Tag Archives: Planned Parenthood

Abortion clinic worker’s unplanned wakeup led to conversion

I started volunteering at Planned Parenthood because I believed the lie that they wanted to reduce the number of abortions and help women. It wasn’t until I had spent eight years at Planned Parenthood that the scales dropped from my eyes. Abortion was profitable and I was right in the middle of raking in that money for Planned Parenthood.

At my clinic in Bryan, Texas, surgical abortions cost $450 up to over $800 and RU-486 abortions were $450. We did surgical abortions once a week and dispensed the abortion pill on certain days. But by the time I left, we were selling RU-486 daily to increase profits.

Unfortunately, my clinic also participated in the sale of fetal tissue. We were paid about $200 per specimen by Amphioxus Cell Technologies, a company no longer in business. At the time, the Houston facility had an abortion quota of 75 abortions per day and, while not all women consented to having the remains of their baby used for research, and while not all fetal tissue was sellable, this practice brought in millions of dollars for Planned Parenthood. 

When then-Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards testified in front of Congress in 2015 about their illegal selling of fetal tissue, one of her statements went largely unnoticed. She revealed that 86 percent of her nonprofit’s revenue came from abortion. 

Among other things, Planned Parenthood’s annual reports detail how many abortions they do every year and their revenue. The year after Cecile Richards testified in front of Congress, Planned Parenthood reported a revenue of $1.296 billion, which included over $500 million in taxpayer dollars. That year, Planned Parenthood performed 323,999 abortions.

 In 2017-2018, abortions increased to 332,757 and revenue jumped to $1.665 billion, including nearly $564 million from taxpayers. Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry makes millions of dollars every year from tearing apart babies in the womb and taxpayers subsidize the largest abortion provider in the country.

How did I not understand the abortion business model throughout my years at Planned Parenthood? Maybe I didn’t want to see it. Maybe I didn’t want to face the fact that my salary, vacation days, 401K, and health insurance were being paid for by abortion.

My conscience was pricked throughout my time at Planned Parenthood but I quieted that voice until one day, as I watched a baby fight for its life against the abortion instruments on an ultrasound screen, my heart was immediately changed and I saw the truth of abortion. What I saw on that screen, while my own hand held the probe so the abortionist could see what he was doing inside the womb of that woman, changed everything.

I woke up. I could no longer be a part of abortion and selling the dismemberment of children to women as a solution to all their problems. My story is being told in the new film, Unplanned, in theaters now. I urge you to see it. No one will be able to walk away and say they didn’t know. 

Abortion is immensely profitable and preys upon women who are being told they need it in order to live their best life. We need to come to these women from a place of love and join together to make abortion unthinkable, to relegate the business of abortion to history books where future generations will learn about the atrocities in the womb and how it was us who stood in the gap between good and evil and put an end to the business of abortion.

ABBY JOHNSON is founder and director of And Then There Were None, which helps abortion workers leave the industry. She is the author of Unplanned and The Walls are Talking. Unplanned, a movie about her conversion, was released in theaters March 29, 2019.

Planned Parenthood videos rock abortion business

A little of two years ago the abortion industry was shaken by the public revelations that it had been illegally trafficking in the sale of the body parts of aborted babies. As a result, over 25 states have voted to defund Planned Parenthood and the U.S. Congress, with the support of the president, is close to doing so as well. I have had the privilege of representing David Daleiden, the young man who courageously brought to light these atrocities of Planned Parenthood and its cohorts in the abortion industry. In retaliation, they have viciously attacked him in the liberal media and in three lawsuits they filed in state and federal court.

Charles S. LiMandri, Esq.

The first lawsuit was brought in state court in Los Angeles by Stem Express, the largest broker of aborted baby body parts in the country. We were successful in getting the case dismissed. The second lawsuit was brought in federal court in San Francisco by the National Abortion Federation (NAF), the abortion industry’s powerful trade association. It soon became clear that the federal judge in that case, a proabortion Obama appointee, was leaning heavily toward NAF. At that point, Planned Parenthood jumped on board and filed its own suit against Daleiden, which is now also pending before the same federal judge. That judge, William Orrick, had previously helped establish one of the Planned Parenthood affiliates that is presently suing Daleiden, inside the offices of a nonprofit in San Francisco, while he served as an attorney on its board. As I write this article, our motion to disqualify him from that case for apparent bias is pending.

In the meantime, Planned Parenthood helped orchestrate a bogus criminal indictment of Daleiden in Houston, Texas, with the assistance of a pro-abortion assistant district attorney. Fortunately, that ill-conceived case has also been dismissed. Not to be outdone, the then-pro-abortion attorney general in California, Kamala Harris, used her office to initiate another politically motivated prosecution of Daleiden, and his nonprofit — the Center for Medical Progress (CMP). That action is still pending. CMP’s separate criminal defense attorneys recently released additional videos of abortionists revealing details of their heinous activities in selling baby body parts. In response, Judge Orrick found them, Daleiden and CMP, in contempt of court for violating his preliminary injunction blocking the release of those incriminating videos.

