TKC SUNDAY NIGHT CONSIDERATION: KANSAS CITY LIFE LESSONS!!!
Tonight a reader from our blog community provides a well-researched, thoughtful and insightful perspective on a longstanding debate that could come back into play over the next few years.
Here's a perspective to conclude Sunday night posting and in fairness to both sides offering unique insight beyond the typical content usually featured in this culture war debate. Checkit:
TKC Reader: Planned Parenthood
You recently had a blog post on supporters of Planned Parenthood rallying along the sidewalk at their facility in Overland Park, and if got me to thinking about this contentious issue again. Here are some of the facts I reviewed, along with my own thoughts and questions. If you determine that your readers are interested in this, I'd like to see their own thoughts in response. Thanks for providing a forum for people to express themselves.
When it comes specifically to the organization known as Planned Parenthood (PP), the political debate is largely due to the purposeful use of misleading rhetoric on both sides.
Here is a basic synopsis of (PP) from Wikipedia:
Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), or Planned Parenthood, is a nonprofit organization that provides reproductive health services both in the United States and globally. A member association of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), PPFA has its roots in Brooklyn, New York, where Margaret Sanger opened the first birth control clinic in the U.S. in 1916. In 1921, Sanger founded the American Birth Control League, which changed its name to Planned Parenthood in 1942. Planned Parenthood is made up of 159 medical and non-medical affiliates, which operate more than 650 health clinics in the United States, and it also partners with organizations in 12 countries globally. The organization directly provides a variety of reproductive health services and sexual education, contributes to research in reproductive technology, and does advocacy work aimed at protecting and expanding reproductive rights.
PPFA is the largest single provider of reproductive health services, including abortion, in the United States. Planned Parenthood is the largest single provider of abortions in the U.S. In their 2014 Annual Report, PPFA reported seeing over 2.5 million patients in over 4 million clinical visits and performing a total of nearly 9.5 million discrete services including 324,000 abortions. The organization has a combined annual revenue of US$1.3 billion, including roughly US$530 million in government funding such as Medicaid reimbursements. Throughout its history, PPFA and its member clinics have variously experienced support, controversy, protests, and violent attacks.
Planned Parenthood receives over a third of its money in government grants and contracts (about US $528 million in 2014). By law, federal funding cannot be allocated for abortions (except in rare cases), but some opponents of abortion have argued that allocating money to Planned Parenthood for the provision of other medical services allows other funds to be re-allocated for abortions.
A coalition of national and local pro-life groups have lobbied federal and state governments to stop funding Planned Parenthood. As a result, federal and state legislators have proposed legislation to reduce funding levels. Eight states: Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Utah have enacted such proposals.
Most of those who have a serious problem with (PP), center their opposition on the provision of abortion services and the government (taxpayer) funding of that service. You can see from the above financial disclosure that government funding accounts for approximately 40 percent of (PP) revenue, though not all of that is related to abortion services.
So, let's look at abortion, and ask why is there the need to enter a woman's body and terminate a pregnancy. We won't get into a discussion of when life begins, and what constitutes the taking of a life. Likewise, for this discussion, let's exclude the minority of procedures involving underage girls, the mentally handicapped, genetic abnormalities, and cases of rape or incest. So, we're talking about the majority of 324,000 abortions performed by (PP) in the United States. Eighty-four percent of Planned Parenthood health care patients in the U.S. are age 20 and older. Why would an adult woman become pregnant and wait until a fetus was forming in her uterus before deciding that she's not ready to bear a child?
In 2003, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that 26% of abortions in the United States were known to have been obtained at less than 6 weeks' gestation, 18% at 7 weeks, 15% at 8 weeks, 18% at 9 through 10 weeks, 9.7% at 11 through 12 weeks, 6.2% at 13 through 15 weeks, 4.1% at 16 through 20 weeks and 1.4% at more than 21 weeks. If these statistics are accurate, you can see that most women do act quickly when discovering that they've become pregnant. An American study in 2002 concluded that about half of women having abortions were using a form of contraception at the time of becoming pregnant. Inconsistent use was reported by half of those using condoms and three-quarters of those using the birth-control pill; 42% of those using condoms reported failure through slipping or breakage. The Guttmacher Institute estimated that "most abortions in the United States are obtained by minority women" because minority women "have much higher rates of unintended pregnancy." So, is it accurate to state that most abortions are the unintended result of ignorance and poverty? Is there a fitting analogy to the incidence of other things like obesity, smoking, gambling, and substance abuse?
Roughly 16% of Planned Parenthood clients are teenagers. PPFA is well known for providing services to minorities and the poor; according to PPFA, approximately four out of five of their clients have incomes at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty level. Given that each patient receives about three services on average, the percent of abortions provided out of the total services provided -- 3.4 percent -- may not clearly represent the importance of abortion to PPFA. Each year, 12 percent of PPFA's patients gets an abortion, which is expensive when compared with other services.
Now, I find these numbers quite interesting. According to Planned Parenthood in the U.S., for every 100 patients (men, but primarily women) seen in their facilities (3 services on average per patient) they perform 300 total services. And if abortions account for 3.4 percent of all services, then (0.034 X 300 = 10.2 abortions per every 100 patients). This equals an annual patient abortion rate of 10.2 percent. Yet, Planned Parenthood says that 12 percent of clients get an abortion each year. This would imply that a small percentage of (PP) patients are receiving multiple abortions annually. And because we don't have the data, we're not factoring out the small percent of male (PP) patients, who obviously can't be in the abortion cohort.
Doesn't it all really boil down to education? A clear-thinking rational woman does not get pregnant if it's not in her best interests. As soon as someone can solve the human problems of ignorance and inconsistency, we will have solved the abortion debate.
You decide . . .