Planned Parenthood might think it’s in good shape in the public eye because President Obama stands ready to veto any bill that would deny them federal funding, but, in fact, Planned Parenthood continues to suffer enormous setbacks. Among these is their public-relations nightmare from a series of undercover videos this summer that continue to have ripple effects, such as Franklin Graham’s announcement he is quitting the Republican Party because the recent $1.1 trillion omnibus bill continued federal funding to Planned Parenthood.
The abortion giant was also recently dealt an historic defeat by the U.S. Senate—a body that has never before voted to defund the abortion giant. The U.S. House of Representatives has launched a select investigative panel to uncover the darkest secrets of the abortion industry. Abortion dealers have admitted that their ideas of how to dump their aborted babies are a PR nightmare. Other coverage of Planned Parenthood’s wanton waste, abetting child rapists, and mammogram misdeeds has done nothing to restore the gleam on Planned Parenthood’s tarnished reputation.
It’s no wonder that a recent poll asking whether women’s health-care funding should be shifted to community health clinics that do not perform abortions showed that a majority favors defunding Planned Parenthood.
Yes, Planned Parenthood has been caught red-handed, time and time again. Their breaches of common decency and of the law have branded them a virus infecting the women’s health-care system. Now with national media attention turning to Planned Parenthood’s ultrasound claims, we see once more how America’s abortion giant pulls the wool over our eyes. The twist takes five steps.
1. It is standard practice to provide an ultrasound as part of prenatal care and before abortions.
We know—and Planned Parenthood admits—that an ultrasound is a routine part of prenatal care. In Texas Medical Providers Performing Abortion Services v. Lakey, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit found that ultrasound is a “routine measure in pregnancy medicine today” and “medically necessary.”
Ultrasounds are likewise “often a routine part of medical care before an abortion,” and standard procedure at Planned Parenthood and nearly every other abortion clinic. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recently published an article calling pre-abortion ultrasound “routine.”
2. But Planned Parenthood consistently opposes laws and regulations that allow women the option to view their ultrasounds.
In Virginia, Planned Parenthood called ultrasound options bill HB 462 an “intrusive attempt to limit or deny access to abortion” and urged activists to email their legislators: “this legislation will force a woman to undergo a medical procedure that is not medically necessary….” In Illinois, Planned Parenthood “created a firestorm” about an ultrasound options bill. And it lists ultrasound options bills in other states as “invasive,” “outrageous,” and an “attack on women’s health,” saying the bills “intimidate women.”
3. Planned Parenthood offers few, if any, ultrasounds to non-aborting women.
Planned Parenthood does not claim to provide ultrasounds; its business is pregnancy prevention and termination. Planned Parenthood doesn’t list even one ultrasound or sonogram in its annual report. While a few of the 18,684 “prenatal services” it lists (individually counting each visit’s services—pregnancy test, pap smear, counseling, etc.—in order to increase their number) may have been ultrasounds, many centers offer no prenatal care at all, and any offered is very limited.
As just one prominent example, the Houston Planned Parenthood megacenter, which boasts an entire floor devoted to abortions, says that they don’t have doctors for pregnant women. And in fiscal year 2014, Planned Parenthood performed 17.5 abortions for every individual prenatal “service.”
4. Planned Parenthood does perform ultrasounds during abortions but does not show the mother.
Despite their typical squawking about ultrasound legislation, in fact, Planned Parenthood policy requires ultrasounds prior to abortions:
‘That’s just the medical standard,’ said Adrienne Schreiber, an official at Planned Parenthood’s Washington, D.C., regional office. ‘To confirm the gestational age of the pregnancy, before any procedure is done, you do an ultrasound.’ … [I]f the women won’t consent to the ultrasound, the abortion cannot take place, according to the group’s national standards.
Planned Parenthood is not alone. Even before a first-trimester abortion, most abortion clinics perform an ultrasound.
Most women appreciate this and want to view their ultrasounds; they find it to be a positive experience. Yet abortion clinics like Planned Parenthood block women from seeing their ultrasounds whenever possible, calling it “torture.”
So most of Planned Parenthood’s ultrasounds don’t provide women with solid prenatal care but are instead a routine pre-abortion process—one that the woman being examined is not allowed to see. American taxpayers are expected to pay for this when Planned Parenthood bills pre-abortion ultrasounds to the government in violation of federal law.
5. Planned Parenthood misleads women while accusing holistic, pro-life care centers of misleading women.
A recent article published in The New York Times claims Planned Parenthood provides “ultrasounds” with federal dollars. This assertion is made in an article arguing that pro-life centers lie about what they do. And Planned Parenthood approvingly linked to it in a tweet.
How ironic that Planned Parenthood’s website describes all the elements of prenatal care visits, such as regular checkups during pregnancy and ultrasounds (which most or all Planned Parenthood locations do not do)—yet they claim pro-life care and pregnancy centers are “misleading” if they tell women about abortion but don’t actually perform abortions.
Contrary to what pro-Planned Parenthood politicians, pundits, and celebrities imagine, they are no paragon of women’s healthcare. With no mammograms, few clinics (especially as compared to federally qualified health centers and rural health centers), few ultrasounds, and far fewer patients than those politicians like to claim, it’s hard to see what they’re good for.