Rather than a mere Tip-of-the-Hat this month, we probably should be awarding a Medal of Honor to Catherine Anthony Adair. Since the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision the debate over abortion has raged on in America. Well beyond 50 million abortions have been performed, and while there has been some decline in the annual totals over the last decade, about 1.2 million reported abortions still occur every year in the U.S.
There are many reasons for the slight decline in the number of abortions. The widespread usage of the sonogram that gives an expectant mother a face-to-face look at her baby as early as nine weeks into the pregnancy may be the greatest advance for the pro-life movement. But, considerable credit has to be given to courageous women like Catherine Anthony Adair, too. Adair once worked for Planned Parenthood. But, after seeing the truth behind the smokescreen, she now speaks out to expose the "abortion first" business model of the agency.
Planned Parenthood is the largest single provider by far, performing nearly 30 percent of all abortions in the U.S. and the agency's "market share" is increasing. From 2000-2009, Planned Parenthood's the total number of abortions performed by the agency increased 69 percent. Since Planned Parenthood receives more than $350 million in government funding each year, great pro-life advocates like Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) continue to object to taxpayer dollars going to an organization that performs abortions. Planned Parenthood has danced around the issue for decades claiming federal dollars are somehow segregated from the abortion services they perform.
Although critics have long attacked the agency for being an "abortion factory," Planned Parenthood has survived with an aggressive public relations campaign and fuzzy reporting that pretends abortion is a tiny fraction of the entire operation. The Mission Statement section of the website carefully makes no mention of abortion, and the procedure receives minimal coverage even under the "services" provided section. Rather, Planned Parenthood maintains that they provide reproductive health care services "based on respect for each individual's right to make informed, independent decisions about health, sex, and family planning." But, Adair courageously exposed a much different agenda at work within the tax exempt agency.
Adair went to work for the Boston Planned Parenthood clinic in 1997 believing the company line, but quickly learned the cold reality. In a November 22, 2011 op-ed for the Washington Examiner, Adair says "Planned Parenthood lies about itself." Rather than providing pre-natal care to expectant mothers, counseling and basic health care services, Adair says, she "spent her days urging women to terminate their pregnancies." Her supervisors "constantly reminded me of our abortion-centered business-model: abortions first, everything else came second."
An often cited defense of Planned Parenthood is that abortions make up "only 3 percent of services provided" in their clinics. But, the agency is playing loose with the statistics. Many individual women will get a number of different "services" that would include vaccinations, wellness exams, breast and cervical cancer screenings, contraception, and STD testing and treatment.
Adair says a more realistic assessment is that "abortion patients constitute 12 percent of all Planned Parenthood clients, or 332,000 of 3 million unduplicated clients." Most astounding, according to Adair, abortion "makes up 98 percent of Planned Parenthood's services to pregnant women." It tests the imagination to believe that 98 of every 100 women that have a positive pregnancy exam make a fully "informed, independent decision" to end the pregnancy by abortion.
Adair says she was coached by supervisors to refer to the unborn baby as a "clump of cells" or "the contents of the uterus." Irrespective of contentions otherwise, Planned Parenthood's mission is to "pressure as many women into having an abortion as it can," according to Adair. "Those in charge know that can't be accomplished if they refer to the child as a 'baby'."
Exploding Planned Parenthood's façade, Adair offers a chilling assessment; "There is no counseling, no care, no waiting and no discussion. Once a pregnancy is confirmed, it is off to termination."
Planned Parenthood claims to be all about what is good and beneficial for women, and indeed, they get tremendous support from various "feminist" organizations. Adair takes exception, blasting Planned Parenthood for taking "advantage of women who are too young or misinformed to know better" than to trust the agency to be fully honest with them. "Planned Parenthood is not 'pro-women' as it claims to be," she says. "It is pro-abortion. It does not stand for women. It stands for ending our pregnancies. Women are treated as commodities, not as human beings."
The abortions-first agenda at Planned Parenthood results in other tragedies, too. "Sexual abuse of minor girls and exploitation of the poor and minorities is concealed or ignored, all in the name of more abortions," says Adair.
Adair is not the only voice speaking out. Abby Johnson was a Planned Parenthood volunteer who eventually became the director of a clinic in southeastern Texas. Johnson described herself as "extremely pro-choice" when she first joined Planned Parenthood, but eventually she became disillusioned when her supervisors pressured her to increase revenues with more abortions. "Every meeting that we had was, 'We don't have enough money – we've got to keep these abortions coming," she said. "It's a very lucrative business and that's why they want to increase the numbers."
Johnson joined Planned Parenthood with the same idealistic goals as Adair; to provide counseling and basic health care services including education about reproductive health for women. But, Johnson found that there was a different agenda in play. "For them there's not a lot of money in education," she said. "There's not as much in family planning as there is in abortion."
After witnessing a baby "crumple" on the ultrasound monitor for the first time during the abortion procedure, Johnson had an epiphany. "I would say there was a definite conversion in my heart…a spiritual conversion," she said. Johnson quit her job and joined a pro-life prayer group that had been praying outside her clinic.
We have a lot of problems with the abortion industry in America, including that providers like Planned Parenthood have been far less than honest. We tip our hat to Catherine Anthony Adair, Abby Johnson and all those courageous women who have witnessed the truth and are willing to tell the world.