Since its inception in 1916 as the nation’s first birth control clinic, Planned Parenthood has said it is fighting for the rights of women. That claim continues today, with Planned Parenthood fighting against pro-life regulations in numerous states because, they say, women are helped by abortion.
From a Catholic perspective it is clear that Planned Parenthood’s pro-women rhetoric is a farce. Its support for abortion and contraception alone should garner opposition from any Catholic worthy of the title.
Unfortunately, Planned Parenthood’s agenda has worked its way into American culture in such a way that Catholic arguments don’t garner the sympathy of the American public at large. On Wednesday, however, the pro-life activists at Live Action came out with a tremendous new weapon aimed directly at Planned Parenthood: a website dedicated to the illegal and unethical activities regularly committed at Planned Parenthood clinics.
Again, from a Catholic or orthodox Christian worldview, Planned Parenthood is a clear blight on society. But I hope this resource will help demonstrate that Planned Parenthood is a blight, even from a secular perspective.
First, the obvious: Planned Parenthood says it performed 333,964 abortions in 2011, and just over 327,000 in 2012. Each one of these abortion grievously harmed a pregnant woman, and, according to my calculations, in 2014 Planned Parenthood will kill more than 153,000 unborn girls.
For a frame of reference, Planned Parenthood will kill six percent of the girls that American mothers will carry in 2014. And this is just the number owned up to by Planned Parenthood, since it counts some abortifacients as contraceptives.
Speaking of contraceptives, here are some statitics Planned Parenthood bragged about in its annual report in 2012:
— 1.59 million “emergency contraception kits” were provided
— 2.13 million women got “birth control information and services.”
— 515,000 “unintended pregnancies prevented by these birth control services,” according to Guttmacher’s calculations and reported by Planned Parenthood.
Let’s give Planned Parenthood the benefit of the doubt, and assume that none of these 515,000 non-existent “unintended pregnancies” were actually abortions. This still means hundreds of thousands of women were using contraception provided by Planned Parenthood’s affiliated clinics.
What’s so bad about this? On a purely physical level, Planned Parenthood is providing products to women that cause blood clots, risk glaucoma, breast cancer, and even death.
Spiritually, using contraception is a mortal sin for the many female Catholic patients of Planned Parenthood. And the “contraception culture” has damaged America’s views on marriage, children, and what sex really means — all culminating in a nation that allows the rampant killing of the unborn, a high divorce rate, and the spreading legality of same-sex marriages.
Pre-marital sex is also promoted by Planned Parenthood. For example, its Twitter page for teenagers regularly encourages the practice, though it does have one Tweet that says “…It’s totally okay to wait to have sex. Don’t let anyone pressure you into doing anything that you’re not ready for.”
While pre-marital sex harms both men and women, its effects on women are often very damaging. Hormonally, for example, the effects of sex are appropriately bonding in marriage. In a culture that encourages sleeping around, however, women can face enormous emotional problems if they are in non-marital sexual relationships.
Pre-marital sex and the contraception culture also can lead to single motherhood — one of the poorest segments of American culture. And teenagers are often harmed by engaging in pre-marital sex, as seen in worse school performance and greater odds of being depressed.
If these arguments aren’t enough — and, let’s be frank, pro-lifers have been making them for decades — to bring someone around to opposing Planned Parenthood and preventing it from receiving hundreds of millions of your tax dollars, we can get into the legal and ethical violations brought to light by Live Action.