That contempt order is on appeal to the Ninth Circuit, and the preliminary injunction is on appeal to the United States Supreme Court. At issue in those appeals are important Constitutional rights including the First Amendment freedom of speech. Also at issue are the common and necessary practices used by investigative journalists to uncover the criminal activities of bad actors like those suing Daleiden. Indeed, the United States House of Representatives’ Select Committee on Infant Lives has already extensively investigated their practices and referred Planned Parenthood and Stem Express to the FBI and the Justice Department for further investigation and prosecution.

The videos give proof to the lie that what abortionists are removing is not just a “clump of cells.” Rather, what they are seeking to harvest are well-developed fetal organs like hearts, lungs, livers, and brains. Obviously, this also gives proof to the lie that this is not just about what a woman chooses to do with her own body. Rather, it is not the organs of the woman’s body that are being harvested, but those of the separate living human being inside of her. The videos further graphically illustrate how the abortion industry is big business and the abortionists are most interested in maximizing their “bottom line,” even if it means engaging in immoral practices that violate the law and our human dignity.

Please make sure that your congressmen and senators in Washington hear from you about the necessity of defunding Planned Parenthood’s half-billion of your tax dollars per year. And please pray for the ultimate success of David Daleiden and CMP as they defend themselves against the attacks of an increasingly desperate abortion industry, backed by an army of lawyers

Attorney CHARLES S. LIMANDRI is a past member of the Legatus board of directors and a recipient of the Legatus “Ambassador of the Year” award. He is the president and chief counsel of the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund (www.FCDFlegal.org).

Why I’m hopeful about 2017

For the first time in our nation’s history, we have a President who has made very specific promises in writing to the pro-life movement. He’s pledged to end taxpayer funding of abortion, defund Planned Parenthood’s abortion business, sign a bill banning abortions when babies have proven to feel pain, and appoint pro-life Supreme Court Justices.

Kristan Hawkins

Kristan Hawkins

Savor the meaning of those words for a minute. At this very moment in time, any American who believes abortion is a moral evil that should ultimately become unthinkable, demoted to a relic of history, and an unimaginable concept for future generations, should be waking up every morning with an unparalleled optimism about the future.

But it’s not just about a new Congress and Administration. Laws and government are changed by culture and, indeed, the culture is changing.

For the past several years, a pro-life undercurrent has been slowly moving the American public. Th€is current generation of Millennials holds positions that are more pro-life than their parents and grandparents. In recent polling from the Institute for Pro-Life Advancement (IPA), 53% of Millennials agreed that abortion should be illegal in all or most circumstances, with the exception of rape, incest and life of the mother. A Knights of Columbus/Marist poll over the summer confirmed those findings. Only 17% said abortion should be legal for any reason at any time in the pregnancy, which is the present platform of the Democratic Party. €

The IPA poll only confirms a recognized trend. According to the National Journal, in 2012 Millennials were the largest age group (52%) that favored a ban on abortions at 20 weeks, when science tells us the fetus is able to feel pain. Also in 2012, only 37% of Millennials believed abortion was morally acceptable.

But beyond the polls, what are the tangible signs that the nation is moving in a more pro-life direction?

Students for Life of America started with 181 high school and college groups in 2006. Today, there are over 1,100 college, high school, middle school, young adult, medical and law school Students for Life groups covering all 50 states. €They are actively engaged in educating their peers about abortion, helping student mothers who are facing unplanned pregnancies, and being a voice for the pro-life generation.

In contrast, Planned Parenthood just celebrated its 100th anniversary. Th€ey currently have around 670 facilities, and they proudly boast 275 campus pro-choice groups. €

This is the hope that does not disappoint.

Planned Parenthood has been in existence 10 times longer than Students for Life, has spent billions more dollars than anyone can possibly imagine, and has friends in very high places. Yet, for all its pink, it cannot hide the fact that they are losing this generation, that they are losing the fight to win the hearts and minds of young women and men, the next leaders of this great nation.

Th€ere are countless stories on campuses from California to Virginia, from Alaska to Michigan and everywhere in between that are affecting real change. €There are passionate young pro-lifers that sidewalk counsel no matter how cold or hot it is outside the abortion facility. €There are groups of young adults that have organized event after event to benefit mothers in need. Th€ere are students who have had their pro-life chalkings erased and washed away in the middle of the night only to go back, re-chalk, and hold civil conversations with the vandals, planting the pro-life seeds of thought in their hearts. €There are brave high school students who have publicly called out their school administrators for not allowing their pro-life clubs in their schools. €

This is happening everywhere, and this is why abortion will become unthinkable in our lifetimes.

Millennials are blazing the path towards abolishing abortion. It was Millennials who initially exposed Planned Parenthood’s cover-up of child abuse and rape. It was a Millennial who released undercover videos that forced the president of Planned Parenthood to issue a widely criticized “apology” when her organization was caught selling aborted baby body parts for profit. I myself am a Millennial, and I’m honored to be a Legatus member serving as the leader of one of our movement’s largest grassroots networks.

Th€is is why I have hope in 2017.

