The holiday season is upon us. Almost inevitably that means that as Americans turn their attention to family and friends, significant rules, regulations, and reports will be released in the hope that they will go largely unnoticed and generally uncommentedupon. If recent history is any indicator, this year’s holiday “data dump” will include the annual report for the nation’s largest abortion chain, Planned Parenthood.
As we wait for Planned Parenthood to release its latest income and other figures, here are five things that happened between October 1, 2011, and September 30, 2012 (the “services” year it is expected to report for), that Planned Parenthood is unlikely to include in any report:
1. Tonya Reaves, a 24-year-old mother with a young son, bled to death after her uterus was lacerated during an abortion at a Planned Parenthood clinic on Chicago’s Michigan Avenue. Tonya’s autopsy report confirmed that her future was cut tragically short by an injury she sustained at the hands of a Planned Parenthood abortionist on July 20, 2012. Other reports suggest that the Planned Parenthood clinic’s delay in seeking emergency care directly contributed to Tonya’s death.
2. Nurses leave Planned Parenthood in Delaware because of the abortion clinic’s deplorable safety conditions including “meat-market-style, assembly-line abortions.” In her testimony before the Delaware senate, Jayne Mitchell-Werbrich, a registered nurse for over 26 years and a former employee at a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic, described serious health hazards that she reported to Planned Parenthood officials, but which were never addressed. This failure ultimately led to her resignation on August 8, 2012. “I reported that most of the Planned Parenthood staff members did not wear protective gear or utilize universal blood and body fluid precautions; consents for sedation and procedures were sometimes obtained late as staff was rushed and hurried . . . lab work not being performed correctly thus the lab value results were incorrect; patients given sedation were found outside walking down Market Street dazed and confused; staff medical credentials were not verified; the emergency medications and equipment had expired; the narcotics were not being regulated; HIPPA privacy not being practiced; an intern who had been instructed by her instructor only to observe was pressured into providing abortion care; Planned Parenthood’s Dr. Timothy Liveright once left sedated patients in order to handle a mechanical issue with his private airplane; and more.”
Nurse Mitchell-Werbich also testified, “It is likely that many women in Delaware may have to deal with future babies who have severe anemia, jaundice, brain damage, heart failure or even death. The sad thing is that these women may not even realize the fact that Planned Parenthood could be at fault for these medical tragedies even years after they had their abortions at Planned Parenthood.”
Joyce Vasikonis, a registered nurse practicing in “woman’s health” for 37 years, also resigned from Planned Parenthood’s Delaware clinic in August 2012. Nurse Vasikonis testified before the Delaware senate that: “It would take me the entire afternoon to discuss all the deficiencies I discovered at Planned Parenthood of Delaware during the ten months I worked there.” She continued, “What I found was that the culture at the Planned Parenthood of Delaware was focused on maximizing profits and the bottom line; not quality health care for women.”
3. Another “whistleblower” lawsuit against Planned Parenthood alleging financial scandals and dangerous practices was unsealed. Schemes designed to overbill taxpayer-funded programs, intentionally tricking low-income women into paying for services already fully covered by government funds (and accounting for the double-payment as a “donation” in its books), and encouraging women to lie about abortion complications are some of the serious allegations in a lawsuit brought against Planned Parenthood of the Heartland that was unsealed in July 2012. Sue Thayer’s claims of the organization’s having a profit-over-anything attitude — including the law and women’s health and safety — are corroborated by the growing mountain of allegations from former Planned Parenthood employees.
4. Clinics dropped ties with Planned Parenthood over its mandate that all affiliates must perform abortions by January 2013. A former Planned Parenthood affiliate that operated five clinics in upstate New York announced in late 2012 that it had dropped its affiliation with the national chain over Planned Parenthood’s abortion mandate because, as its CEO explained, “There’s no need for us to be duplicating services that are already adequately and well provided locally.”
Tri-Rivers Planned Parenthood clinics (in Missouri) also disaffiliated with Planned Parenthood on October 1, 2011. At least coincidentally, that date aligns with an unexplained change in the way Planned Parenthood reported its service information. Ordinarily, Planned Parenthood reported its services for a calendar year. However, in its 2011–12 Annual Report, Planned Parenthood’s “2011″ figures were actually for October 1, 2010 through September 30, 2011. This means that three months — one quarter of a year — were repeated from what Planned Parenthood had already disclosed in its 2009–10 Annual Report.
Whether it was done for this reason or not, by restructuring its service year, Planned Parenthood’s “2011″ report did not take into account the three months in 2011 after the non-abortion providing affiliate, Tri-Rivers Planned Parenthood, dropped its affiliation. As a result, abortion appeared as a lower percentage of both Planned Parenthood’s patients and its services than it actually was.
Planned Parenthood’s next annual report data will also be an incomplete account of the current abortion-centric nature of Planned Parenthood. Figures ending in September 2012 will not only include the now-unaffiliated New York clinics, but will still include several previously non-abortion-providing affiliates that are, presumably, now complying with the mandate.
5. Planned Parenthood bullied the Komen Foundation into lowering its standards in order to preserve Planned Parenthood’s public image. In her book, Planned Bullyhood, Karen Handel, former senior vice president of public policy at the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation, gives an insider’s account of the events surrounding the controversial split and subsequent reconciliation of the Komen Foundation and Planned Parenthood.
“When the news of Komen’s decision broke, it was portrayed as though Komen was ‘cutting off’ Planned Parenthood — that Komen was making them go cold turkey and, in the process, leaving women stranded without breast health services.” Handel writes. “Cecile Richards, Planned Parenthood’s CEO, even said she was ’surprised.’ None of this was true; yet that’s how it was reported. Komen was never ‘cutting off’ the Planned Parenthood grants. That was nothing more than Planned Parenthood propaganda, and the media played along. Komen ensured that funding for all existing grants through the contract period would be provided, and Komen would even continue certain other grants, despite the new guidelines. Planned Parenthood knew all of this.”
Media coverage in early 2012 largely failed to mention an important fact in the “controversy.” Planned Parenthood no longer qualified for grants because it failed to meet the respected breast-cancer-research foundation’s newly established grant standards — standards designed to better and more directly serve women and achieve the Komen Foundation’s goal of beating breast cancer.
Notably, Planned Parenthood’s last annual report showed that its “breast health services” dramatically declined in the period leading up to the Komen Foundation controversy. On average, it seems that Planned Parenthood was performing 9,000 fewer breast health services per month — over 100,000 services less for the reported year. However, as noted above, that comparison contains an overlap with its 2010 figures. Therefore, how low Planned Parenthood’s breast health services actually sank in 2011 is indeterminable.
In addition to the absence of the events described above, history tells us that whenever Planned Parenthood releases its annual report we can expect higher revenue, a reduced overall client base, and an increase in the number of abortions it performed.
— Anna Franzonello is staff counsel at Americans United for Life.