The Challenge We Face

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"We are so proud of the year's many successes, and deeply grateful for all the partners, sponsors, volunteers, staff and friends who helped make them possible," wrote the president and the chairwoman of a major non-profit organization, as they introduced their 2011-2012 fiscal year report. The report noted they had $1.2 billion in net assets and excess revenues of $87.4 million coming in from their locations all across the United States.

What sets this non-profit apart from most is the fact that in 2011-2012 it received 45 percent of its total revenue ($542.4 million) from government health services grants and reimbursements, including payments from Medicaid managed care plans. It is listed by the IRS as a "Charitable Organization Engaged in Promoting Health" and the government has been shoveling millions of taxpayer dollars into its coffers for years, disregarding federal law that specifically prohibits any tax monies from paying for its major "service" (if one can call it that)-abortion.

The "non-profit" in question is, of course, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA).

The PPFA report stated that in 2011, abortions made up 92 percent of Planned Parenthood's pregnancy services, while prenatal care and adoption referrals accounted for only 7 percent and 0.6 percent respectively. For every adoption referral, Planned Parenthood performed 145 abortions, noted Susan B. Anthony List's fact sheet on the report.

The total number of abortions performed by PPFA affiliated clinics in 2011 was 333,964. As CNSNews pointed out, "That works out to an average of one abortion every 94 seconds." The same CNSNews article (, 1-7-2013) showed a picture of PPFA's president, Cecile Richards, clad in a deep red jacket, receiving a side arm hug from President Obama, as they both stood in front of the American flag.

The symbolism couldn't be clearer. Certainly this administration, unlike any in the past, has embraced the cause of abortion with whole-hearted abandon-even forcing private entities, in spite of their religious beliefs, to pay for abortifacients (drugs that induce abortion) through their health insurance plans.

The good news is that a group of committed members of Congress are once again picking up the fight to keep PPFA from receiving taxpayer money. Congressman Marsha Blackburn introduced the first pro-life bill in the House on January 4th, the first day the 113th Congress was in session. Her bill, entitled the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act (H.R. 61), seeks to prevent the HHS from giving funding to abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood.

The Tennessee congresswomen, who is the Vice Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over the issue, said, "As a woman, I believe America deserves better than abortion. America shouldn't celebrate abortion and our taxpayers shouldn't subsidize abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood, who profit from the destruction of human life with taxpayer money. It's fiscally irresponsible and morally indefensible."

The political action arm of PPFA, Planned Parenthood Action, also headed up by Cecile Richards, quickly responded on its Facebook page, "So… what year is it? Today, on the first full day of congress, a bill was introduced to defund Planned Parenthood…again. Unbelievable! 2013 is starting to look a lot like 2011, and we're going to need you to stand with us to keep moving forward-not backward."

Planned Parenthood has good reason to fear a repeat of 2011. The Guttmacher Institute reported that in 2011 a record 92 abortion restrictions were passed at the state level and seven states disqualified family planning providers from funding.

Operation Rescue gives a telling statistic: in 1991 there were about 2,176 abortion centers in America. Today there are an estimated 663. And because the number of abortion centers across the country is falling, the number of total abortions is dropping too. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's 2009 numbers-the most recent year for which it has data-show that the total number and rate of abortions that year dropped by five percent from the year before.

The fact that substantial gains have been made in the past few years in restricting abortion was acknowledged in the recent Time cover story headline: "40 Years Ago, Abortion Rights Activists Won an Epic Victory with Roe v. Wade: THEY'VE BEEN LOSING EVER SINCE."

Nevertheless, referencing the Time article, Dr. R. Albert Mohler wrote on his website (, "…abortion remains the law the land. Faced with legislation such as personhood amendments, even the most 'pro-life' of our states have failed to act on what is supposed to be the central pro-life principle-that all human life is sacred, from the moment of fertilization until natural death."

Mohler summed up the challenge we face in his final paragraph:

In truth, America-and countless individual Americans-have a divided mind on abortion and the sanctity of human life. We are a long way from a national consensus that could be reasonably and honestly described as pro-life. Four decades after its thunderous arrival, Roe v. Wade still stands, and the death count rises. Restricting the murder of the unborn is not enough. Even reversing Roe v. Wade will not be enough. Our task is to reach the hearts and minds of America with the message that every life is a divine gift, and that abortion is not the only grave threat to that gift. Forty years after Roe, that challenge is still before us.