 

KRISTAN HAWKINS is a member of Legatus’ Twin Cities Chapter and president of Students for Life of America.

Taking down the giant

Legatus’ pro-life leaders discuss the undercover videos that could very well mean the end of Planned Parenthood

When a little-known pro-life group began releasing videos about Planned Parenthood in mid-July, public outrage was immediate and ferocious.

pparenthood-1The shocking undercover videos — 10 so far — show cavalier conversations among high-level officials at Planned Parenthood and various biotech companies deliberating over the sale of baby body parts as though they were dealing used cars. The videos displayed gruesome images of dismembered babies, ready to be sold for scientific research. Federal law explicitly prohibits the sale of aborted children and their parts.

Cultural influence

The videos’ impact has been massive.

“These videos have allowed the truth to break through for millions of Americans,” said Jason Scott Jones, a human rights activist, filmmaker and author.

Jason Scott Jones

Jason Scott Jones

“The challenge we have as Catholics is communicating two truths — through the ideological filter of the Culture of Death — to people in a way they can understand,” said Jones, an At Large member of Legatus.

“First is the truth of abortion — what it really is. Most people refuse to accept the truth about abortion because if they did, they could no longer tolerate abortion,” he explained. “The other truth we’re challenged to communicate is the truth of the human person — that we have an inherent beauty, dignity and worth. That dignity demands protection from violence.”

Jones lauds the work of David Daleiden, founder of the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), who worked for years on the covert video project. “He has communicated to millions of Americans both of those truths,” Jones said.

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List, said the videos brought to mind other horrors that have been committed against human beings throughout history. “I think it was the sheer brutality and lack of humanity of the clinicians which shocked me the most,” she said.

Marjorie Dannenfelser

Marjorie Dannenfelser

The videos have re-energized the U.S. pro-life movement like nothing else in the past few decades.

“There is a renewed resolve and focus now,” said Dannenfelser, a member of Legatus’ Northern Virginia Chapter. “But there is a caveat: We do not have a president who will defund Planned Parenthood. This gives us more energy to try to elect a pro-life president that will.”

Legislative action

Prior to the videos’ release, pro-life legislators introduced the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would ban abortion of children after 20 weeks’ gestation. On May 13, the House passed the bill 242-184. The Senate has yet to vote on the measure.

“The timing of these videos has been miraculous,” said Dannenfelser. “They have been very helpful to legislative strategy on the Hill. I believe it has been the Holy Spirit at work.”

The videos’ release prompted an immediate Senate vote to defund Planned Parenthood of the more than $528 million it receives from the federal government every year. The Aug. 4 vote —53 to 46 to defund — fell just short of the 60 votes needed to overcome a presidential veto. Still, pro-lifers claim victory.

Lila Rose

Lila Rose

“Defunding Planned Parenthood is within reach,” said Lila Rose, president of the pro-life organization Live Action. “The last vote we had in the Senate to defund Planned Parenthood was in 2011. Two Democrats stood up in the Senate this time and voted against Planned Parenthood.”

In a 241-187 vote on Sept. 18, the House of Representatives voted to freeze funding for Planned Parenthood for one year. The Senate is expected to take up the bill soon.

Another immediate result of the undercover videos has been state and federal investigations throughout the country. Four congressional committees have launched investigations into Planned Parenthood, as have 12 states. Five states revoked the abortion giant’s funding.

The CMP videos also seem to have loosened any fears that Republican presidential candidates may have had about speaking on abortion. During the first two GOP debates, Republican candidates spoke forcefully about Planned Parenthood and the evil of abortion.

“It’s not embarrassing anymore to be pro-life,” said Kathleen Eaton Bravo, president of Obria Medical Clinics and a member of Legatus’ Orange Coast Chapter. “We have the most pro-life generation ever now.”

In the 1990s, it was rare for mainstream journalists to cover abortion stories without an overtly pro-abortion bias. Today, Bravo said, the media is forced to cover the issue more fairly considering that half the country consistently identifies as pro-life.

Opening the debate

Kathleen Eaton Bravo

Kathleen Eaton Bravo

The CMP videos also proved that social media has given the pro-life movement an edge over mainstream news outlets who opt not to cover stories that damage the abortion industry.

“YouTube and social media have changed everything when it comes to getting the truth out,” said Rose. “Before this, abortion-friendly reporters at NBC, CBS or ABC could block news stories. This doesn’t matter anymore.”

In other words, pro-life news reaches the public more often than not through social media or pro-life news sources. Rose’s group Live Action — which has also recorded undercover videos at Planned Parenthood — has over 1 million Facebook followers. Some of Live Action’s videos have been viewed by over 1 million people and have prompted congressional investigations.

The CMP videos, Bravo said, are giving abortion-minded women something to think about.

pparenthood-2“These videos have shown us the dark side of abortion,” said Bravo. “They give us an understanding of what that ‘choice’ means. Women are now saying, ‘If choice means what is happening in these videos, well that is horrific.’”

