Enemies of Life

Shutting down Planned Parenthood

The fight to stop Planned Parenthood

American Life League has been fighting Planned Parenthood since we began operations 27 years ago. Through the years, we have found that there are many reasons individuals fight against Planned Parenthood. The top four reasons are:

  • Planned Parenthood’s abortion business
  • Planned Parenthood comes between parents and children
  • Planned Parenthood receives millions of dollars in taxpayer money
  • Planned Parenthood attacks Christianity

In this and the next three issues of Celebrate Life, we will take a detailed look at each of these reasons. This month, we concentrate on Planned Parenthood’s abortion business.

Where it all started

First, you should know that it was Planned Parenthood that brought abortion to the United States. From its very beginnings, Planned Parenthood advocated for abortion and it was even listed as a method of birth control in a pamphlet Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger wrote in 1915.

In 1955, Planned Parenthood ran a national conference to discuss the attitude of the American public on abortion and to lay plans for selecting states in which it would be easiest to liberalize abortion laws. The plans from this conference were put on hold because Planned Parenthood had not yet achieved its goal of getting contraception legalized throughout the country.

Then, in 1965, the Supreme Court handed down the Griswold v. Connecticut decision (Griswold was head of Planned Parenthood in Connecticut) striking down the remaining laws against contraception. Planned Parenthood immediately swung into action and had abortion laws liberalized in Colorado in 1967. Other states followed quickly and, by the time the Supreme Court handed down the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, 14 states had made abortion easier to obtain.

Under guidance from Planned Parenthood, abortion became legal in New York on July 1, 1970. The next day, Planned Parenthood opened the country’s first free standing abortion facility in Syracuse, New York.

By 1978, when Faye Wattleton took over as president of Planned Parenthood, the organization was committing 70,000 abortions a year. Abortion numbers grew steadily under Wattleton. By the time she left in 1992, Planned Parenthood was doing more than 132,000 abortions every year. There followed a couple of years of relative calm as Pamela Maraldo, a professional nurse, ran the organization from 1993 to 1995. Under Maraldo, abortion numbers crept up to just more than 139,000 a year.

In 1996, Gloria Feldt, the most pro-abortion president in Planned Parenthood’s history, took over. Abortion rates at Planned Parenthood skyrocketed and by the time she left in 2004, Planned Parenthood was committing more than 255,000 abortions a year.

The abortion toll

If we add together all Planned Parenthood surgical abortions for every year since it began killing children in 1970, we find that Planned Parenthood has killed more than 3,800,000 innocent human persons in its own facilities by surgical abortion alone.

Here at American Life League, our STOPP International project recently completed a comprehensive survey of every Planned Parenthood facility in the country (you can find the survey online at www.ALL.org/stopp). What we found is that Planned Parenthood operates a total of 872 full service and express clinics across the country. Of that number, 173 do surgical abortions.

So 33 years after Roe v. Wade, Planned Parenthood runs a chain of 173 surgical abortion facilities that commit 255,000 abortions per year. Moreover, Planned Parenthood does one out of every five abortions in the United States.

There is no other organization or medical person that runs anywhere near that number of surgical abortion facilities or does anywhere near a quarter of a million abortions per year. Thus, Planned Parenthood is the biggest abortionist in the country.

Let’s try to put all these numbers into perspective.

On September 11, 2001, the United States was attacked by terrorists. On that day, in New York, Washington and in a Pennsylvania field, around 3,000 innocent human beings lost their lives. It was clearly, and rightfully, seen as a national tragedy.

According to averages, this week 4,900 innocent human beings lost their lives through surgical abortion at Planned Parenthood facilities all across the U.S. Next week, another 4,900 will die. And the week after that, another 4,900.

It’s no wonder that people who value the sanctity of every human life join in fighting against Planned Parenthood—literally, the killers of our children.

The chemical victims

As bad as all these numbers are, the surgical abortions at Planned Parenthood are just the tip of the iceberg. Millions more children are killed every year by the birth control products that Planned Parenthood sells. Products such as emergency contraception, the birth control patch, the birth control pill (and there are others) work by killing human persons in the womb.

To understand just how this happens, let’s take a moment to review how these products work.

First, recall what happens in the womb when a new human being’s life is created:

  • At fertilization, the sperm and the egg join together. A new human person is created with his or her own set of chromosomes and its own DNA
  • The new human person travels through the fallopian tube and, five to seven days later, implants himself in the endometrial lining of his mother’s uterus (current medical jargon calls this “conception,” which is confusing because conception used to be synonymous with fertilization)
  • If the person is able to implant, and is left undisturbed, the new human person will grow and develop and will eventually be born
  • Products that change or alter the endometrial lining can cause the new human person to be unable to implant and that person will then die

The Physicians Desk Reference describes how various drugs work (according to what the manufacturer and the Food and Drug Administration say). It clearly documents that the following products work some of the time by inhibiting implantation and, thereby, kill children in the womb: Progestin-only contraceptives; combination oral contraceptives; the Ortho-Evra® birth control patch; the NuvaRing® vaginal ring; the Depo-Provera® contraceptive injection; and Plan B® emergency contraception.

Planned Parenthood states that 64.6 percent of its birth control customers buy one of these products. Every one of Planned Parenthood’s 872 facilities across the country sells these products and, according to Planned Parenthood, in 2004 alone, it sold these products to more than two million American women.

Although it’s clear these products kill children in the womb, there is no way of knowing how often these products kill. We have read estimates that the so-called contraceptives work by killing a child anywhere from once every two years, to once a month. If we are very conservative in claiming how many babies die due to the contraceptive business at Planned Parenthood, we can calculate that approximately 868,000 babies die from Planned Parenthood product sales annually.

Adding together all the deaths in the womb for which Planned Parenthood is responsible, we find that it kills an estimated 1,100,000 babies a year.

Clearly, those who respect human life have every reason to fight Planned Parenthood. In the next issue of Celebrate Life, we will examine other reasons people oppose Planned Parenthood and will tell you how people across the country are succeeding in their fight against Planned Parenthood.

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About the author

Jim Sedlak

Jim Sedlak is executive director of American Life League, founder of STOPP International, and host of a weekly talk show on the Radio Maria Network. He has been successfully fighting Planned Parenthood since 1985.