John on October 12, 2010 at 10:25 am
Author Susan Dominus writes an article that it isn’t labeled analysis or editorial, but in the end she renders judgment firmly in favor of Planned Parenthood:
Christine C. Quinn, the City Council speaker, and Councilwoman Jessica S. Lappin, Democrat of Manhattan, are proposing legislation that would require the stance of these crisis pregnancy centers to be clear to all women who visit them…the bill, set to be announced on Tuesday, would require, among other things, signs at the entrance and in the waiting rooms to inform women that the center does not provide abortions or contraceptives…
In short, this is an attempt to place restrictions on Planned Parenthood’s competitors. To her credit, Dominus does allow the other side to score a point, i.e. that Planned Parenthood doesn’t offer pro-life counseling. Are we going to have signs saying that inside PP clinics?
And that’s where the piece gets outright deceptive:
In fact, Planned Parenthood, which has long supported adoption, has seen some of its chapters recently enhance their own adoption counseling. But some conflicted women might imagine that a place so closely associated with abortion rights could not possibly be the right place to hash out the decision — an assumption of polarization seems to kick in reflexively. [Emphasis added]
You can see the argument Dominus is making here. Planned Parenthood is a fine place to discuss all your options, including adoption. It’s just that some women reflexively assume or imagine this isn’t the case.
But the numbers don’t lie. Here’s Planned Parenthood’s annual report for 2008. Have a look at the number of abortions they performed vs. the number of adoption referrals:
My quick math says Planned Parenthood’s adoption referrals amount to 1.6% of the number of abortions they performed in 2008. Put another way, there are about 63 abortions for every one adoption referral at Planned Parenthood. And that’s up sharply from 2007 when adoption referrals came to 0.8% of the number of abortions.
If Dominus wants to argue (and she does) that a 63:1 is a better ratio than the number of abortion referrals offered at crisis pregnancy centers, that’s a valid point. However, pretending that Planned Parenthood is just as happy giving adoption referrals as it is selling abortions is contradicted by its own reports.
More to the point, how many women who enter Planned Parenthood to discuss their unplanned pregnancy are counseled to consider keeping the baby themselves, i.e. not adoption or abortion but motherhood? The annual reports don’t offer those figures, but I think we all suspect the number would be vanishingly small.
The reality here is that crisis pregnancy centers help address an imbalance of services. Precisely as they claim to, CPCs offer an alternative that Planned Parenthood not only doesn’t offer, but one its entire brand is built to discourage. Rather than look at the facts, Susan Dominus is content to use her platform at the NY Times to help Planned Parenthood maintain and extend it’s extremely biased hegemony over crisis pregnancy services. This is the worst kind of corporate shill journalism.