Letter: Planned Parenthood’s abortion expansion

Planned Parenthood is in the midst of raising $4.2 million in Louisiana to build a 7,000-square-foot facility on Claiborne Avenue in New Orleans. Director Melissa Flournoy’s glowing description of Planned Parenthood in the May 3 Advocate failed to mention one salient fact: Planned Parenthood is the nation’s single largest abortion business.

In 201, Planned Parenthood affiliates performed 333,964 abortions, almost the same number as the population of Orleans Parish. In fact, their annual reports reveal that Planned Parenthood clinics perform an abortion on nine out of 10 pregnant women who enter its doors.

The talking point response is that abortion is only 3 percent of Planned Parenthood’s national services. But an unorthodox calculation underlies their numbers. Planned Parenthood weighs all services the same, whether it’s a condom, a pregnancy test or a $470 abortion.

But take a closer look at their money. At a conservative estimate of $470 per abortion, Planned Parenthood raked in approximately $157 million on abortion alone in 2011, accounting for over 50 percent of their nongovernmental revenue.

That is a lot of abortions, and that is a lot of abortion money.

While Planned Parenthood has never before performed abortions in Louisiana, Planned Parenthood’s fundraising materials reveal that they will perform abortions at their planned Claiborne Avenue facility.

In legislative testimony on April 17, Flournoy announced they were planning to “expand in Baton Rouge.”Since they already have a clinic on Government Street, we expect this means that they will purchase, renovate and/or build a facility that will enable them to do abortions in Baton Rouge.

Yes, Planned Parenthood does provide services other than abortion. But these services are readily available at many nonprofit institutions and public health units all over our state that bill at the same Medicaid pricing schedule used by Planned Parenthood. Better promotion of already existing comprehensive health services is a possible solution to the litany of problems facing Louisiana. The construction of a Planned Parenthood abortion facility is simply a cure that is worse than the disease.

Since 2005, Planned Parenthood’s contraceptive services have dropped by 8 percent and their cancer screening services have dropped by 35 percent. Yet their abortion services have increased by 26 percent.

Forty years after Roe v.Wade, everyone knows that abortion destroys the lives of millions of unborn children. But abortion businesses also facilitate the sexual exploitation of women and create an environment where sex trafficking of minors can thrive in secret. New Orleans needs peace, not more abortions. We invite Louisiana citizens to stand with the NOLA Needs Peace Coalition to create a peaceful future without a Planned Parenthood abortion business.

Benjamin Clapper,

director, Louisiana Right to Life, member of NOLA Needs Peace Coalition

New Orleans