Planned Parenthood Stuck in a Time Warp
This article originally appeared in this issue of the WSR: 2018-06-06

It has been incredible the past few weeks watching Planned Parenthood’s reaction to proposed changes to Title X regulations.

With the departure of Cecile Richards, it seems like there is no one with an original thought left in leadership of the organization. The problem is that Planned Parenthood is mounting a massive campaign against the new regulations based not on what they say today, but on how they were worded 30 years ago.

You see, back in the 1980s, the Reagan administration proposed Title X regulations that required that Title X services had to be separated from any abortion procedures. The regulation also said that medical professionals delivering Title X services could not even talk about abortion. Back then, Planned Parenthood labeled this a “gag rule” and fought against it in the courts. PP lost at the Supreme Court in 1991 as SCOTUS declared the regulations constitutional.

Because President George H. W. Bush lost the election in 1992, the regulations were never implemented.

Now, 27 years after the Supreme Court decision, the Trump administration is proposing similar, but not identical, Title X regulations. The difference is significant. In the currently proposed regulations, Title X medical professionals CAN talk about abortion. Thus, the “gag” in the old regulations has been removed.

But Planned Parenthood is so enamored of that term that it insists on using it, and the mainstream media and politicians are happy to just parrot its claims.

One example is a May 31, 2018, letter to HHS secretary Alex Azar written by 14 governors who are clearly acting at Planned Parenthood’s bidding. In that letter opposing the new proposed Title X regulations, these governors said, in part, “This dangerous proposal would upend decades of bipartisan cooperation, taking away women’s healthcare through trusted medical providers like Planned Parenthood and eroding their access to comprehensive, medically accurate information. We strongly urge you to reconsider this plan, which is nothing more than a domestic ‘gag rule’ that poses serious risks to women’s health.”

The governors who signed this erroneous letter are:

Gov. Jay Inslee, Washington Gov. Gina Raimondo, Rhode Island
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York Gov. Mark Dayton, Minnesota
Gov. John Hickenlooper, Colorado Gov. Dan Malloy, Connecticut
Gov. Steve Bullock, Montana Gov. David Ige, Hawaii
Gov. Tom Wolf, Pennsylvania Gov. Kate Brown, Oregon
Gov. John Carney, Delaware Gov. Roy Cooper, North Carolina
Gov. Phil Murphy, New Jersey Gov. Ralph Northam, Virginia

The same kind of message was also sent by a reported 80 city mayors as they released “an open letter to the Trump-Pence administration opposing the dangerous domestic gag rule.”

Dwain Currier, the digital media creator at American Life League, addressed this issue in response to a social media tweet from Planned Parenthood about the "gag rule." Dwain masterfully looks at Planned Parenthood’s claims and debunks them all. Dwain’s commentary is entitled "Here's How Planned Parenthood Spins Its Pending Loss of Free Money." I encourage you to read the entire analysis.

As we watch this sad campaign by Planned Parenthood, it is becoming clear that even Planned Parenthood itself knows that it is losing the battle for the minds and hearts of Americans. It simply has abandoned any attempt at being truthful. PP believes that the American public is so gullible that it can win the 2018 elections relying on slogans of the past.

Well, that is not going to happen. This kind of thinking is part of the reason Planned Parenthood has lost over 750,000 annual customers. The American public is getting better informed, and, as it does, Planned Parenthood is losing.

Jim Sedlak is vice president of American Life League, founder of STOPP International, and host of a weekly talk show on the Radio Maria Network. He has been successfully fighting Planned Parenthood since 1985.