By Tom Venzor
If it weren’t already obvious enough, Planned Parenthood again tipped its hand in recent weeks to reveal its true character: an organization hell-bent on the killing of unborn children, willing to sacrifice any person or program that challenges their relentless focus on abortion. Two sets of recent headlines, both in national news, have brought that character into stark relief.
The Story of an Ousted President. Dr. Leana Wen was hired as the most recent president of Planned Parenthood only last November, replacing the infamous Cecile Richards. Wen came into the role with an impressive résumé. An emergency room physician with connections to an Ivy League medical school and former health commissioner for the city of Baltimore, Wen was also the first Asian American hired to serve as Planned Parenthood’s president. All of this she accomplished by age 35.
Wen was a fresh face for the abortion movement, full of desire, as she wrote, “to chart [a] new course” for the abortion titan. Wen’s vision was to alter Planned Parenthood’s focus, away from an organization narrowly focused on abortion as a political issue to an organization broadly focused on women’s health care. In doing so, she sought to “depoliticize Planned Parenthood” and “promote reproductive health care as part of a wide range of policies that affect women’s health and public health.” She wanted to transform the public image of Planned Parenthood away from the nation’s abortion provider to a “mainstream health care organization.”
This change in direction, however, was no longer consistent with the board of directors’ vision—ironically the same board of directors that hired her to undertake this public image transformation. In fact, in a column published by The New York Times, Wen explained that she faced immediate and sustained criticism from within Planned Parenthood that she did not prioritize abortion enough.
In essentially firing Wen, Planned Parenthood conveyed a basic message: they are abortions. Abortions are their brand. It is who they are as an organization. And any divergence from this mission is an unwelcome departure from their identity.
Throwing Away Millions of Dollars for Abortion. Last year, the Nebraska Legislature implemented a policy to keep taxpayer dollars away from organizations that support abortion. They did this by placing conditions on federal Title X funds (i.e., taxpayer dollars) that the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services administered to Title X providers. The Title X providers could receive taxpayer dollars to provide services such as STD testing and treatment and annual well-woman exams, as well as contraception, as long as they did not perform, assist with the performance of, provide directive counseling in favor of, or refer for abortion. And, if they did engage in such abortion-related activity, they had to financially, physically, and legally separate their abortion activity from their Title X services.
In short, the policy ensured that Title X funding was not subsidizing the abortion industry.
This policy led directly to Planned Parenthood of the Heartland withdrawing from the Nebraska Title X program, choosing to prioritize abortion over their alleged concerns for women’s health care services.
Recently, the federal Department of Health and Human Service—at the direction of President Trump—adopted at the national level essentially the same policy Nebraska implemented. While many predicted the policy would be struck down by the unfavorable 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, the 9th Circuit declined to do so. Legal observers are confident the policy will ultimately be upheld as a valid exercise of DHHS’s regulatory authority.
The implementation of the policy led to the same response as was witnessed of Planned Parenthood in Nebraska. Nationally, Planned Parenthood rejected $60 million in taxpayer dollars because it refused to undertake the simple act of separating their Title X services from their abortion services.
In doing so, Planned Parenthood demonstrated that nothing is more sacred than their golden calf of abortion. All persons and programs that challenge Planned Parenthood’s unyielding focus on unfettered access to abortion must be sacrificed at the altar of the god Moloch. No amount of money or alleged concern for health care (or even contraceptive) services can outweigh their priority of killing the unborn. Leanna Wen learned this lesson the hard way. And, once again, Title X funding has further proven the point.