On these pages over the past several years, I have written about the on-going misfortune of Planned Parenthood (“PP”). Notwithstanding the fact that Mr. Obama was the first sitting president to address PP’s gala celebration (what could they possibly be celebrating?), it still had a rough week. It started last week in Kansas when a federal appeals court ruled that the state does not have to keep funding two abortion mills. Kansas enacted legislation that required its portion of federal family planning funds go to public health departments and hospitals, and not pay for abortions. As a result, in 2011, PP of Kansas and Mid-Missouri filed a lawsuit challenging the requirement preventing PP from receiving federal family planning funds. In its lawsuit, PP said that the budget provision would result in a $330,000 funding loss, and the likely closure of PP’s abortion mill in Hays, Kansas. Incidentally, PP received $542,000,000 in taxpayer dollars during 2012, which is equal to $61,836 per hour, 24 hours a day for 365 days. (For more information on PP, please see Joe Carter’s “9 Things You Should Know About Planned Parenthood,” available here.)
Then this past Monday, a federal court refused to place a hold on Arizona’s new law that requires abortion-inducing drugs to be dispensed according to federal Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) protocols and the instructions on the label. (Does that law seem so onerous? Imagine that physicians should follow FDA guidelines for medications!) Again, PP sought to block this law that would limit the use of abortion-inducing drugs. As a result of the court’s ruling, the regulations went into effect yesterday. Practically, this means that the FDA- approved RU-486, the abortion pill, can only be used within seven weeks of gestation. Doctors who have prescribed it later than seven weeks have made an “off-label use,” which is not allowed under Arizona’s new law. David Brown, an attorney for the Center for Reproductive Rights, said that he was disappointed with the court’s ruling. With no apparent irony, Mr. Brown noted, “This law serves no purpose other than to prevent Arizona women from using a safe alternative to surgical abortion and force their doctors to follow an outdated, riskier, and less effective method [of surgical abortion].” And to think we were told repeatedly that abortions were safer than childbirth.
Third, also this past Monday, a federal judge in Montgomery, Alabama, denied PP’s request to rule immediately in its favor in a legal challenge to the state’s law against the so-called “cut-and-run” abortionists. Alabama enacted a new law requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges at local hospitals. PP objected to the new law, noting that enactment of the law would end abortions at three-fifths of Alabama’s “reproductive health centers.” Attorneys for Alabama argued that the law was necessary to guarantee patient continuity of care, and that there have been numerous documented serious complications and deaths to the mothers from botched abortions. Instead, the judge ordered the case to trial to examine the constitutionality of an abortion restriction passed by the Alabama legislature in 2013.
Steven H. Aden, senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom, said the following in response to the multiple legal setbacks for PP:
Planned Parenthood’s efforts to put their profits ahead of the safety of women and children continue to fail. From Arizona to Alabama to Kansas, America’s largest abortion seller has not succeeded so far in its opposition to common-sense laws that put women’s health and well-being ahead of Planned Parenthood’s bottom line.
I agree; every defeat for Planned Parenthood is a victory for women and for their unborn children. Lord, have mercy!