Planned Parenthood's semantic gymnastics
This article originally appeared in this issue of the WSR: 2019-03-06

By Jim Sedlak

How do you sell the American public on supporting the killing of preborn babies in the womb? The answer is you don’t call it killing … you don’t even admit that what you are doing is ending a human being’s life. In any discussion, you quickly define a euphemism for abortion and then insist on using that term.

Planned Parenthood’s ability to do this with abortion was on full display last week when Dr. Leana Wen was at a Planned Parenthood celebration and fundraising dinner in Dallas, Texas. The Dallas Observerhad an interview with Dr. Wen and you can read their full article here

We’ve taken some excerpts from that article to illustrate how Planned Parenthood twists the truth. First, in answer to a question about Roe v. Wadebeing overturned, she answered that with this statement: 

"The patients who come to Planned Parenthood—just like patients across the country—are coming to us because they need health care. They're coming to us for cancer screenings, they're coming to us for birth control, and they’re coming to us for STI and HIV tests. They're coming to us for basic health care, which includes the full spectrum of reproductive care, including safe, legal abortion."

Right away, Wen reveals one of the major problems for Planned Parenthood. It must portray abortion as just another aspect of “reproductive care.” Planned Parenthood doesn’t want to talk about what abortion is or the fact that it kills human beings. It just wants everyone to group it in a larger “reproductive health care” category. 

The interviewer is happy to go along with this ploy and his next statement is framed the way Wen wants it: When abortion providers are cut out of health programs for low-income patients —as they have been in Texas and could be at the federal level, if the Trump administration gets its way—thousands of women miss out on health care.

Wen, of course, is delighted with the statement and expands the misdirection. She now portrays Planned Parenthood, the organization that made $244 million in profit last year and paid its 56 CEOs an average of a quarter-of-a-million dollars each, as a champion of the poor.

"Access to health care in Texas and other parts of the country is being taken away. We've seen so many laws [in Texas] that directly restrict people's access to care. Those that it affects the most are the people that already face disproportionate barriers. It's people of color, it's people of low income, it's people who live in rural areas. …” 

What Wen conveniently doesn’t reveal is that all those people she mentions kill a disproportionately large number of their preborn children at Planned Parenthood.

The interviewer, who obviously is a friend of Planned Parenthood, states: “Often, when Planned Parenthood is forced to fight for continued funding, it has to do so against rhetoric that is divorced from reality.” In Wen’s quote below, please note how she says “healthcare” three times in the space of six sentences. You will also see one of her other diversions. She frequently uses her career as a physician to make statements about medicine and science that are completely wrong, but go unchallenged.

"It's deeply disturbing when people spout lies. ... It's so much worse when those lies are coming from the president of the United States in an attempt to confuse people and mislead them with things that have no basis in medicine, science or fact. I'm extremely concerned. We're talking, not about an organization here, or about politics, this is about women's health care. This is about the right of everyone to health care that's free from government interference. ... This is also about politicians lying to hide their real agenda, which is to take healthcare access away from women."

Then she builds on that lie by making people believe that medicine has not advanced at all in the last 50 years. She, again, uses her position as a physician to sound knowledgeable, while spouting anecdotes that have little relevance to today’s world. What’s worse, the myth that thousands of mothers died from abortion prior to Roe has been shown to be a false claim. Abortion advocates, like Dr. Bernard Nathanson, said they made up the statistics in an effort to get abortion legalized. 

“If Roe is overturned, then 25 million women, which is 1 in 3 women of reproductive age in this country, would be living in states where abortion is criminalized, banned and outlawed. I'm an emergency physician, and I have a mentor who told me about what it was like to work in the 1960s, pre-Roe, that there was an entire area of the hospital known as the sepsis ward, filled with young women who came in because of abortions that they had to have in secret from unlicensed providers. ... These are women who were dying from infections, dying from kidney failure. Just dying. Thousands of women died because they didn't have access to safe, legal abortion. That's what could happen now, 46 years after Roe v. Wade. I find that to be completely unconscionable."

In the final quote in the article, Wen doubles down on her abortion-is-health care mantra: 

"If there's one thing that I want to accomplish as the president of Planned Parenthood, it's making clear that reproductive health care is health care. It should be treated no differently than any other aspect of health care. Abortion access, birth control access, access to cancer screening, STI tests, HIV tests, that's all health care. We should not be stigmatizing and treating one aspect of health care different from any other."

The scientific fact that abortion kills a preborn human being created by God for a specific purpose in this world has no meaning for Dr. Wen or anyone else pushing the Planned Parenthood agenda.

The positions documented here in Dr. Wen’s interview are not unique to her. She spouts the party line. Study this when preparing for any interaction or debate with a Planned Parenthood person and you will be prepared to reveal the truth for all to see.

Jim Sedlak is executive director 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.