Thoughts on the ‘Planned Parenthood Truth Tour’

Last week, Students for Life at Xavier University hosted the “Planned Parenthood Truth Tour.” The tour is relatively new to Students for Life of America (SFLA), and in just a few weeks, it has already been displayed by more than two dozen of the over 1,200 SFLA groups across the country. Unlike many colleges where the display faced vandalism and physical destruction, the Xavier community was open to dialogue and hosted a wonderful platform for discussion on health standards at the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood.

Xavier Students for Life initially asked participants what they thought of Planned Parenthood. Then, after walking them through the display, asked participants to vote on a scale of how much they trusted Planned Parenthood. It wasn’t surprising to see that 68 percent of respondents distrusted the organization to some extent.

Most people distrusted Planned Parenthood because of the contradiction between the organization’s claim that abortion is three percent of what it does, versus how many abortions it actually performs. Planned Parenthood is an abortion industry that performed 332,757 abortions between 2016 and 2017, according to its 2017-2018 annual report. That is more than its performance of breast exams (296,310), provision of prenatal services (9,005) and HPV vaccinations (19,705) combined, according to the report.

At the display, we planted 911 pink crosses to represent what we believe to be the total number of abortions performed by Planned Parenthood in one single day. The display also showed numbers from Planned Parenthood’s annual report, which from 2005 to 2018 shows decreases in cancer screenings (down 69 percent), prenatal care (down 28 percent) and Pap Tests (down 75 percent). Meanwhile, abortions and revenue have both increased by 26 percent and $762 million, respectively.

The display also touched upon some of the unsafe laws regarding health inspections at Planned Parenthood. For instance, in Connecticut, nail salons have annual inspections while surgical abortion clinics are only inspected once every three years. Here in Cincinnati, a Planned Parenthood facility was cited in 2014 by the Ohio Department of Health for having a “dirty facility” and “failing to do credential checks on medical staff,” according to Department of Health records.

In cases where states do make laws in favor of health regulations, Planned Parenthood fights back. Much like what we saw in the Whole Women’s Health vs Hellerstedt case, Planned Parenthood claims it is too burdensome to hold surgical abortion facilities to the same standards as a hospital room.

The tour last week proposed a simple question: If Planned Parenthood truly cared about women’s health, why does it fight against common sense sanitation regulations? Students for Life suggests that, as seen in Planned Parenthood’s annual reports, doing so would decrease the number of abortions it could perform, and, in turn, decrease its profits. What business would want that?

After our conversations about the services Planned Parenthood provides, and after learning about the ways Planned Parenthood fights against health regulations, more than two thirds of students surveyed said they distrusted Planned Parenthood with their taxpayer money.

Because it provides some free services outside of abortion, many of Planned Parenthood’s resources are a great benefit to society. Faced with the question of where women will go for such services if Planned Parenthood were to be defunded, Students for Life has a solution. Instead of sending tax money to the nation’s largest abortion provider, we could send it to Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC), which outnumber Planned Parenthood clinics 20 to one, according to analysis by the Charlotte Lozier Institute.

FQHCs perform the same health services Planned Parenthood does (except for abortions) and are equipped to help more clients than Planned Parenthood. Near campus, free services at an FQHC can be attained at the Ambrose H. Clement Health Center, administered through the Cincinnati Department of Health. The health center is closer to campus and is held to higher health standards than Planned Parenthood.

For 68 percent of respondents to our conversations, Planned Parenthood was undeserving of taxpayer money, and only 19 percent of respondents said they “Strongly Trust” Planned Parenthood with their services and their taxpayer money. Students for Life’s Planned Parenthood Truth display facilitated 110 conversations and caused 33 people who previously trusted Planned Parenthood to reconsider their stance.

Xavier Students for Life is glad that we were able to host the tour and that we were able to have so many constructive conversations on such a hot-button topic. Students for Life’s mission is to educate students about the abortion industry and to provide help to women and families in need. Planned Parenthood has lied to women and the public long enough. Students for Life believes it’s time for the truth about Planned Parenthood to be known and for society to act in a way that protects the safety of women through common sense health regulations.

Carson Rayhill is a first-year finance major from Loogootee, Ind. He is the Treasurer of Xavier Students for Life.