Planned Parenthood started 2011 by facing an onslaught of attacks from newly dominated Republican legislatures and a large freshman class in Congress who wanted to strip the group of all government funding. However, they’ve decided to end the year by launching their own offensive attack against the leading GOP candidates – namely Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich.
In late November the organization’s president, Cecile Richards, wrote a scathing column in Time magazine, criticizing the former Massachusetts governor and two-time GOP presidential candidate for supporting the “personhood” amendment that would define life as beginning at fertilization.
Just a few short years ago Romney supported Planned Parenthood by attending their events and even sought the support of Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of Massachusetts. Not surprisingly, Romney’s reversal on the abortion position has drawn the ire of Richards and Planned Parenthood.
“In a recent USA Today op-ed, he proudly vowed to end the nation’s family planning program, also known as Title X,” Richards wrote of Romney.
Although the abortion provider maintains the programs are more about providing adequate health care for women, without the dollars that come with these programs, they would lose millions in annual revenue and most likely have to close a number of abortion centers since 96 percent of the women who go to a Planned Parenthood Clinic will get an abortion.
Continuing with their attack on GOP candidates, the group turned their attention to the former speaker of the House in a blog post on their political action website by calling him a “chump,” and saying, “Gingrich may have a reputation for ‘big ideas,’ but his record on women’s health can best be characterized as backward and wrong.”
Why is Planned Parenthood concerned about the outcome of the Republican presidential primary?
Other than the obvious reasons of funding, the abortion-on-demand organization realizes that if President Obama loses in 2012 then their only remaining line of defense will be the U.S. Senate and the odds of Republicans gaining control there are steadily increasing with key Democrats such as Sen. Ben Nelson announcing their retirements.
But the federal government isn’t the group’s only concern. States such as Indiana recently voted to eliminate abortion funding, causing the agency to file suit to force the state to continue funding the 28 abortion clinics. The Obama administration also took up the group’s cause by attempting to intervene in the case, saying that if funding was eliminated, women would be restricted from adequate access.
However, in taped telephone calls, staffers at a number of Planned Parenthood centers told women that other agencies also provided abortion services in Indiana.
The case, which is now under appeal, was heard by a panel of federal judges on Dec. 15. The state’s solicitor general on Thursday asked the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to overturn its June 1 ruling that found changes in the Medicaid plan deprived women freedom of choice of providers.
A ruling is expected soon. In the meantime, Planned Parenthood has committed to continue their attacks on GOP candidates.