Pro-life activists hope these videos will wake up a sleeping giant — those who are pro-life but not involved. Involvement can mean prayer, letter writing or sharing information. It can also mean donating funds to groups like Obria Medical Clinics, which help women choose life, or to groups like the Susan B. Anthony List, which help elect pro-life candidates.

The pro-life community also hopes these videos will ultimately bring down Planned Parenthood. But, Dannenfelser said, “When you work in Washington, you can never be sure that anything is inevitable.”

But the CMP videos have reached millions who had never given abortion a second thought, she said. “And it has reached the pro-life ‘choir’ — those whose hearts needed to be renewed.”

Bravo said she believes the tide is turning in the right direction.

“I think these videos are the beginning of the end of the dark days of abortion,” said Bravo. “People are finally seeing the profound evil and arrogance that Planned Parenthood has become.”

Jones concurs.

“These videos built on the work begun by Mark Crutcher [pro-life activist and founder of Life Dynamics] and Lila Rose,” who both did undercover video work against the abortion industry, Jones said.

“The videos delivered what I believe is the mortal wound to Planned Parenthood. How long it will stagger to the grave is anyone’s guess, but when Planned Parenthood falls, the autopsy will reveal that these videos are the wound that did it in.”

SABRINA ARENA FERRISI is Legatus magazine’s senior staff writer.

Fighting the abortion giant

Legate Kathleen Eaton goes toe-to-toe with abortion giant Planned Parenthood . . .

Kathleen Eaton remembers everything about that day in 1980.

She was 28, going through a divorce, and pregnant with another man’s baby. Unwilling to face her parents, Eaton opted for an abortion. The Planned Parenthood clinic she visited didn’t do an ultrasound. They said she had a “blob of tissue” inside her. The abortion itself, performed at another clinic, was the worst experience of her life.

“I had no medication and felt horrible pain,” Eaton said. “I went out the back door afterwards, sat down on a curb and cried. Part of it was the pain, and part of it was thinking, ‘What have I done?’ I began to pray to God to allow me to stop other women from doing this.”

Healing and reconciliation

Fast forward to 2012. Eaton is now the president of seven Birth Choice Health Clinics in California with another in the works. Founded in 1981 (Eaton took over in 1986), these pro-life community care clinics provide medical consultations, pregnancy tests, STD and HIV/AIDS testing, and prenatal care.

Eaton’s journey from the curb outside an abortion clinic to pro-life activist is packed with grace-filled coincidences — or as she calls them “God-instances.”

“There were many things that my abortion was supposed to save, including my job and my marriage,” she explained. “My husband saw the paperwork on the abortion and the marriage was over. I ended up walking away from my job and my parents found out.”

The year after the abortion, Eaton hit rock-bottom.

“I didn’t go back to church that whole year,” she said. “I was stumbling along, numb, all out of focus. Nothing connected. I was depressed and I drank.”

Eaton got married within that year and moved to Oklahoma. She spent the entire first night looking out the kitchen window and crying. She finally decided to pray. She looked up a Catholic Church in the phonebook and went to Mass the next morning.

“The moment I walked in, I realized this was God’s house. I felt I didn’t belong,” she said.

Eaton found herself sitting between two old ladies who refused to move throughout the Mass, not even for Communion. She couldn’t leave even if she wanted to — the first of many “God-instances.”

“At the end of the Mass, the priest announced that there was a speaker,” Eaton explained. “I was still stuck between the two ladies when a woman went up and said, ‘My name is Barbara. I work for a pregnancy care center,’ and she described her work.”

After the Mass, Eaton instinctively knew she had to meet Barbara.

“She saw my eyes and told me later that she knew. She just knew. Barbara invited me to a meeting. So two days later, I found myself at a meeting with 25 women. Pretty soon they were all praying over me, and this was my introduction to the Catholic charismatic movement,” she said.

Eaton’s healing began immediately. During the next four years, she returned to the Church and studied her faith. She had her first marriage annulled, and her second husband entered the Church. She counseled women at a local crisis pregnancy care center and prayed outside abortion mills — specifically Dr. George Tiller’s clinic in Wichita, which performed third-trimester abortions.

Passion for the unborn

Kathleen Eaton

When Eaton moved back to California with three children in 1986, she decided to start a packaging and labeling business for medical manufacturing companies. She loved the pro-life movement, but needed to provide for her family since her husband had been injured.

One day, Eaton found boxes on her doorstep. A woman, who had met Eaton briefly outside of Tiller’s clinic years earlier, left an envelope which explained that she was moving to St. Louis and had left Birth Choice to Eaton’s care. All calls had been forwarded to her. All the files were in the boxes.

Eaton was furious, but then she recalled that she had just returned from a Cursillo retreat which stressed that sometimes the Lord doesn’t give you options. Another “God-instance.”

Suddenly the phone rang, and a crying woman begged Eaton to help her friend’s daughter who was on her way to Tiller’s clinic for an abortion. Eaton tried to call the young girl countless times, but to no avail. She quickly rallied friends from her retreat to pray for the baby about to be aborted. They named her Mary.

