Planned Parenthood Gains in Court and Loses with the American Public
Emboldened by last week’s Supreme Court decision against abortion regulations in Texas, Planned Parenthood has unleashed its lawyers. It appears to be ready to challenge every law in every state that in any way might deter a mother from aborting her child.
Specifically, Helene Krasnoff, senior director of public policy litigation and law at the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, announced this week that it is immediately challenging legislation in eight states—Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. While making that announcement, the Planned Parenthood spokeswoman said that there will be “more to come.”
In addition to PP’s thrust, we told you last week that Justice Clarence Thomas warned: “After disregarding significant aspects of the Court’s prior jurisprudence, the majority applies the undue-burden standard in a way that will surely mystify lower courts for years to come.” Justice Thomas’ observation is proving right already. Judges in states across the nation are declaring laws in many states indefensible. Many state attorneys general are deciding not to defend laws they think may be overturned by the Court.
In the midst of all of this, there has been some good news for people who oppose Planned Parenthood. Although the courts are “mystified,” the American people seem to be voting against Planned Parenthood in large numbers.
In Indiana, for example, Planned Parenthood closed a center in Terre Haute. The closure was accompanied by grim predictions from the president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, Betty Cockrum. She told reporters that the Terre Haute facility is closing because business is bad and revenues are down. The clinic saw a 62 percent decline in patients over the past decade. Breitbart reported that Cockrum told the Tribune-Star: “We are operating in the red. . . . I think it’s highly likely there will be an announcement of additional closures in the near future.”
Cockrum cited several reasons for the loss of business, including Obamacare’s offering of free birth control and the availability of over-the-counter “morning-after” pills, which—since 2013—can be purchased by girls with no age restrictions. In addition, she said the change in recommendations for Pap tests by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists to every three years is another factor that has led to the significant decline in the number of patients seen every year by Planned Parenthood.
These reasons are not unique to Indiana. Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, which covers Iowa, Nebraska, Eastern Oklahoma, and Arkansas, closed 14 clinics in Iowa since June 2012 and more in other states. In Indiana, Penny Dickey, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland’s chief clinical officer, said the closures were a business decision. “As good stewards of our resources, we chose to move staff and equipment to the locations where demand was higher,” Dickey said. “This sometimes means that we have decided to close an underutilized center in one location in order to better meet the needs in another location.” IowaWatch.org reported that the organization’s annual reports show a decline in the number of people who have used clinics in the four states. Although Planned Parenthood tries to offset customer losses by increasing abortion numbers, the latest data shows that, despite PP‘s best efforts, the number of induced abortions in Iowa dropped 25 percent, from 5,399 in 2010 to 4,020 in 2014, the last year for which the Iowa Department of Public Health has data.