Planned Parenthood has claimed often, in the wake of its funding spat with the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation, that it promotes women's health. Komen, a charity that fights breast cancer, tried to end its funding to Planned Parenthood, America's biggest abortion provider. But abortion advocates and members of Congress pressured Komen into reversing its decision.
That is regrettable because even if you support abortion "rights," it has been apparent in many cases that the interests of women are not Planned Parenthood's focus. In some instances, evidence suggests adult predators procure abortions at Planned Parenthood clinics for young victims. In a long piece in The Weekly Standard in 2007, Charlotte Allen detailed a tragic case in Ohio:
"Brian Hurley, a lawyer representing the daughter molested for five years by the recently convicted John Blanks Jr. of Mason, Ohio, says the girl reported the years-long abuse to a Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio employee when her father drove her there to have an abortion at age 16 after getting her pregnant -- their response, according to Hurley, was to send the girl home in her father's car with a packet of birth-control pills," Allen wrote. "The abuse continued for another year and a half, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported, at which point the girl told her future college sports coach, who reported the coerced sex to authorities, launching the criminal investigation that led to Blanks's arrest, trial, and five-year prison term."
There have been similar cases over the years, and just last year, undercover video showed a Planned Parenthood clinic in New Jersey offering "advice" to a couple who posed as traffickers of underage girls.
"The man says he is involved in sex work and wants to bring girls, some only 14 or 15 and illegal immigrants, for medical exams," The New York Times reported. "The [office] manager says that 14-year-old girls should not admit their ages, because it triggers extra reporting requirements. 'For the most part, we want as little information as possible,' she says. Asked if the girls can obtain abortions, the manager replies that if they are under 15, they should go to another clinic where 'their protocols are not as strict as ours.'"
Allen also debunked the claim that abortion makes up only 3 percent of Planned Parenthood's "services":
"One way Planned Parenthood massages the numbers to make its abortion business look trivial is to unbundle its services for purposes of counting ... . An abortion is invariably preceded by a pregnancy test -- a separate service in Planned Parenthood's reckoning -- and is almost always followed at the organization's clinics by a 'going home' packet of contraceptives, which counts as another separate service. Throw in a pelvic exam and a lab test for STDs -- you get the picture. In terms of absolute numbers of clients, one in three visited Planned Parenthood for a pregnancy test, and of those, a little under one in three had a Planned Parenthood abortion."
Downplaying abortion at Planned Parenthood is "deliberately misleading," Allen added.
And misleading the public does nothing to promote women's health.