DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) - Ten thousand people are rallying to urge lawmakers to divert half a billion dollars from abortions to comprehensive health services.
The third annual #ProtestPP nationwide event is planned for Saturday, April 28. Over 75 pro-life organizations are co-sponsoring rallies at 140 Planned Parenthood locations across the country to demand lawmakers stop giving federal money to the abortion giant. They want the $500 million given to Planned Parenthood to go to Federally Qualified Health Centers that offer more and higher quality women's health services.
Church Militant spoke with Eric Scheidler, executive director of Pro-Life Action League — one of the main sponsors of the event — who told us, "Thousands of federally qualified health centers around the country offer a far broader range of services than Planned Parenthood and a higher standard of care."
"Every single dollar taken away from Planned Parenthood would go to one of these centers, and disadvantaged families will be better off for it," Scheidler added.
Leaders of this year's event want to bring attention to the issue that Planned Parenthood has recently partnered with other pro-abortion groups and some state lawmakers to push for expanded abortion access in all 50 states.
Planned Parenthood Action Fund and Planned Parenthood Votes, the political arms of the abortion giant, have already slated $30 million to target key political races in eight states and is anticipating it will cost even more. There is speculation that their "Win Justice" program will be targeting Senate races in Arizona and Nevada, House of Representatives elections in California, New Jersey, New York and Texas, as well as the Virginia governor's race.
Deirdre Schifeling, the executive director of Planned Parenthood Votes, said, "A lot of those states have governors who have been terrible for women, terrible for access to reproductive health care."
"The effort to defund Planned Parenthood has nothing to do with taking health care away from poor women and families," explained Mark Harrington, president #ProtestPP co-sponsor Created Equal. "It's about taking tax dollars away from the nation's largest abortion chain."
A recent survey found the majority of voters are tiring of the abortion issue. Two-thirds of Republicans and three-quarters of Democrats think politicians are talking "too much" about the issue. Scheidler responded to this view, saying "any talk about abortion makes people uncomfortable." He said thinking about babies being killed inside their mother's wombs is "a truly horrific thing to contemplate."
"A great part of the evil of abortion is that it takes place in secret and can be so easily dismissed," he said. He explained that by turning our backs on our most vulnerable citizens —unborn children, our society's most difficult issues can never be solved, asking, "How much compassion for the poor and displaced can our society have when we've embraced the solution of killing the unborn children of the disadvantaged?"
Scheidler didn't know if all of the half a billion in federal subsidies given to Planned Parenthood is actually going towards health care. He said:
Planned Parenthood has been caught overcharging state government for services reimbursed through Medicaid. Of course, rather than risk being disqualified by a judgment against them, they always settle these cases out of court. By law, every dollar Planned Parenthood receives from taxpayers should be going directly to health care services (except in states where they fund abortion, of course). But Planned Parenthood hasn't been shown to have much respect for the law.
Scheidler will be attending the rally in Aurora, Illinois, at the site of the largest abortion mill in the nation. He estimates around 10,000 people will rally across the nation with "our message that Planned Parenthood is bad for America." He said the majority of Americans support Planned Parenthood and don't know the true nature of their business model. "They're shocked when they learn that Planned Parenthood has cornered 35 percent of the abortion market," he noted. Abortions make up three-fifths of Planned Parenthood's annual income amounting to about $190 million dollars.
Monica Miller, national director of Citizens for a Pro-Life Society, one of the major co-sponsors of the event, said, "Planned Parenthood claims American women rely on them for healthcare, but in reality, four out of five women will never set foot in one of their centers."
Miller blasted the claim that Planned Parenthood offers quality health care explaining they only perform about 2 percent of manual breast exams, zero mammograms and less than 1 percent of Pap tests. "They've also been caught shielding child predators, defrauding Medicaid and harvesting fetal tissue for profit," she notes.
"You can't go to Planned Parenthood for colds and flus, depression, back pain or most other common health concerns," Scheidler said.
He blasted their lack of pediatric care, which he said women are most concerned about, saying, "Planned Parenthood instructs clients not to bring their children with them."
Doctor Donna Harrison, executive director of American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG), told us pro-life doctors differ greatly from abortion-minded people because they recognize it is despair that drives women to consider abortion as a relief, saying, "The mantra 'it's her choice' is really an abandonment which says 'it's her problem, not mine ... '" She added, "Pro-life doctors offer hope."
She explained, "A woman who is in a crisis pregnancy needs someone who can compassionately understand her ambivalence but also give her medically accurate information about the humanity of her baby and about help available to her to care for her and her child."
The AAPLOG offers support for pro-life doctors and patients with their directory of pro-life doctors. The group offers "readable summaries of what the medical literature actually says regarding the effects of abortion on women." They have been fighting against the "disproportionately large voice" the abortion industry has in the media by providing a "second opinion" to counter the "spin" that abortion is safer than childbirth for women.
"Pro-life doctors can explore with her the circumstances that brought her to this point," Dr. Harrison continued. "They can help her get out of abusive circumstances and realize her value and worth as a human being and the value and worth of the human being who is her child."