“We prayed the rosary for those two children — Mary and the son I had aborted years before, Toby. They are up in heaven and they started Birth Choice. Mother Teresa once said that every child has an impact. These two children started this ministry,” Eaton said.

After her husband’s death six years ago, Eaton dropped her packaging business and dedicated herself to Birth Choice full time. The clinics are now the envy of pregnancy care centers across the country. They have 40 paid staff and over 150 volunteers.

“I’ve known her for a long time,” said Ralph Linzmeier, a member of Legatus’ Orange Coast Chapter, where Eaton is also a member. “She has this heart for the unborn, and her Birth Choice Clinics have touched so many lives. She is very well organized and has good business sense. But what she really has is vision.”

Oonagh Linzmeier, Ralph’s wife, is a member of the Birth Choice board.

“I have been involved with pregnancy care centers for 20 years,” Oonagh said. “But three years ago when I met Kathleen, I was very impressed with her vision. Of all her gifts, the most impressive is her ability to communicate her passion.”

This is no idle praise. Though Eaton isn’t a trained fundraiser, she singlehandedly raises $3 million every year for Birth Choice. Last year’s Birth Choice Clinics Gala garnered $1.7 million in a single night. And in 2009, Eaton joined President George W. Bush as a recipient of Legatus’ Cardinal John J. O’Connor Pro-Life Award.

Unlike most crisis pregnancy care centers, Birth Choice goes toe-to-toe with Planned Parenthood by opening clinics nearby and employing doctors and nurses at every location. While some states try to close crisis pregnancy centers because of the lack of medical personnel, Birth Choice is ahead of the curve.

“I can’t overturn Roe v. Wade, but I can go after Planned Parenthood’s client base and do stronger work within each community,” Eaton said. “Our vision is to reach abortion-minded couples. It’s very hard. We do it through word of mouth and social media.”

Eaton is concerned about how people use their sexuality to ruin their own lives.

“Millions of these young couples go to Planned Parenthood, who feed them drugs and teach them how to be sexually active. We have to teach them how beautifully they are made,” she said.

When she looks back on her life and the success of Birth Choice Clinics, Eaton knows why her operations thrive.

“When you put yourself out there, God will honor your faith walk. If you build it in His honor, God will honor it. God will listen. He will bless you.”

Eaton’s life is a profound testament to what can happen when you take “God-instances” seriously.

Sabrina Arena Ferrisi is Legatus magazine’s senior staff writer.

Game changer: 40 Days for Life

Former abortion worker Abby Johnson writes that love and prayer will change hearts . . .

Abby Johnson

The 40 Days for Life campaign has garnered massive attention since it went nationwide in 2007. It is held each spring and fall in front of the most hopeless places our world has ever known — abortion mills that profit from the systematic killing of human beings at their most vulnerable stage of life.

This international pro-life campaign is rooted in peaceful and prayerful activism. It has united over 500,000 pro-life activists, spared the lives of 5,000 babies, shut down 21 abortion clinics, and led to the conversion of 61 abortion clinic workers. I am one of them. I was clinic director of a Planned Parenthood abortion-performing facility in Bryan, Texas, where 40 Days for Life was founded.

I had worked with Planned Parenthood for eight years and been the director for two of them when I felt God stir my heart. On an ultrasound, I witnessed a 13-week-old baby fight for and eventually lose his life to a surgical abortion in September 2009. I realized then that I had deceived and hurt countless women and played a pivotal role in ending the lives of their unborn children. Since I began working for Planned Parenthood, there had always been pro-life activists standing outside the clinic, greeting me in the mornings and waving goodbye to me when I left. They had always said they’d be there for me if I ever needed anything from them. More than ever, I needed something from them.

The staff at the Coalition for Life welcomed me with open arms when my pro-choice church no longer would. I had a safe haven, people I could trust to help me. Adjustment to a new life was a terrible struggle, but they stayed by my side along the way. Finally, I began telling my story. I wanted the world to know the horrible injustice that is being perpetrated inside clinics across the country right under our noses.

If it had not been for the peaceful and loving volunteers that stood outside of my clinic during 40 Days for Life, there is a good chance I’d still be working in the abortion industry. If I had been ridiculed and reprimanded by pro-lifers who stood outside the clinic, I would have had no one to turn to when I saw a baby violently lose his life in the name of “choice.” Because of the compassionate, heartfelt outreach from 40 Days for Life prayer warriors, I was able to get out of the abortion industry and tell my story to anyone who would listen.

This is why it’s so important that anyone who calls themselves pro-life engage in 40 Days for Life in all aspects — fasting, prayer and clinic outreach. We are out there to save the lives of the unborn and help their mothers in desperate need of love and understanding. But we’re also out there to love those who persecute us, including those who work in the abortion clinics. I am a living testimony that the persistent, loving prayers of those who stand in front of abortion facilities have an impact.

The face of the pro-life movement is changing, and it’s changing fast. It’s no longer about swarms of angry anti-abortion protesters who stand in front of abortion clinics, yelling at and demeaning women. It has become a movement of peace and understanding, one of offering hope to women in a crisis. As Christians, we need to realize that this is the one and only way to end the atrocity of abortion. We cannot end violence with hate and anger. We need to bring the light of Christ to the darkest of places and reach out to those who are most in need of understanding.

