Anti-choice group releases study condemning Planned Parenthood; organization rebuts listen07/07/11 Kate Bradshaw
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday | Listen to this entire show:
As lawmakers try to tackle the federal debt before it hits its limit, conservatives often push for defunding of Planned Parenthood, a nonprofit that provides reproductive health care. An anti-abortion rights group issued a scathing report about Planned Parenthood that urges Congress to investigate the organization.
Those who support federal funding for the organization say abortion is only a small part of what Planned Parenthood does. Those whoâ€™d like to see it shuddered say dollars that go to that organization, no matter where they go, still ultimately fund abortion. Federal dollars are barred by law from directly funding abortion. Anna Franzonello is an attorney with anti-abortion rights group Americans United for Life, the group that released the condemning study.
She said federal dollars may not directly fund abortion, but those who provide the procedure still benefit from the funding.
Wendy Grassi, communication director at Planned Parenthood of Southwest Florida, said anti-abortion rights activists may constantly trumpet this, but that doesnâ€™t mean itâ€™s true.
The study cites several undercover videos the anti-choice group Live Action produced earlier this year. In them, actors dressed as a pimp and a prostitute ask Planned Parenthood employees in several states how to get an abortion for a 14-year-old sex worker. Franzonello said the employees werenâ€™t responding to supposed sex trafficker in the way youâ€™d expect someone who claims to help women would.
She said the investigators get similar responses wherever they go, and there have even been claims from actual underage prostitutes indicating the same thing.
Grassi said that claim is totally false.
The report implies that Planned Parenthood promotes abortion services in pursuit of profit, and using federal money to that end. The nonprofit reportedly charges between $400 and $1,000 for most first trimester abortions. Franzonello said whether or not itâ€™s driven by dollars, the nonprofit is apparently growing its abortion services.
This may be where the fundamental disconnect in the abortion debate comes into play. Grassi said expansion of abortion services isnâ€™t exactly a bad thing.
The report calls for Congress to conduct a thorough investigation of Planned Parenthood, which receives more than $300 million in federal dollars each year.