The question of abortion being OK or being wrong is and always will be a question of whether a fetus should be considered a person or not. If not, then one could argue that Planned Parenthood is doing a good thing by providing the last line of crisis birth control. If, however, a fetus is a person, then Planned Parenthood is the greatest perpetrator of mass-death not only within the black community but of all time in US history (aborting 327,166 fetuses/children in 2012 alone).
One fun argument to address first when speaking about Planned Parenthood specifically is the canard that abortion is only a small part of what they do (3% is what Planned Parenthood claims here). That is like saying that a car dealership only sells cars 3% of the time, because they sell a lot of floor mats and cup holders also. The latter is of practically no profitable value, while the former is very profitable. To truly tease out the number of how much Planned Parenthood makes from abortion, you’ll want to simply multiply the average cost of an abortion (according to Planned Parenthood it’s $483) by the number of abortions they conducted in 2012. That total comes to $158,021,178, which is 51.8% of their revenue that is not collected through donations and government grants. As a business owner myself, any revenue generator that provides me with half of my services revenue is going to be a vital business function, especially if that service only accounts for 3% of my overall activities.
Now that we’ve established that Planned Parenthood clearly is in the abortion business, we should go back to whether the abortion business can be said to be killing children, or is simply disposing of unwanted pre-viable tissue. In Roe v Wade’s decision, Blackmun wrote, “The appellee and certain amici argue that the fetus is a ‘person’ within the language and meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment. In support of this, they outline at length and in detail the well known facts of fetal development. If this suggestion of personhood is established, the appellant’s case, of course, collapses, for the fetus’ right to life would then be guaranteed specifically by the Amendment. The appellant conceded as much on reargument. On the other hand, the appellee conceded on reargument that no case could be cited that holds that a fetus is a person within the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment.” To rephrase and extrapolate this, Blackmun agrees that if a fetus is seen as a person, then that fetus/person deserves the full, constitutional protection of the law (specifically the 14th Amendment’s protection of life, liberty and property which was made to clarify that blacks, who historically were not recognized as people, now would receive these rights). Blackmun also acknowledges that those in favor of declaring a fetus a person presented overwhelming scientific evidence to this point; however because of a legal principle of “stare decisis” or legal precedent, he felt this scientific evidence invalid. (As an aside, it seems to me an odd thing that scientific arguments stating that a life is a life are ignored because an historically exclusionary document, i.e. the constitution, is still not including another group of people.)
So, having shown that even those Supreme Court judges that legalized abortion acknowledged that abortion is really a question of whether a fetus is a person, let’s spend a few minutes talking about the “well known facts of fetal development”.
The Guttmacher Institute (which is the reporting arm of Planned Parenthood, and thus could possibly be skewing these numbers, but we’ll assume they are valid to ensure we aren’t using pro-life trumped up numbers), provides what percentage of abortions it is doing at a specific stage, so I will put that percentage (and the total approximate number of abortions) for 2012 next to the description of the stage of fetal development. One other note, I took all of my descriptions of fetal development from the Mayo Clinic’s website, and used the term “baby” because that is what they used.
- (33.3%, 108,946) ~5-6 weeks: Baby has a neural system, a heat beat and basic facial features.
- (29.8%, 97,495) 7-8 weeks: Baby has eyes, arms, legs, fingers, ear buds, lips and nose.
- (25.7%, 84,082) 9-12 weeks: Baby has functioning liver, fingernails, genitilia.
- (6.2%, 20,284) 13-15 weeks: Baby has functioning digestive system, has gender definition, and a hair pattern
- (3.6%,11,777) 16-20 weeks: Baby has coordinated movements, has fat, can hear, and if baby is girl, has a uterus.
- (1.2%, 3,926) 21+ weeks: Baby is effectively done being defined and now is growing and maturing. The youngest recorded delivery of a baby who survived is James Gill (b. 1987) who was born at 21 weeks, 5 days, and is now a fully healthy young man.
If you are willing to grant that a fetus who is over 21 weeks is clearly viable (as evidenced by the fact that James Gill is alive and well), and clearly should be recognized as a person, then Planned Parenthood is the 2nd largest murderer in the US with 3,926 deaths (according to the FBI, the total number of murder victims in 2012 were 12,765, with guns being the leading cause with 8,855). And, if you are willing to concede that a baby that is 16 weeks who feels, thinks, hears, sees, and literally has her own uterus for her to make decisions about should be considered a person, then Planned Parenthood is now the #1 murderer in the US, with 15,703 deaths on their hands. The farther back you are willing to draw the line of seeing a fetus as a person, the greater that number becomes, to the point that the dizzying number of 327,166 makes Planned Parenthood the third highest cause of death in the US behind heart disease and cancer. One other thing to keep in mind, is that according to the CDC, Planned Parenthood is doing less than half of all reported abortions in the US (~45%), so all of those numbers more than double when taking abortion as a whole into consideration, making abortion the highest cause of death in the US with the staggering number of 53 million abortions between 1973 and 2011 (the last totals the Guttmacher Institute published) meaning that 28% of all persons conceived since 1973 have been killed by Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers in the US.