What happened to the ‘safe’ in ‘safe, legal and rare’?

Marjorie Dannenfelser President, Susan B. Anthony List
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In 1993, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge halted the enforcement of annual health inspections of his state’s abortion clinics. In 2010, Dr. Kermit Gosnell, a Pennsylvania abortion provider, was charged with murder and infanticide. Gosnell is accused of breaking state laws by performing late-term abortions, killing children born alive as the result of botched abortions and using unsterilized medical instruments. At least one patient died while under Dr. Gosnell’s care and many others have been infected with venereal diseases.

For 17 years, these practices went undiscovered because Gov. Ridge felt that forcing abortion clinics to undergo a yearly health inspection would be “putting up a barrier to women.”

On June 20 of this year, Planned Parenthood of Kansas filed a lawsuit against the state of Kansas in order to prevent the implementation of new laws passed by Gov. Sam Brownback aimed at expanding health requirements and inspections of abortion providers. Planned Parenthood is, thus far, the only one of three abortion providers in Kansas to receive a license to continue performing abortions. The license was given after the clinic, at the last minute, purchased a “neo-natal crash unit” required under the new provisions. Planned Parenthood has since dropped its lawsuit but is still fighting the new regulations.

Planned Parenthood sells itself as “America’s most trusted provider of reproductive health care.” Trusted? Planned Parenthood is fighting health regulations aimed at ensuring women’s health and safety. These regulations are modeled after similar ones in South Carolina, and specific provisions in the law have been taken from the “industry standards” set by the National Abortion Federation. Yet Planned Parenthood is seeking and claiming to have the “trust” of women?

After the tragic discovery of the practices of Dr. Gosnell in Pennsylvania, one would expect that an organization that claims to be “pro-women” would be embracing measures aimed at keeping them safe. Sadly, this is not the first time Planned Parenthood has fought against common-sense laws to protect women, despite its supposed commitment to “protect women’s rights and health.”

Planned Parenthood has filed lawsuits attempting to block legislation that would require abortion providers to inform an underage girl’s parents of her desire to obtain an abortion. At a time when parents need to grant permission for a school to give their child an aspirin, Planned Parenthood staunchly opposes informing a young girl’s parents about an invasive surgical procedure. This is how Planned Parenthood “protects” women?

The organization has also been accused of not reporting underage sex trafficking rings, as unveiled by Lila Rose of Live Action. Rose recently went undercover and discovered employees of various Planned Parenthood clinics around the country helping men who claimed to be pimps or organizers of human trafficking rings involving minor girls hide their crimes. This is how Planned Parenthood “protects” women?

Planned Parenthood has also allegedly failed to report instances of statutory rape and opposes legislation that would require the organization to inform the authorities of such cases. This is how Planned Parenthood “protects” women?

Mary Kay Culp, executive director of Kansans for Life, summed up Planned Parenthood quite well, saying: “They are the ones who said, ‘If you make abortion legal, we’ll keep women safe.’ Why wouldn’t they want rooms big enough to get gurneys in and out of?”

Time and again it has been shown that Planned Parenthood’s top priority is to provide abortions. The organization has an abortion-centered business model, and it advocates against measures that actually would ensure the safety and health of the women who receive medical care at its facilities.

As cases like Dr. Gosnell’s come to light, pro-lifers are left wondering why Planned Parenthood remains so opposed to efforts aimed at genuinely protecting women.

Marjorie Dannenfelser is President of the Susan B. Anthony List, a nationwide network of more than 280,000 pro-life Americans dedicated to advancing, mobilizing and representing pro-life women in the political process.