Indiana Right to Life President and CEO responds to Planned Parenthood of Indiana’s letter to state newspaper editors

March 3, 2011

Should the state of Indiana use public funds to support businesses which destroy unborn human life? This is the question that state legislators are grappling with at the Statehouse, yet Planned Parenthood of Indiana would have us believe that the issue is about the validity of health care for low income women as it plays a clever shell game that demands that we watch its left hand and pay no attention to its right. Unfortunately, the reality is that its right hand is intricately engaged in the business of abortion, and that is precisely why the state should terminate all contracts and grants with Planned Parenthood effective immediately.

Let’s look at the facts about Planned Parenthood of Indiana and its connection to abortion. It is the state’s largest abortion business by means of doing over half of Indiana’s 10,000-plus abortions every year. It operates three abortion clinics in Indianapolis, Merrillville, and Bloomington. It does both chemical and surgical abortions, and it charges fees for these abortions, even to low-income women, that make it a lucrative financial venture for doctors who do them.

Planned Parenthood of Indiana often claims that it wants abortions to be “safe, legal, and rare”, yet according to its own recently-published 2010 annual report, abortions increased by 2% at its clinics in 2010 versus 2009. That equates to an increase of 128 more aborted children at Planned Parenthood of Indiana abortion clinics last year. According to the same 2010 annual report, its ratio of abortions to pregnancy tests also increased to one abortion for every 3.79 pregnancy tests in 2010 as compared to its 2009 ratio of one abortion for every 4.25 pregnancy tests.

These statistics make it clear that abortion is a central and indispensable part of Planned Parenthood of Indiana’s business plan. How odd, then, that in a recent letter circulated to newspapers throughout Indiana, Planned Parenthood of Indiana board chairman Deborah Simon uses the word “abortion” only once in a 657 word essay. Why?

Abortion is always at the core of any discussion about Planned Parenthood of Indiana, just as it was at the core of the issue in 2005 when it refused to comply with attorney general Steve Carter’s request that it produce the records of minors who had abortions at Planned Parenthood abortion clinics as part of the state’s investigation into whether child sexual abuse is being properly reported. Consider the irony of an organization flourishing on state contracts and grants while refusing to cooperate with the state’s attorney general. This issue alone should have trigged an immediate termination of state funding.

Abortion was also at the core of the 2008 video stings at two Planned Parenthood of Indiana abortion clinics in which its counselors appear to be advising a young woman claiming to be a minor on how to avoid Indiana’s child sexual abuse reporting laws. The Indianapolis video was so egregious that it even triggered a grand jury investigation in Marion County. How many additional concerns of this type must be raised before public officials, as good stewards of public funds, redirect these funds to organizations that are not intertwined with such a conflict of interests? There are hundreds of community health centers, faith-based clinics, pregnancy resource centers, county health departments and charitable organizations across Indiana that could bolster health programs for low-income women with the funds that Planned Parenthood is now receiving, and none of these alternative organizations have a financial interest in doing abortions.

Try as it might, Planned Parenthood cannot hide its direct involvement in the business of abortion. It is already unacceptable for the state of Indiana to provide public funding to organizations that engage in animal cruelty, racial discrimination, anti-Semitism, or any other abhorrent practice, regardless of the suggested validity of any other programs in which such organizations might engage. The state now has the opportunity to declare that it is equally unacceptable to support organizations that dismember, kill and discard the most defenseless and voiceless human beings, children in the womb.

Mike Fichter
President and CEO
Indiana Right to Life


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