Planned Parenthood President and CEO Cecile Richards mocked the use of natural family planning (NFP) as a method of birth control, asserting that women’s intake or implantation of artificial hormones in their bodies is what is best.
During an interview this week with former Vanity Fair Editor-in-Chief Tina Brown at the Women in the World Texas Salon, Richards praised artificial birth control as she and Brown incorrectly conflated NFP with the “Rhythm method”:
“It’s completely insane,” mocked Richards, adding:
And, of course, at Planned Parenthood, we provide birth control to millions of people every year, and what we usually call folks who come to use the rhythm method is “parents,” actually, so I think the real danger here – I guess we have to laugh to keep from crying – but the incredible thing is when we’re making this much progress for access to health care and affordable health care … it’s just extraordinary that this administration would take aim at the thing that is actually working for folks.
The abortion lobby and feminist groups refer to abortion and birth control as “health care.”
Planned Parenthood is the largest provider of abortion and of artificial birth control in the United States and has been receiving taxpayer funding for distributing artificial birth control through federal family planning grants and Medicaid.
Richards gave credit to artificial birth control for the lowest teen pregnancy rate in U.S. history and lowest abortion rate since the Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade in 1973.
A 2016 report from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), however, shows that abstinence among teens has been on the rise, with nearly 60 percent of high school students today who have never had sex – an increase of 28 percent since 1991. This data complements the research that shows a historic drop in teen pregnancy rates since 1991.
Additionally, according to Planned Parenthood’s annual report released in May, despite the low abortion rate in the U.S. – as cited by Richards – the number of abortions at her organization’s clinics has actually increased at the same time Planned Parenthood’s contraception services have dropped.
Scandal-ridden Planned Parenthood and its political and media allies have been reeling since the Trump administration’s rollback in October of Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate that required most employers to provide free birth control, sterilization procedures, and abortifacient drugs to employees through health insurance plans. The Trump administration’s new rule allows employers with religious and moral objections to providing contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs to be exempt from the mandate:
The Obama administration itself, however, actually exempted at least 25 million Americans, through various exemption allowances, from its own rule – including major U.S. cities, the U.S. military, and mega-corporations such as Chevron, Exxon, Visa, and Pepsi Bottling – with little pushback from the left-wing groups.
Additionally, during her interview with Brown, Richards referred to a “leaked memo” supposedly obtained by website Crooked that reportedly stated the Trump administration is “going to try to redirect all the family planning programs, where millions of women … get access to affordable birth control, to now begin to use it for fertility awareness.”
“But to really redirect it away from ‘artificial’ family planning to ‘natural’ family planning,” she added.
“You mean, we’re going to go back to the Rhythm method?” asked a shocked Brown, adding that the alleged decision was like “an episode of Mad Men.”
“Yes, back to the Rhythm method,” asserted Richards.
The “leaked memo,” however, could not be verified by news outlets, such as Newsweek.
In addition to advancing a script that bashes the Trump administration and Republicans in general, for supposedly attempting to snatch women’s birth control from them, feminist groups and the abortion industry continue with the narrative that birth control is key to women’s economic and social advancement.
However, a study released in March by the pro-abortion rights Guttmacher Institute found that since the Obamacare contraception mandate was inserted into the healthcare law, there has been “no change in levels of contraceptive use or in consistency of use among U.S. women at risk of unintended pregnancy.”
According to the study:
The lack of observable change in contraceptive use patterns may be surprising, given the many medical and advocacy groups hypothesizing that increased insurance coverage without cost sharing under the ACA would result in increased and improved contraceptive use. However, the authors note that cost is only one of many barriers to contraceptive access, and they highlight the need for research to identify other financial and nonfinancial barriers. Moreover, prior to ACA implementation, many women were already able to access prescription contraceptives with no cost sharing through publicly funded family planning services, including Medicaid coverage and Title X–funded family planning centers. It is possible that these preexisting safety-net services may have dampened the ACA’s potential impact on contraceptive use patterns.
The study demonstrates that even when the federal government has forced employers to pay for women’s birth control, women are not using it more often or even consistently to pursue what Planned Parenthood claims is their “economic advancement.”