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Time is not on abortion-giant Planned Parenthood’s side

As Planned Parenthood turns 100 this week, it would appear that times are great for them.

{mosads}The corporation is certainly flush, as a recent audit revealed that CEO Cecile Richards’ salary doubled to nearly one million dollars from a couple years ago. The half a billion dollars the corporation receives annually from the U.S. government certainly helps, as do the hundreds of thousands of abortions the chain performs annually, at a cost of up to $1,500 a pop.

And it certainly helps when the presidential candidate leading in the polls has sworn her allegiance to Planned Parenthood, even promising to repeal the Hyde Amendment, which bars the use of federal tax dollars for most abortions directly.

One can hardly blame Planned Parenthood for thinking it’s party time.

The icing on their cake was the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Whole Women’s Health, which struck down laws passed by duly-elected lawmakers in the wake of the Gosnell horrors, laws intended to hold abortion clinics to the same basic health and safety standards as any other walk-in health clinic.

Planned Parenthood lobbied against the safety regulations, putting itself quite literally, on the other side of women’s health.

But a closer look reveals many reasons for Planned Parenthood to be deeply concerned.

For starters, there is my generation.

Millennials are the most pro-life generation in recorded history. The last two decades saw a more than 10-point drop in the percent of young voters who think that abortion should always be legal, complemented by polling which finds young people are the most likely of any age category to believe that abortion should be illegal in all cases.

Then there is the poll done by NARAL (formerly National Abortion Rights Action League) which found that young voters who self-identify as pro-life are more than twice as likely as young pro-choicers to say abortion is an important issue when voting.

And then there is abortion itself — the rates for which are at the lowest level since groups began tracking it in 1973. Even the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute was forced to acknowledge the downward trend spans “almost all states” and can’t simply be attributed to new state-level legal efforts to protect women and their babies.

And of those, there are many.

Just about every year breaks the record for the previous year’s number of state-level regulations affecting abortion practices. Those laws run the gamut, from banning late-term abortion, to requiring higher safety standards for abortion clinics, to outlawing abortions on the basis of sex or disability. These legal efforts speak volumes to what the people want — what Roe v. Wade cut down at the knees: a say in our nation’s abortions laws and more protections for women and children, not less.

Those desires were only inflamed by Planned Parenthood’s P.R. disaster when undercover footage released last year exposed a crass disregard at all levels of the corporation both for the unborn and for their mothers.

The amount of laughter heard throughout the videos as Planned Parenthood staff discuss dollar amounts and gruesome procedures is eerily unnerving. The trade of human body parts that was uncovered is still under federal congressional investigation, with lawsuits filed just last week by the Orange County District Attorney against two medical companies involved in the harvesting, transporting, and sale of body parts from Planned Parenthood’s clinics.

And then there is the inconveniently female nature of the pro-life movement, which jars with the rhetoric that opposition to abortion is somehow anti-woman. A lengthy article published on the feminist and pro-choice website Slate this week profiled the movement and its future, writing that the “future of pro-life activism is young, female, secular, and ‘feminist.’”

Indeed, the pro-life energy tracks that of other social justice movements in our nation’s history.

Over time, each of those movements swelled to the point that it became an unstoppable force, eventually piercing the nation’s conscience and stirring legislators to action. Just this year, polling found that an overwhelming majority of Americans find abortion to be “morally wrong” and that nearly 80 percent believe that our laws are capable of protecting both a mother and her unborn child.

That’s bad news for Planned Parenthood.

And so they will no doubt celebrate the 100 years they have behind them, but they cannot hide from reality, which suggests that time is not on their side.

McGuire is a senior fellow with The Catholic Association.


The views expressed by Contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.

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