It isn’t comfortable standing outside an abortion clinic. However, we are not called to be comfortable with our convictions — we are called to be faithful to them. One person praying for just one hour in front of one abortion clinic could change the hearts and minds of everyone that sees them. Imagine if all Christians gave just one hour during a 40 Days for Life campaign to go out and pray in front of these abortion clinics. What an incredible difference we would make! It is our duty as followers of Christ to do as He did, to put the needs of others before ourselves and to be there for our brothers and sisters who go into those clinics — and those who work in them as well.

Abby Johnson is the chief research strategist for Live Action Films and senior policy advisor for Americans United for Life. A former Planned Parenthood clinic director, she described her conversion in her best-selling book “unPlanned.” She entered the Catholic Church in December 2011.

Komen and Planned Parenthood

Carol Tobias notes that Komen for the Cure is intimately tied to the abortion industry . . .

Carol Tobias

According to the Centers for Disease Control, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States, aside from non-melanoma skin cancer. In 2007, the most recent year numbers are available, 202,964 American women were diagnosed with breast cancer — and 40,598 women died from it.

Almost everyone in America knows a woman who has had breast cancer. Some of those beloved friends and family members may have died from it. So when an organization like Susan G. Komen for the Cure conducts fundraising projects for research, it’s difficult to say no. We’re encouraged to help by buying a certain brand of yogurt or a certain soft drink. Pink ribbons pop up on products everywhere. We can buy items we would normally buy and feel good about helping find a cure.

So if Komen’s mission is to find a cure for breast cancer, why are they giving huge sums of money to Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider? According to its Form 990, Komen affiliates gave more than $550,000 to affiliates of Planned Parenthood in 2010. A year earlier, they donated over $731,000. Komen says the grants are used to fund breast exams and mammograms. However, numerous reports confirm that Planned Parenthood doesn’t do mammograms. What Planned Parenthood does do is abortion.

The Planned Parenthood Federation of America has carefully crafted a public image as a protector of women’s health. PPFA is also the largest abortion chain in America. It is fully in the abortion business and its bottom line depends on performing more and more abortions.

According to PPFA’s 2008-2009 Annual Report, its affiliates performed 332,278 abortions in 2009 — about 27.4% of all abortions performed in the United States. That’s more than double the number that its affiliates performed in 1998, even as the total number of abortions performed in the U.S. dropped 25% during that period.

Planned Parenthood misleadingly claims that abortion represents only three percent of its services. But in order to make abortion seem like a small part of what it does, Planned Parenthood lists every “service” it does equally. If a woman comes in for an abortion, she may also receive a pregnancy test, an Rh-type test, an ultrasound, an antibiotic, a pack of birth control pills, and “other tests as needed.” So, statistically, the abortion is dwarfed by the five or six other services provided, even though the abortion is the reason the woman came to Planned Parenthood.

In fact, 12% of its clients receive abortion services, according to a February 2011 Planned Parenthood factsheet. Therefore, nearly one out of every eight women walking through the door of a Planned Parenthood clinic has an abortion. Of the services Planned Parenthood reported that would have involved pregnant women (abortion, prenatal care, adoption referrals), 97.6% were for abortion.

Planned Parenthood often argues that increased funding will enable it to reduce the number of abortions, but its own annual reports don’t seem to show that. It has an annual income of more than $1 billion. Roughly a third of that comes from federal, state and local governments. Its government funding has increased steadily over the past several years, more than doubling since 1998. But abortions done at Planned Parenthood have not gone down. In fact, they have increased dramatically during that same period, rising at a rate that very nearly matches the rate of those funding increases.

Revenue Planned Parenthood receives in “Government Grants and Contracts” has gone from $165 million in 1998 to $363.3 million in the organization’s fiscal year ending June 30, 2009. During the same time, and at roughly the same rate, abortions have more than doubled at Planned Parenthood — from 165,509 in 1998 to 332,278 in 2009.

Considering all the money that Planned Parenthood takes in, why in the world would Komen divert money that could be put toward breast cancer research to this abortion behemoth? Federal government grants to PPFA are, by law, not allowed to pay for abortion per se, but the money is certainly used to build infrastructure and promote the organization. Komen, too, says the funds it gives PPFA are not used for abortion, but it helps to bring new clients through the door.

Komen’s support of the nation’s largest abortion provider is ironic in that, while Komen works to find a cure for breast cancer, Planned Parenthood is providing a “service” that contributes to the increase of breast cancer. There is a substantial body of evidence to show that getting an abortion increases the risk of breast cancer. Joel Brind, Ph.D., one of the foremost researchers to make the abortion-breast-cancer link, estimates that upwards of 10,000 cases of breast cancer each year are attributable to induced abortion.

Susan G. Komen for the Cure has created the public image of an organization doing good. Unfortunately, when you think Komen, you have to also think Planned Parenthood; and when you think Planned Parenthood, you have to think abortion.

