Ministry of Love
April 6, 2011
George Orwell’s dystopian 1984 imagines a totalitarian state that even rewrites the language to perfect its black-is-white pro-government propaganda. Among other things, the department of prisons and torture is called the “Ministry of Love”. (The department of propaganda itself is called the “Ministry of Truth”.)
In the real world in 2011, there’s a network of “clinics” whose primary business is terminating pregnancies; it’s called, ironically, Planned Parenthood. Apparently, taxpayers provide a third of the funding for Planned Parenthood. (Did you know you supported abortion?) So my excellent former congressman Mike Pence has sponsored legislation (the “Pence Amendment”) that would cut off all federal funding to Planned Parenthood. He’s been pushing for this at least since the summer of 2009, but now it may actually happen; there’s a debt crisis on, and the Tea Party has changed the debate.
So you may have heard, in recent weeks or months, talk of de-funding Planned Parenthood. You may have heard its defenders argue that Planned Parenthood is so much more than abortions—mammograms, for example! Someone made that argument to me just last week. Even the president of Planned Parenthood has argued on national television that if the federal funding is cut, “millions of women in this country are going to lose their health-care access—not to abortion services, to basic family planning—you know, mammograms . . . .”
Amazingly, it appears that Planned Parenthood clinics don’t even do mammograms. Live Action—who earlier this year also exposed Planned Parenthood clinics’ willingness to abet child prostitution and sex slavery—called thirty different Planned Parenthood clinics, asking to schedule a mammogram. Every single one said, We don’t offer mammograms. Some of them made it clear that no Planned Parenthood clinic does.
It appears that Planned Parenthood clinics do refer patients to unaffiliated places that do offer mammograms—but anyone can do that. If Planned Parenthood loses the third of its funding that taxpayers are forced to provide, will millions of women thereby be deprived of the care that Planned Parenthood doesn’t provide?
You may also have seen a neatly colored pie chart (page 3) arguing that abortions account for only 3% of the services Planned Parenthood provides. Who produced this graphic? Why, Planned Parenthood, of course! It counts the number of people “served” or instances of “service” in a year (total: 10,943,609) and divides by it the number of abortions performed by Planned Parenthood that year (324,008). According to this way of counting, giving one woman one pregnancy test, for example, counts as much as one abortion. No mention is made of how much money Planned Parenthood makes off of the different services offered. (Under the circumstances, I don’t even know whether to believe that Planned Parenthood provided all the services they’re counting; are they including referrals?)
Here’s another way to count Planned Parenthood’s services: When a pregnant woman comes in the door, distressed and not sure what to do, what does Planned Parenthood do? Again, by Planned Parenthood’s own numbers, it did 324,008 abortions that year, provided prenatal care for 9,433, and gave only 2,405 adoption referrals—in other words, of the unborn children that go in that door, only about 3% of them come out alive. That can be made into a pie chart, too.
Here’s another way: More than one fifth of pregnancies in the United States are aborted; apparently about a quarter of those abortions are now performed by Planned Parenthood (chart, scroll down).