical” guidance, analyzing research, and providing feedback on the government’s policy proposals. They are also part of a group that reviews and approves “core recommendations” offered by the U.S. Office of Population Affairs. Since there is consensus among the “experts,” we can assume there is a consensus among those who picked them. The reality of Planned Parenthood dominating the CDC’s thinking on family planning issues is a reflection of their power in Washington.
The CDC has a desire to see (almost) all of you healthy, and it is relentless in this pursuit—sometimes fabricating numbers to scare you straight. Some of you may argue that CDC’s recommendations predominately dealing with how we can avoid pregnancy should be beyond the federal agency’s purview. But the CDC believes everything is within its purview. If that’s the case, then it should be pressed to answer moral, scientific, and ethical questions (which include abortion and, until proven otherwise, policies that have to do with harvesting organs from those pregnancies and the consent forms that make it possible) and why it has so many experts from a single ideological outlook that stand to benefit financially from participation.
And although Republicans are now in the pretending-to-do-something-about-Planned-Parenthood stage of placating their base, they may want to send a harshly worded letter to the CDC, as well. Just to get this on record. Abortion supporters may treat the procedure as some sort of charitable, beneficial act. But there is no reason for an ostensibly apolitical agency to do the same.