Planned Parenthood Association of Utah (PPAU) presents itself as a trusted and professional organization that provides quality healthcare and education to the community. A closer look, however, shows that they fail to live up to many of the standards they claim to set themselves. Here's how:
PPAU does not reduce abortions.
Planned Parenthood likes to claim that they’re working to reduce the so-called need for abortion.
In a Facebook post from 2015, Planned Parenthood of Utah wrote, “No one does more to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and STD rates in Utah than Planned Parenthood.” In September 2016, Utah CEO Karrie Galloway commented on a 40 Days for Life campaign by saying, “we are working everyday to help women...so that families do not have to be subjected to such a difficult choice.” And in 2013, a quote attributed to Planned Parenthood of Utah’s abortion provider Dr. David Turok reads, “nearly everyone can agree reducing abortions is a worthwhile aim.”
Despite these claims, Planned Parenthood of Utah’s numbers tell a different story: They first began providing abortions in 2010, and since that time their abortion numbers have gone up in all but one year with a total increase of 798% (click here for references).
Famous whistleblower and former Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson says that their “mission on paper, is to give women quality and affordable health care and to protect women’s rights. In reality, their mission is to increase their abortion numbers and in turn increase their revenue.”
2. PPAU has not created the "healthiest generation ever."
PPAU claims they are working to create the “healthiest generation ever.” This phrase is the tagline for their pamphlet marketing their education programs and also appears in the introduction to their 2015 annual report.
“Healthy” is quite vague, but since Planned Parenthood operates in a narrow space relating to health (they provide no education or care related to things like diabetes, weight management, blood pressure, or nutrition) it’s safe to measure their effectiveness in regards to sexual health.
By every indication, sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise in Utah. In 2016, the Utah Department of Health released a surveillance report that reported that in nine years, syphilis had risen 275% and chlamydia had risen 41%. Even Planned Parenthood of Utah itself admits in a recent report that they saw a “sharp rise in chlamydia and gonorrhea tests.”
Planned Parenthood and its allies will surely claim that the reason STDs have risen in our state is because Utah law doesn't allow for Comprehensive Sex Education to be taught in public schools. But this premise ignores several factors. According to a 2015 national CDC surveillance study, Utah ranked 46th in the country for chlamydia rates, while California (a state that has used CSE for decades) ranked 20th. The same study showed that Utah was 43rd for gonorrhea, while California ranked 14th. If comprehensive sex education worked to prevent STDs, surely California would have a lower rate than Utah.
Not only does PPAU not provide services to address women’s top health needs, they are not succeeding in the realm of healthcare in which they profess to be. And the violent irony, of course, is that as they claim to be creating the “healthiest generation ever,” they are destroying the smallest and most vulnerable rising generation through abortion.
3. PPAU does not provide "medically accurate information."
The “Policy Issues” page of the Planned Parenthood Action Council of Utah website states, “Planned Parenthood works to ensure all women receive unbiased, medically accurate information about all of her options.” The phrase “medically accurate information” appears several more times in PPAU”s literature, including in this description of several of their education programs.
In Utah, a woman must attend an informed consent class prior to undergoing an abortion. The handout she receives (available here under “Abortion options”) says the following about an abortion up to 22 weeks:
“In the clinic, your doctor or nurse will use gentle suction to remove the pregnancy.”
In no way is this a medically accurate description of an abortion. To begin with, it collapses a D&C (1st trimester) and D&E (2nd trimester) into one procedure. Here is how these surgical abortion are carried out (warning: graphic content):
D&C (Dilation and Curettage: 3-14 weeks) (watch an animated description here)
This procedure starts with administering a paracervical block. This is a numbing injection given directly into the cervix. After that is done, the physician will begin dilating the cervix with graduated dilation rods. When the cervix is wide enough, he will insert a tube called a cannula into the uterus. A cannula is a straw like instrument that varies in size depending on the size of the fetal head (based on an ultrasound measurement). The suction is then turned on, and the doctor will begin moving the cannula in out of the uterus in order to get the bulk of the blood and tissue. After that is completed, he may use a curette to dislodge any additional tissue. A curette is a long instrument that has a sharp loop on the end that is used to scrape the side of the uterus. If the curette is used, the doctor will then make a final pass in the uterus to make sure it is clear of any blood or tissue. It is believed that the suction machine used during a D&C is 29 times more powerful than a standard home vacuum cleaner.
D&E (Dilation and Evacuation: 15-22 weeks) (watch an animated description here)
The procedure starts on day one with the insertion of seaweed sticks called laminaria. Laminaria are made of sterilized seaweed and look like tiny tampons. These act like sponges by absorbing the moisture in the patient’s vagina and expanding to gently open the cervix. On day two, the physician will remove the laminaria and continue to dilate the cervix even further with dilation rods. He will then insert a clamp into the uterus in order to grip the body of the unborn child and then begin to cut the child's body into smaller pieces so he can more easily remove them. After all of the pieces are removed, he will then scrape the side of the uterine wall with a curette and then suction out any remaining tissue or blood. This procedure lasts approximately 20 minutes.
In the 2018 Legislative Session, a bill was introduced (and ultimately passed) regarding informed consent regarding abortion. We know that Planned Parenthood provides extremely inaccurate information, and we look forward to women of Utah being truly informed about what the procedure entails.
4. PPAU does not think parents are the ultimate source of authority.
Planned Parenthood Utah loves to say how their programs are meant to assist parents. In the description of one of their education classes, they say that parents are the “primary sexuality educators for their children.” But there is ample evidence that Planned Parenthood is being disingenuous with regards to parental involvement:
Planned Parenthood Utah prescribes birth control pills to underage girls without parental consent (mentioned in this article).
Not only can hormonal birth control have serious side effects, it clearly concerns a girl’s sexual behavior, which is something her parents should know about.
Planned Parenthood Utah’s employees talk to girls about family planning without their parents knowing.
Any time PPAU has a job listing online, one of the pre-screening questions tells candidates they must be comfortable doing this. Talking to underage girls about birth control is so fundamental to their organization that they make it clear up front.
Planned Parenthood doesn’t allow parents to attend some of their sex ed classes.
In February 2018, PP held a weekend class called “In.Clued” for LGBT youth. According to their Facebook event description, parental consent was not required, and the event was for youth only.
Monica Leal Cline is a former Title X health educator who now exposes that although Planned Parenthood gives lip service to parental involvement, they admit to their executives that, “parents are a barrier to service; we don’t want parents involved.”
Planned Parenthood are masters at talking points, but cutting through the rhetoric shows their deception. They are bad for Utah women, men, and families.
For Further Reading: