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Posted at 12:36 PM ET, 02/28/2011

Planned Parenthood, Susan B. Anthony List put up dueling ads

By Felicia Sonmez

Updated: 3:25 p.m.

The anti-abortion advocacy group Susan B. Anthony List is going up with $200,000 in television and radio ads backing six Republican freshmen House members who voted earlier this month in favor of an amendment that would bar federal funding of Planned Parenthood.

The ads follow a $200,000 buy by Planned Parenthood for ads starting today urging the Senate to stop the defunding amendment approved by the House from moving ahead as both chambers work toward a compromise on avoiding a federal government shutdown.

The SBA List ads will support Republican Reps. Ann Marie Buerkle (N.Y.), Randy Hultgren (Ill.), Joe Walsh (Ill.), Frank Guinta (N.H.), Mike Fitzpatrick (Pa.) and Patrick Meehan (Pa.). The Buerkle spot is a $75,000 TV and online ad buy that will run from Tuesday through Friday of this week. The other five will be radio spots.

"With America drowning in debt, why is Washington spending millions on Planned Parenthood?" the narrator of the 30-second TV ad backing Buerkle says. "This corporation has shown a willingness to aid sex traffickers, covered-up statutory rape of young girls, and is America's number on abortion provider. Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle courageously said no to taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood. Thank you, Congresswoman Buerkle, for standing up for women, young girls, and taxpayers.

The references to "sex traffickers" and statutory rape cover-ups are a nod to several videos taped as part of an undercover sting by the Los Angeles-based anti-abortion group Live Action. Planned Parenthood has contended that the videos, which showed Planned Parenthood employees counseling a couple posing as a pimp and a prostitute, have been heavily-edited and are part of a larger effort to smear the organization because of its role as an abortion provider. Live Action has defended the videos, which is says have not been manipulated.

After a lengthy and at-times emotional debate earlier this month, the House approved an amendment by Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) that would prevent Planned Parenthood from receiving any federal funding. The organization by law cannot receive any federal funds for abortion services but gets federal money to provide family planning services to low-income people.

The new Planned Parenthood ad, which will run on cable and network TV and radio in Washington, features the testimony of Carolyn Smithers, a cancer survivor who was diagnosed by Planned Parenthood with cervical cancer.

"Without Planned Parenthood, I wouldn't be here today," Smithers says in the ad, which concludes with a narrator urging the Senate to "stand with Carolyn and Planned Parenthood and put the lives and health of women above Washington politics."

The dueling $200,000 ad buys, while not extensive, are the latest sign that the debate over federal funding of abortion is not likely to end anytime soon.

In addition to its ad buy, SBA List plans a "14-stop grassroots tour" calling attention to the votes of House Republicans who backed the Planned Parenthood defunding amendment as well as several Democratic members who opposed it, including Reps. Leonard Boswell (Iowa), Bruce Braley (Iowa), Bill Keating (Mass.), David Cicilline (R.I.), Jason Altmire (Pa.), Maurice Hinchey (N.Y.), Marcy Kaptur (Ohio) and Bill Owens (N.Y.).

Meanwhile, the abortion rights group NARAL Pro-Choice America is putting pressure on senators to oppose defunding Planned Parenthood and cutting funding to family planning services. The group is targeting Republican Sens. Mark Kirk (Ill.) and Scott Brown (Mass.) as well as Democratic Sens. Max Baucus (Mont.), Jon Tester (Mont.), Tim Johnson (S.D.), Mark Warner (Va.) and Herb Kohl (Wis.). According to NARAL, 50,000 of its activists have emailed senators over the past week calling on them to oppose what the group has termed House Republicans' "War on Contraception."

By Felicia Sonmez  | February 28, 2011; 12:36 PM ET
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In reviewing statistics published by Planned Parenthood, there is one small trend I would like to point out - especially since they are using the fact that they provide cancer screening as part of their campaign to continue to receive funding.

Over the past five years for which data is available (2005 - 2009), Planned Parenthood has experienced a 9% decline in services for cancer screening. I believe that the organization actually received an increase in federal funding over these same years.

During that same time, there has been a 7% increase in contraception services and a 25% increase in abortion services.

If Planned Parenthood manages through this campaign to continue to receive federal funding, as a taxpayer - I'd like to see an increase in cancer screenings and a decrease in abortion services. If they are going to use my money then I want a say in how they spend it.

Quite frankly, I prefer they not get a dime of taxpayer money. But I would guess -- when they lose their federal funding, whether it be now or in the not so distant future -- that the first set of services to get downsized will be cancer screenings.

Because if they don't continue to flood the market with contraception, then they can't hope to keep their abortion numbers up (and thus fund their organization). So there won't be any money left for those cancer screenings...I'd rather have tax dollars go to an organization that consistently helps women regardless of how much money they have.

Planned Parenthood is just not that type of place...especially in light of the recent cases of aiding & abetting in sex trafficking and the recent revelation of abuse with respect to mandatory reporting requirements for statutory rape.

Let's use government money to help women (and by extension the entire society) and not to continue to degrade them and expose them to evil.

Posted by: RoundlyMocked | February 28, 2011 1:45 PM | Report abuse

A bad month for liberal abortion supporters ?

Read about the LEGAL Gosnell Philadelphia abortion clinic horrors ? Hundreds of poor minority women victimized not just the dead babies.

Seen the 7 videos of Planned Parenthood workers across 4 States… supporting sex slavery ? Yup... your neighborhood pimp appreciates your tax dollars and generous personal checks keeping Planned Parenthood in operation.

