Despite a myriad of pro-life laws popularly enacted in the past several years, the nation’s largest abortion chain, Planned Parenthood, has lobbied to fight virtually every one of them. Planned Parenthood opposes everything from parental notification laws to bans on sex-selective abortion; it has even opposed laws requiring care for babies who survive abortions.
A comprehensive examination of the laws Planned Parenthood has opposed would fill several pages, but even a sampling shows the abortion giant’s persistent focus on unlimited, unrestricted abortion.
Parental Notification Laws
In 2010, Planned Parenthood included this in a letter to its supporters:
Last month, Alaska voters passed Ballot Measure 2, which takes away the right of minors to have abortions without the doctor informing at least one parent. The pro-choice community fought long and hard on the “No on 2” campaign, and now we will continue to work closely with reproductive justice advocates in the state to support Alaskan teens seeking reproductive health services. Alaska has among the highest rates of rape and domestic violence in the country, meaning that Alaskan teens who don’t have a trusted parent and can’t navigate the complex judicial bypass procedure on their own will be put in a very dangerous position.
Planned Parenthood sued. In July, it won. The Alaska Supreme Court overturned the notification law, declaring it unconstitutional, even though the law had several allowances for situations like abuse or medical emergencies, and even included the option of obtaining judicial bypass. Planned Parenthood was reportedly “gratified” by the ruling.
As Live Action reported, Planned Parenthood sued the state of Montana over parental notification laws in 2013. The suit went to the Montana Supreme Court, after being reversed by a lower court. The high court sustained the original law. Planned Parenthood’s President, Martha Stahl, said:
Make no mistake–this is not over. We remain fully confident that these laws are not only bad health policy, but also clear violations of young Montana women’s constitutional rights.
Also, as Live Action reported, Planned Parenthood has been more than willing to help minors get abortions without their parents’ knowledge, offering ways to obtain judicial bypasses and find loopholes to let these teenagers obtain secret abortions.
Informed Consent Laws
After the Supreme Court struck down provisions of HB2, the Texas omnibus pro-life bill, Planned Parenthood Texas Votes began its campaign against the informed-consent booklet the Texas Department of Health produces for women seeking abortions. The state posted its revised version on its website in an open public commenting window. Planned Parenthood said it wouldn’t “stand for” the new revision.
In a July 5 letter to supporters, the Planned Parenthood Texas Votes Executive Director wrote an initial plea to tell the state of Texas its booklet was there to “scare and shame women.” On July 21, Deputy Director, Dyana Limon-Mercado, wrote:
Days after the Supreme Court struck down two Texas abortion restrictions, the state health department released a new draft version of the booklet that the state mandates every woman who schedules an abortion must receive. The proposed revision of the so-called “Woman’s Right to Know” booklet contains even more inaccurate, biased, and misleading information than the current version. The booklet is designed to shame, scare, and coerce women about their decision, and we won’t stand for it.
The draft version that PPGT opposed includes not only the risks of abortion, but also the risks of childbirth and post-partum depression. It states, “Only you have the right to decide what to do” (Page 3).
Despite the booklet offering women a comprehensive overview of abortion, adoption, and parenting, Planned Parenthood opposes the right-to-know booklet revision. This is not unusual for the abortion chain, as it has been the plaintiff in several cases opposing informed consent laws. Sarah Runels’ journal article on informed consent laws includes references to other Planned Parenthood cases, including:
In Planned Parenthood v. Rounds, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a South Dakota informed consent law that requires physicians to inform women, in writing, “that the abortion will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being.”
In the 1992 Supreme Court case Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, the Court was asked to determine whether a Pennsylvania law requiring women to be provided with certain information before receiving abortions was an unconstitutional violation of their due process rights.… the Court found that truthful and non-misleading informed consent provisions may be constitutionally permissible.
Sex-Selective and/or Fetal Anomaly Laws
in 2012, Planned Parenthood took a strong stand against H.R. 3541, the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA). The bill, which did not pass, would have:
Impose[d] criminal penalties on anyone who knowingly or knowingly attempts to: (1) perform an abortion knowing that the abortion is sought based on the sex, gender, color or race of the child, or the race of a parent; (2) use force or the threat of force to intentionally injure or intimidate any person for the purpose of coercing a sex-selection or race-selection abortion; (3) solicit or accept funds for the performance of such an abortion; or (4) transport a woman into the United States or across a state line for the purpose of obtaining such an abortion.
The abortion chain opposed PRENDA, saying that the “bill does nothing to advance protections against discrimination and instead will have the result of further shaming and stigmatizing women.”
The bill, Planned Parenthood claimed, would have done nothing but “punish” women instead of address the real issues of discrimination and inequality.
A recent Indiana law that would have banned abortions based on sex selection or fetal anomalies was also targeted by a Planned Parenthood lawsuit. The abortion giant’s Indiana and Kentucky affiliate filed suit against the new law, and a judge granted a temporary injunction. As Live Action reported:
Judge Tanya Walton Pratt, from the Federal District Court for Southern Indiana, granted an injunction against a law that would have banned abortions on babies shown to have fetal disabilities or genetic anomalies (such as Down syndrome). It also would have banned sex-selection abortions or abortions based on race.
Partial–Birth Abortion/ Infanticide Laws
Planned Parenthood has also opposed laws banning partial-birth abortion and infanticide, calling those decisions personal matters between a woman and her physician. The most notable of these cases came from Florida just a few years ago, as Live Action’s Inhuman report details:
During a hearing on a Florida state bill that would mandate that an abortion survivor be given emergency life-saving care, Planned Parenthood representative and lobbyist Alisa LaPolt Snow testified that her organization, Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, endorses infanticide as a “decision … left up to the woman, her family, and the physician.”
Indeed, in the course of this hearing, LaPolt Snow, on behalf of the abortion chain, admitted that even a baby born alive during a botched abortion at Planned Parenthood might not receive lifesaving care. She testified:
We believe that any decision that’s made should be left up to the woman, her family, and the physician.
As LaPolt Snow was questioned, she continued to assert that the decision of whether to save the child was a personal one between the woman and her doctor, despite the fact that the child was no longer in utero.
Regardless of the abortion restriction, Planned Parenthood’s record speaks for itself. The nation’s largest abortion chain has a persistent history of opposing virtually every abortion law. The goal? To seek unrestricted abortion-on-demand: a truly extreme position that is not shared by the American public.