LIFE DIGEST: Planned Parenthood's abortion total rises; La. revokes abortion clinic license
WASHINGTON (BP)--Planned Parenthood recorded nearly 20,000 more abortions and not even half as many adoption referrals in 2008, according to a new report.
The fact sheet released from Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) showed its affiliates performed 324,008 abortions in 2008, the latest year for which statistics have been reported by the organization. PPFA reported doing 305,310 abortions in 2007. The 2007 total was an increase from 2006, when the country's leading abortion provider reported 289,750 of the procedures.
Meanwhile, the latest fact sheet showed PPFA made only 2,405 adoption referrals in 2008. It recorded 4,912 adoption referrals in 2007.
"Keep in mind that Planned Parenthood is a business making a very clear business decision," said Rita Diller, national director of American Life League's Stop Planned Parenthood International project. "Abortion is its most lucrative 'service,' and like all businesses, Planned Parenthood is simply maximizing its profits from its primary moneymaker."
The fact that PPFA "is in the business of killing preborn children" is "macabre," Diller said in a Sept. 9 written release publicizing Planned Parenthood's new statistics. "Each one of those 324,008 abortions took the life of a unique, innocent and unrepeatable human person."
PPFA received about $350 million in government grants and contracts during the 2007-08 financial year. It has yet to release its financial report for 2008-09.
Planned Parenthood's abortion figures include those performed by surgical means in its clinics, as well as those done by use of the abortion pill RU 486.
PPFA may be responsible for far more abortions, however. For instance, its affiliates distributed about 1.44 million "emergency contraception" kits in 2008. "Emergency contraception," also known as the "morning-after" pill, works to restrict ovulation in a woman, but it also can act after conception, thereby causing an abortion. This mechanism of the drug blocks implantation of a tiny embryo in the uterine wall.
MD. SUSPENDS ANOTHER DOCTOR -- The Maryland Board of Physicians suspended another abortion doctor's medical license Sept. 8, soon after it took similar action against three other abortion providers.
The board disciplined Romeo Ferrer, 69, as a result of his failure to care properly for a 21-year-old woman who died after he performed an abortion on her in 2006. She was 16 weeks pregnant. The board found Ferrer gave her too much anesthesia and failed to monitor her condition according to his own policy.
The Philadelphia (Pa.) Inquirer reported Sept. 3 that the Maryland board: 1) ordered Steve Brigham, who operates 15 abortion clinics in four states and is unlicensed to practice medicine in Maryland, to stop performing abortions in the state; 2) suspended the license of George Shepard Jr., part-time director of Brigham's Maryland clinics, for unprofessional conduct and aiding Brigham in defying credentialing mandates; and 3) suspended the license of Nicola Riley, who has been traveling from Utah to Maryland every other week to do abortions in a Brigham clinic, after she injured a woman during an abortion.
An Aug. 17 police raid of one of Brigham's Maryland clinics uncovered frozen aborted babies as much as 36 weeks' gestation. Police also raided Brigham's clinic in Voorhees, N.J., which is near Philadelphia, Pa.
LA. PENALIZES CLINIC -- The state of Louisiana revoked the abortion facility license of a Shreveport clinic Sept. 3, making it the first one to face closure under a law enacted earlier this year.
The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (LDHH) ordered the Hope Medical Group for Women to stop performing abortions immediately, according to The Shreveport Times. Under the new law, the abortion clinic must surrender its license in 30 days if it does not appeal the revocation.
At an unannounced survey of the clinic Aug. 11-13, LDHH found the clinic did not perform physicals on women prior to their abortions and did not have qualified personnel to administer anesthesia or monitor patients' conditions while under anesthesia.
"The violations were so egregious and so consistent that we felt it was necessary to order them to cease and desist immediately," said Anthony Keck, LDHH's interim secretary, The Times reported.
BLACK LEADERS APPEAL -- Black pro-life leaders have called on President Obama and Congress to remember unborn children when they seek to revitalize the economy.
"We urge an immediate end to all abortion funding with taxpayer money," Day Gardner, president of the National Black Pro-life Union, said in a Sept. 9 written release. "Let's use our hard earned tax dollars to renew the spirit of our nation by helping [Americans] live -- not die!"
Dean Nelson, executive director of the Network of Politically Active Christians, said legislators "who focus on the economy must ensure that their actions encourage the birth and not the termination of the next generation who will have to pay for all the debt we are now incurring."
Since taking office in 2009, Obama has revoked pro-life spending policies that barred federal funds for groups overseas that promote abortion. The federal government also has continued to grant money to abortion providers such as the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
40 DAYS SETS RECORD -- The 40 Days for Life campaign that will begin Sept. 22 will have the most locations in its short history.
The pro-life effort, which has occurred twice a year since the fall of 2007, consists of 40 days of prayer and fasting to end abortion, as well as community outreach and peaceful prayer vigils outside abortion clinics.
This fall's campaign, which will end Oct. 31, will be at 238 sites. Those include locations in 46 states, six Canadian provinces, Australia, Denmark, England and Northern Ireland.
According to 40 Days for Life, here are some of the reported results from the six previous campaigns:
-- 2,811 unborn babies have been saved from abortion.
-- 35 abortion clinic employees have quit their jobs.
-- Six abortion clinics have closed after 40 Days efforts.
Locations for this fall's 40 Days outreach may be found at http://www.40daysforlife.com/location.cfm.
Tom Strode is Baptist Press' Washington bureau chief.