Planned Parenthood is under attack again by discredited activists. Elected leaders must not take the bait and defund family-planning programs.
ONE anti-abortion group’s campaign against Planned Parenthood — the most prominent name in reproductive health care — is a threat to patients everywhere.
A fake biotech company called Center for Medical Progress has released undercover videos in a quest to end Planned Parenthood’s safe and legal abortion services. This could do serious damage to the vast majority of the organization’s patients trying to avoid an abortion in the first place through preventive health care.
Now lawmakers in Congress are threatening to defund the agency’s invaluable services that have a proven track record of helping women. That won’t reduce abortions since federal money is already prohibited from paying for elective pregnancy terminations.
Disappointingly, seven state lawmakers are urging Washington’s governor to stop any state money from going to Planned Parenthood, and 34 are urging the state attorney general to investigate whether its affiliates are violating any laws.
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Again, this poses real harm.
While Planned Parenthood is a prominent abortion care provider, it is an essential, effective partner in helping prevent unintended pregnancies — abortions in Washington have dropped from more than 30,000 in 1989 to about 17,400 in 2013.
Yes, the Center for Medical Progress videos show Planned Parenthood officials sounding callous while providing vivid descriptions about removing tissue and organs from aborted fetuses for medical research. But this is a legal practice done with the donor’s consent. Planned Parenthood affiliates can donate the tissue to research — and be compensated for the handling and shipping costs.
The practice of tissue donation demands more transparency to ensure organs are never sold for profit.
Washington voters have repeatedly supported a woman’s right to the full range of reproductive options, including abortion.
Our leaders, in Congress and the Legislature, must not let an ideological fight over a private decision become a public crisis by disinvesting in family planning.