Carol Tobias is the president of the National Right to Life Committee, a federation of 50 state right-to-life organizations and more than 3,000 local chapters nationwide. National Right to Life, the nation’s largest and oldest pro-life group, works through legislation and education to protect those threatened by abortion, infanticide, euthanasia and assisted suicide.

Shaking the giant

Live Action’s work has led to greater scrutiny of abortion giant Planned Parenthood . . .

In early February, the pro-life group Live Action released a video that rocked the political landscape.

Peter Breen

It featured a member of the group pretending to be a pimp, asking an employee at a Planned Parenthood center how to obtain STD testing and abortions for his prostitutes— girls he said were minors and hinted were illegal aliens. Despite the patent illegality of his requests, as well as the suggestion of a prostitution ring employing foreign sex slaves, the employee casually offered assistance.

Defunding abortion giant

The video was part of a sting operation the group conducted at Planned Parenthood centers in Virginia, New Jersey and New York. The employees of the nation’s largest abortion provider didn’t question Live Action’s pretend pimps and prostitutes. Instead they counseled how to evade the law to obtain abortions for minors.

The long-term fallout remains to be seen, but a few weeks after the video went public, the House of Representatives voted to defund Planned Parenthood, a $1 billion industry to which taxpayers have annually provided a lifeline of over $300 million. On March 10, in a 56-44 vote, the Senate voted to continue funding Planned Parenthood. Pro-lifers vow to fight on.

Live Action and its founder, 22-year-old Lila Rose, have “undermined the carefully cultivated image that Planned Parenthood serves the interests of women,” said Peter Breen, executive director and legal counsel of the Thomas More Society, a pro-life law center. “When George Soros arranges a conference call to strategize how to save Planned Parenthood’s reputation, you know they’re having an impact that can’t be underestimated. We’re also seeing pro-life bills moving on Capitol Hill and in state legislatures that otherwise might not have without the national exposure Live Action has achieved.”

When Planned Parenthood suggested that Live Action’s tactics were illegal, Breen’s firm stepped in. “We verified that they were perfectly within the bounds of the law and doing something laudable in the great tradition of undercover investigation,” he said.

Rose and her young group are supported by veteran pro-lifers whose traditional tactics against Planned Parenthood — such as sidewalk counseling and mass mailings — don’t get primetime notoriety.

Judie Brown

“I have tremendous respect for Lila Rose,” said Judie Brown, president and cofounder of the American Life League. “Thanks to her, the average American now knows what goes on in a Planned Parenthood clinic. Live Action shows that if you’re in the business of killing babies, you’ll do anything.”

What about Planned Parenthood’s declaration that staff will be retrained to avoid future sex abuse cover-ups?

“We’ve been watching them for 35 years, and they’ll say anything to get the media off their backs,” said Brown. “Lila is proving that Planned Parenthood is a consummate expert at saying one thing publicly and doing another.”

Humble beginnings

For her part, Rose stepped into the battle for life when she was 15. One of eight children, she told Legatus Magazine that at nine years old she found her parents’ copy of Dr. & Mrs. Jack Willke’s Handbook on Abortion.

“I was very shocked,” she said. “I saw images of little arms and legs and wondered how someone could do this to a baby. I felt I had to make difference. It was a natural progression from then on.”

Rose started Live Action in her living room six years later. It began with ministry programs for youth groups in Rose’s native northern California. They soon began using electronic media to reach a bigger audience, particularly among the young. They hit the jackpot when they began doing undercover work within the abortion industry while Rose studied at UCLA, from which she graduated last year.

“Even the President [Obama] talked about the videos we released in February,” she said. “We believe the work we’re doing is like other undercover work that aims to expose the truth and save lives. Our undercover actors are representing victims of sex abuse and women who’ve had abortions after being lied to about the reality of abortion and miseducated about their sexuality and dignity [in school and the culture].”

Rose said she believes legal abortion will end in her lifetime. “We’re already seeing the beginning of the end of Planned Parenthood. Our government was founded on preserving life, but it’s funding an abortion chain that covers up the trafficking of young girls and profits from lying about human life. We need to stop the government’s complicity with evil.”

Live Action will continue to work to that end, Rose said. “We’re a small, committed team and we want to grow,” she said. “We only have two full-time staff, numerous contractors, little overhead and a tight budget: last year about $150,000, though we’re projecting to have a much bigger budget this year to expand our programs.”

She says the Los Angeles-based group will continue doing undercover work, original research and investigative reporting. Her team will continue using the media to reach the widest possible audience.

“We need to mobilize young people through new social media to educate their peers,” Rose said. “We need to organize young leaders who will work hard with us to end abortion. A lot of what we do is grassroots.”

Raised evangelical Christian, Rose entered the Catholic Church two years ago. She took the confirmation name Joan after her hero, St. Joan of Arc. “She gave a complete ‘yes’ to God, going into battle and leading men for love of God and country. When you say ‘yes’ to God, you’d better be ready for a wonderful adventure you can’t imagine.”

And Rose believes her divine adventure has just begun.

Matthew A. Rarey is Legatus Magazine’s editorial assistant.

