LIFE DIGEST: Planned Parenthood surpasses 300,000 abortions a year
Affiliates of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) recorded 305,310 abortions in 2007, the latest year for which statistics were reported. In 2006, PPFA accounted for 289,750 abortions.
Its total revenue reached $1.04 billion, with $349.6 million of that in government grants and contracts. Those figures are based on the financial year from July 2007 to June 2008.
PPFA'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.
Planned Parenthood's abortion toll actually may be far greater. PPFA distributed more than 1.4 million "emergency contraception" kits in 2007. "Emergency contraception," also known as the "morning-after" pill or Plan B, 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.
COLUMNIST: ABORTION 'GOOD' -- Aborting your unborn child during a recession is a good thing, national news commentator Bonnie Erbe says.
In her April 1 commentary for Scripps Howard News Service, Erbe ridiculed the idea that an increase in abortions because of the economic downturn is a tragedy.
Responding to an Associated Press report of a mother of three who had chosen abortion, Erbe said the decision by the woman and her boyfriend was a "fact-based, rational decision that in the end benefits the three children they already have and society as well."
"One may assume this family of five is struggling just to maintain its basics: housing and food," Erbe wrote. "Add one more child and those costs rise as income drops. It's no tragedy; it's a good decision. The decision benefits society in two ways. It allows the couple to focus more time, energy and resources on their three children, giving each child a better life and a better chance of growing up to become a contributor to society. It also reduces the chance the family will have to rely on scarce public resources to raise their children."
Erbe is a contributing editor for U.S. News & World Report and the host of a weekly Public Broadcasting System program.
UNFPA FUNDS RESTORED -- The Obama administration has announced it will grant federal funds to a United Nations agency that went seven consecutive years without receiving U.S. aid because the Bush administration determined it supported China's coercive, population-control policy.
The State Department announced March 24 it would contribute $50 million to the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) as designated by Congress in the recently approved omnibus spending bill. The action came about nine months after the Bush administration refused to forward nearly $40 million in congressionally approved aid to UNFPA.
The Bush administration had taken the same action each year beginning in 2002. During that time period, the administration withheld nearly $235 million as a result of President Bush's finding that the agency aided in a program of forced abortion and sterilization. Bush's determination was based on the Kemp-Kasten Amendment, which was first approved in 1985. That measure prohibits family planning money from going to any entity that, as decided by the president, "supports or participates in the management of a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization."
The Obama administration's decision was expected. The president indicated Jan. 23 he looked forward to working with Congress to restore funding to UNFPA.
Compiled by Baptist Press Washington bureau chief Tom Strode.