Lawless in South Dakota

Robert Knight
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Posted: Jul 31, 2009 3:25 PM
Lawless in South Dakota

How many laws can you break and still keep federal funding?

If you’re Planned Parenthood, which receives $350 million from taxpayers as part of its $1 billion annual revenues, the answer is: Nobody knows.

Certainly not Congress. The House on July 24 voted 247 to 183 to reject a bill by Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) to discontinue federal funding for the group.

This resounding congressional support comes despite the “sting” operation that caught Planned Parenthood counselors ignoring laws requiring them to report statutory rape of minors and urging the minors instead to lie to protect the man involved. Or the tapes that revealed PP solicitors responding enthusiastically to callers purporting to give money specifically to kill black babies.

Or the drama now unfolding in South Dakota, where Planned Parenthood is thumbing its nose at a state law requiring them to fully inform women before brandishing the scalpel at the Sioux Falls clinic.

Enacted in 2005, the law mandates that women are told that “the abortion will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being.” The law also requires that possible mental and physical consequences be mentioned, and options such as crisis pregnancy centers.

To ensure compliance, the state Health Department crafted this language as a guide:

“The abortion will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being; the term “Human Being” means, for the purpose of this and following disclosures, ‘an individual living member of the species Homo sapiens during its embryonic and fetal ages.’”

But Planned Parenthood’s client form replaces “human being” with “living organism,” undercutting the law’s intent:

“South Dakota requires that you be informed that, as a matter of biology, the abortion will terminate a developing, living organism (an ‘embryo’ or ‘fetus’) of the human species (‘Homo sapiens’) that, in the absence of abnormality, has a complete, separate genetic makeup that is unique to that embryo or fetus.”

Harold Cassidy, attorney for the Alpha Center and other pro-life groups, points out this creepy discrepancy in a July 28 letter to South Dakota’s Secretary of Health:

“The Statute requires a straight forward statement that is easily understood by a lay person, that the abortion terminates the life of a human being. The precise language was carefully selected by the Legislature. The language used by Planned Parenthood not only fails to use the clear and proper language, but Planned Parenthood’s language is inaccurate, incomplete, misleading and very confusing.”

Planned Parenthood had won an injunction against enforcing the law, and two court rulings. But on June 27, 2008, the Eighth Circuit Court lifted the injunction. Since then, PP has been doing its best to get around the clear meaning of the law, argues South Dakota pro-life activist Allen Unruh, who has urged Attorney General Larry Long to take action.

“Laws are meaningless if they are not enforced,” Unruh says. “The attorney general’s office and health departments can’t choose which laws they want to enforce. We have spent countless hours in the South Dakota legislature to pass these laws, and millions going through the court system, and when we win, it’s not enforced. That is an outrage.”

On the national scene, the proposed Obama health care takeover is likely to include a blank check for Planned Parenthood.

In a July 17, 2007 speech to Planned Parenthood, Barack Obama said:

“In my mind, reproductive care is essential care, basic care, so it is at the center, the heart of the plan that I propose…. insurers are going to have to abide by the same rules in terms of providing comprehensive care, including reproductive care ... that's going to be absolutely vital.”

Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Pa.) observes that ObamaCare “will lead to mandated coverage of abortion, forcing employers and insurance providers to cover abortion as a health care procedure and subsidizing abortions with the tax dollars of pro-life Americans who have grave moral objections.”

The two House committees and one Senate committee that have voted on the bill rejected any attempts to exclude abortion funding. You can picture the Planned Parenthood lobby already cooling the champagne and practicing “high fives” for final passage.

Taxpayers over the past 10 years have coughed up more than $2 billion to Planned Parenthood. But the real cost should be counted in human lives, as those PP dollars eerily correspond with a rise in abortions performed at PP clinics. As Lifenews.com reports , in 1997, Planned Parenthood received about $160 million in total taxpayer funding from various levels of government and performed 160,000 abortions. By 2006, government funding had doubled to more than $300 million, and the clinics committed 305,310 abortions.

Just in South Dakota, as Unruh points out, “a kindergarten class gets killed every week.”

That’s a high price to pay for governmental complacence – and complicity.