Editor's note: We welcome thoughtful opinion submissions on contemporary issues. Not all opinions published here necessarily represent the views of the editorial staff at WORLD New York or WORLD Magazine. Wyatt Baker lives, works, and writes in New York City.
Two weeks ago, Susan G. Komen For the Cure, the largest breast cancer foundation in America, announced that it was going to withdraw its annual $680,000 of support to Planned Parenthood Federation of America. They made the announcement in light of widespread suspicion that the organization was illegally misappropriating funds towards induced abortion procedures.
The pro-abortion backlash to this decision was so strong that within 24 hours, Susan G. Komen reinstated the funding and sent out a nationwide apology for its "lapse of judgment."
Within the same 24 hours, Planned Parenthood managed to successfully capitalize on their position as a victimized healthcare provider to raise $3 million by using the same "scarcity narrative" - stating women need them to provide safe, legal abortions - they've used since the beginning.
During the 1960s and 70s, Planned Parenthood led the pro-abortion lobby in two landmark Supreme Court victories. First, in Griswold v. Connecticut of 1965, they established the "right to marital privacy," and then in Roe v. Wade of 1973 they extended this right to include the right to on-demand abortions.
During both of these court proceedings the pro-abortion lobby argued that there were vast demands for birth control and non-therapeutic abortions but an insufficient legal supply to satisfy these respective demands. They effectively convinced many that women were dropping like ï¬‚ies from back-alley, coat-hanger abortions and the only way to curb this was to provide women with safe, legal, and unconditional access to on-demand abortion at any time during their pregnancies.
But Dr. Bernard Nathanson, co-founder of NARAL and one of the early pioneers of the abortion rights movement, openly admits to fabricating statistics about the number of illegal abortions performed annually prior to Roe v. Wade, as well as the number of deaths resulting from these procedures. Planned Parenthood has also successfully utilized the scarcity argument as a means to securing federal and private funds. They claim that they are necessary providers of a scarce good.
After all, according to Planned Parenthood, abortion is only 3 percent of their total services and they provide many crucial health services other than abortions that improve women's health. However the organization itself admits that it performs nearly 350,000 abortion procedures annually.
In a blog post published earlier this month,Kevin DeYoung took a closer look at the numbers. He concluded that Planned Parenthood was responsible for 25 percent of abortions in the United States in 2010, and based on the number of people who walk into a clinic, abortions are the most popular service rendered at a Planned Parenthood clinic.
It's easy for Planned Parenthood to hide behind vast lists of less extensive, cheaper services to enable the use of deceiving quantitative arguments. But abortion services are still the most lucrative services offered at Planned Parenthood, and are the only services that distinguish the organization from other health facilities. More importantly, a number of other healthcare providers cater to women's health needs. Once again, Planned Parenthood's scarcity narrative is false advertising.
One should not be surprised that Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards and her crew were able to roll in $3 million worth of donations in the 24 hours. As a master of disguise, Planned Parenthood continues to create and advertise false notions of scarcity within its own organization. The pressure they applied to Komen speaks volumes for their own inability to grant others the same freedom for which they claim to exist: the freedom to choose.
After all, if the Komen Foundation wanted to allocate funding towards cancer screenings, why must they choose Planned Parenthood? Shouldn't individuals and organizations have the freedom to choose which organizations they support?