The new president of Planned Parenthood spent her first official day on the job touting her organization’s delivery of “life-saving healthcare,” but failing to mention its primary service and biggest moneymaker is abortion.
In a friendly interview with CBS This Morning hosts, Dr. Leana Wen said Monday Planned Parenthood has been “saving people’s lives” for “over 100 years.”
"I can't believe it's 2018 and we're still debating birth control. Imagine if we're having the same conversation about vasectomies or about insulin. Women's healthcare is healthcare and healthcare shouldn't be political" says @PPFA's new president @DrLeanaWen pic.twitter.com/VNpAnCjSSK
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) November 12, 2018
By way of example, Wen said she once treated a woman “who waited more than a year before she had a lump in her breast examined.”
“And by the time she got treated, it was too late,” she continued. “She had metastatic cancer and she died not long after I saw her, leaving behind three young children.”
“For me, that’s what it’s about,” she said. “It’s about saving people’s lives.”
The same woman, if she truly wanted treatment, however, could have gone to any number of federally qualified community health centers– which do not provide abortions – to have more comprehensive health care services than those offered by Planned Parenthood. These health centers outnumber Planned Parenthood clinics 20 to 1.
I've treated patients in the ER who have died from gun shot wounds. How can anyone say this isn't a health issue?https://t.co/FIyVp9YhO4
— Leana Wen, M.D. (@DrLeanaWen) November 12, 2018
Planned Parenthood’s healthcare services, in fact, have been declining in number over the past several years as the group has placed politics above health care delivery.
The organization’s most recent annual report for 2016-2017 shows Planned Parenthood continues to perform over 320,000 abortions per year while offering minimal services, such as ultrasounds during pregnancy, and other necessary services needed by low-income pregnant women who want to have a healthy baby.
The number of prenatal services during 2016-2017 dropped to 7,762 – a 17 percent decline from the 9,419 performed during 2015-2016. In 2014-2015, Planned Parenthood claimed 17,419 prenatal services.
The organization, however, boosted its profits in 2016-2017 by $21 million – 27 percent – from the previous year as Planned Parenthood also took in nearly $544 million in taxpayer funding.
Planned Parenthood has also touted its “innovations” in health care in its latest annual report. The group includes in this category a “gender neutral” app that helps individuals keep track of their menstrual periods and birth control, and the fact that its affiliates in 17 states now offer hormone treatments for individuals who are uncomfortable with their biological sex and claim to be transgender.
CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King asked Wen if she had been “encouraged after the [midterm] elections.”
“Yes and no,” Wen replied. “On the one hand, we saw people – women, people of color – rise up to speak in favor of reproductive rights and access to health care.”
“But on the other hand, less than 24 hours after the election, the Trump administration came out with new rules that would allow employers to deny women birth control coverage,” she added. “I can’t believe it’s 2018 and we’re still debating birth control. Imagine if we’re having the same conversation about vasectomies or about insulin. Women’s health care is health care, and health care shouldn’t be political.”
Thanks to the ACA's guarantee of no-copay birth control, more than 62 million people gained access to birth control. But the Trump administration’s birth control rules threaten to reverse those gains.
— Planned Parenthood Action (@PPact) November 10, 2018
Birth control, however, can be obtained by most Americans for a minimal cost. Wen and her organization celebrated Obamacare because the reform declared birth control an “essential preventive service,” rather than a lifestyle choice for people who choose to have sex.
Last week, the Trump administration released a final rule that protects religious and moral objectors to Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate that required most employers to provide free birth control, abortion-inducing drugs, and sterilization procedures to employees in health insurance plans.
The Trump Department of Health and Human Services also released a second rule that directs those who sell Obamacare health insurance plans that provide coverage for elective abortions to collect a separate payment from enrollees for that coverage, as is already required by law. The Obama administration failed to enforce the law and allowed collection of abortion coverage together with regular premiums.
Though, in a fundraising email to Planned Parenthood supporters made available to Breitbart News, Wen continued the narrative that “health care shouldn’t be political,” the new president showed she is in political lobbying mode for abortion rights and free birth control:
Right now, the attacks we’re seeing on reproductive rights — like restrictions on birth control access, abortion bans, and the Trump-Pence administration’s “gag rule” attempt to stop providers from even referring their patients for abortion care — are threatening the health of tens of millions of people.
“Even with a host of diverse, inspiring leaders taking office in Congress next year, we are still in a state of emergency for reproductive health care in this country,” she insisted. “More and more, where you live and how much money you make determine whether you can access birth control, abortion, and other essential care.”