Abortion: The pivotal issue

Brad Mattes: Abortion kills more Americans every day than terrorists did on 9/11 . . .

Bradley Mattes

Few reading this magazine would debate that the moral fabric of our nation has been ripped apart by spiritual and cultural warfare. At times it seems we don’t even recognize the America we so passionately loved as children — an America so many have bled and died to protect.

At the epicenter of this war zone is the battle over abortion. This evil has spawned a pervasive disregard for innocent human life that has further evidenced itself in euthanasia, embryonic stem-cell research and the commonplace, casual killing of human embryos through in vitro fertilization. We’ve also seen an alarming increase of infanticide and murder in society, all resulting from one of the darkest days in American history. On Jan. 22, 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court declared in Roe v. Wade that unborn children were mere chattel to be killed at will by their mothers for any reason. It was a pivotal and catastrophic moment in the culture war.

Abortion is a foundational issue of our day because it has denied life to over 53 million Americans since 1973. Without the right to life, all of our other rights — 100% of them — are also denied to us. Every day, more than 3,200 babies are brutally killed in abortion chambers across the country. Think about it: America legally and intentionally kills more daily than all those who died in terrorist attacks on 9/11. Hands down, abortion is the most important human and civil rights issue of our time. It should be the focus of our attention, prayers and resources in order to bring it to an end as quickly as humanly possible.

It’s been 38 years since abortion-on-demand was legalized, so it’s fair to ask some basic questions: Are we making progress? Are we winning this life-and-death battle? My answer is a resounding Yes! Here’s why.

Roe v. Wade gave birth (ironic isn’t it) to one of the most compassionate, loving and extensive grassroots movements in history. Pro-lifers, consisting mostly of volunteers, have been diligently working since 1973 to protect unborn babies and their parents from abortion. Millions of our fellow citizens from all walks of life — liberal, conservative, rich, poor, black, white — participate in a unified mission to end the plague of abortion in America.

As a result, protective pro-life legislation has been enacted from Washington, D.C., to Juneau, Alaska, and everywhere in between. Pregnancy centers provide concrete alternatives to women facing unexpected pregnancies, and they’re reaching out to hurting mothers and fathers of aborted children. Not only are we offering women true choice that they won’t get in abortion facilities, we help them pick up the pieces of their shattered lives after they’ve chosen abortion.

In addition to the fruit born by the pro-life movement, technology has opened a window to the womb. I proudly displayed a computer mouse pad and coffee mug with the sonogram picture of my first granddaughter — before she was born. Those images literally circled the globe via email and the Internet long before the first labor pains began.

Now, replicate that happy event millions of times over by parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, friends and neighbors. You may remember the TV ad campaign not long ago by General Electric promoting their ultrasound technology. It was a pro-life educational campaign that cost far more than any pro-life budget would have allowed. The evidence shows Roe v. Wade is on a collision course with modern technology, the growing numbers of post-abortive parents and millions of Americans who have come to know the ugly reality of abortion. Pro-life education is the foundation on which we end abortion.

An additional milestone has been the public discourse over partial-birth abortion. Up to that point, the biased media had regularly reported that abortion was legal only during the first three months of pregnancy. Also, a new law in Nebraska requires the abortionist to administer pain medication to the unborn child at 20 weeks or later into pregnancy. These watershed moments in the abortion battle have turned the nation’s focus to the heart of the matter — the unborn child.

It’s absolutely crucial that we stay focused on protecting innocent human life from womb to tomb. We must continue to make slow, steady progress. Far too much is at stake.

A poignant reminder of the price American has paid for abortion are my peers who years earlier chose what they believed to be a quick and painless solution to an unexpected pregnancy. Not only have they mourned the loss of their child(ren), but while I celebrate the birth of my grandchildren, they realize that theirs are missing. It’s a dramatic reminder that the decision to choose abortion will affect many generations to come. And it’s one of Satan’s ways to repeatedly assault these repentant children of God.

It’s impossible to calculate the cost of abortion on America. To give up — or to ease up — would cause further unspeakable carnage on this great nation.

Bradley Mattes is an Emmy Award-winning television host, as well as host of a daily radio commentary on over 700 radio outlets. He is the executive director of Life Issues Institute, an international pro-life organization, cofounded with John Willke, MD, a member of Legatus’ Cincinnati Chapter.

Unplanned

Abby Johnson’s gripping story has rallied the entire pro-life movement . . .

Unplanned: The Dramatic True Story of a Former Planned Parenthood Leader’s Eye-Opening Journey Across the Life Line
Ignatius, 2011. 288 pages, $22.99 hardcover

When Johnson quit her job as the director of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Texas, the media went wild, lawsuits were filed, and pro-life advocates rejoiced. In Unplanned, she reveals the details of her dramatic move from abortion rights advocate to the pro-life movement after she witnessed an ultrasound-guided abortion. She knew she was on the wrong side.

Johnson’s book is a beautifully told personal drama of life-and-death encounters, a courtroom battle and spiritual transformation that speaks of hope and compassion.

Order: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Ignatius Press