Seen liberal Slate online for William Saletan’s “How the politics of abortion protects bad clinics.” ? It summarizes the litany of suffering and abuses at multiple LEGAL abortion clinics across America.

Smart liberals will support the need for MORE regulation of abortion clinics not the failed status quo.

Gosnell's abortion clinic was LEGAL and UNREGULATED. For years, because of pro-abortion activism, it was ignored by State officials and local hospitals who actually treated its hundreds of victims. Victims of botched abortions. No back alleys were needed for horrific suffering to occur.

At least, 3 women were murdered by botched abortions by untrained unregulated staff and numerous live babies perhaps dozens ? were killed in unimaginable ways after successful delivery.

Its not only morally wrong to ignore the suffering of female patients and criminality at clinics... its a political disaster for abortion supporters.

Posted by: pvilso24 | February 28, 2011 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Why no mention of adoption services ? PP performed just under 3000 in 2008.

Why no mention of low-cost simple pre-natal ultrasounds ?

Perhaps because PP rejects allowing expectant mothers to see their developing babies ? Perhaps because adoptions are few and low-margin vs the 300,000+ high-profit abortions !

Those developing babies are just "fetuses" right ? "clumps of cells" ? What harm could result ?

Maybe letting expectant mothers see their babies might increase the number of adoption referrals and bring joy to some of the half-million couples waiting to adopt. Maybe even come closer to achieving what liberals have long promised: fewer abortions and fewer dead babies.

Posted by: pvilso24 | February 28, 2011 2:46 PM | Report abuse


Maybe I just don't get it, but I find your comment largely incoherent.

You purport to offer trend analysis of the services that Planned Parenthood offers and suggest that cancer screenings (which I guess you think are "good" services) are in decline while abortion and contraceptive services are increasing (one or both of which you deem to be evil and degrading). So, this is bad. We're kind of vague here, but I still kind of follow you.

But then your comment goes on to connect a "flood" of contraception with keeping "abortion numbers up" and hence maintaining funding. Linking more contraception with more unwanted pregnancies at least requires some additional explanation if it is not to be seen as self contradiction. Also, you seem to insinuate here, incorrectly, that access to abortion is some kind of cash cow for Planned Parenthood. It is not.

So, let's step back and look at what we are actually talking about. In her column of 2/23/11, Ruth Marcus writes, "abortions represent 3 percent of the services Planned Parenthood provides; contraception accounts for 35 percent; testing for sexually transmitted diseases, 34 percent; cancer screening and prevention, 17 percent."

So, whatever the trends may be, 51% of the services Planned Parenthood provides are medical tests that are important for womens health. This is in fact using "governement money to help women." I think most of America would also say that the 35% of services going to contraception is also "helping women" -- not degrading them.

And as Marcus's column points out, without the important help provided to women in the way of contraception provided by Planned Parenthood, the number of abortions will likely increase. Unless, of course, we are actually able to make that curious equation of more contraceptives = more abortions work out in the converse. But I'm not hopeful.

Rather, I think you are confused -- just like the reckless legislators who are so focused on the means (i.e., "evil" Planned Parenthood) that they've lost track of the ends (i.e., fewer abortions, fewer health problems for women).

BTW, the action by the SBA just underlines what an obscenity it is that this organization purports in any way to be "feminist." I would laugh, but it's just not that funny.

Posted by: JefComment | February 28, 2011 3:12 PM | Report abuse

@ JefComment

Thank you for this opportunity to dispel one of the great myths of this debate: More contraception leads to less abortion.

This is just NOT true. The most recent one I could find (quickly) was published in the January 2011 issue of the "Contraception" Journal. The following summary is taken from the blogosphere (Real Choice via

STUDY DESIGN: Since 1997, representative samples of Spanish women of childbearing potential (15-49 years) have been surveyed by the Daphne Team every 2 years to gather data of contraceptive methods used.

RESULTS: During the study period, 1997 to 2007, the overall use of contraceptive methods increased from 49.1% to 79.9%. The most commonly used method was the condom (an increase from 21% to 38.8%), followed by the pill (an increase from 14.2% to 20.3%). Female sterilization and IUDs decreased slightly and were used by less than 5% of women in 2007. The elective abortion rate increased from 5.52 to 11.49 per 1000 women.

CONCLUSIONS: The factors responsible for the increased rate of elective abortion need further investigation.

From another blogger: "So in the ten year period that contraception use increased by about 60%, the abortion rate doubled. In other words, even with an increase in contraception use, there weren’t fewer unwanted pregnancies, there were more."

While researchers call for additional research to figure out why increase in contraception use leads to higher abortion rates, logically it's not too difficult to figure out.

Proper use of contraception requires in many cases either regularity (taking a pill at the same time each day) or special care (putting on the condom correctly)...Add to this the sense of false security that contraception often provides (even though no method is fool-proof except abstinence) and the result is more unintended pregnancies, which leads to more induced abortions.

As for the fact that Planned Parenthood makes money off of abortions - that's been supported by first-hand experience of people who have worked for Planned Parenthood with the genuine interest of helping women and who have left Planned Parenthood because of its push for more abortions (in many cases to balance budget deficits). Read Unplanned by Abby Johnson - it's a very balanced and clear look at the reality of Planned Parenthood. It gives the best view I've ever seen of both sides of the fence.

As for the SBA List - I say simply this...there's not a better group that I would want to have protecting my rights as a woman.

Posted by: RoundlyMocked | February 28, 2011 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Do any of these idiots not think for a second that if women had adequate healthcare coverage for them and their child that they may decide to keep it?

The other servies planned parenthood provides, which will be stripped, may also be a deciding factor if a woman chooses to have the baby. Its about support.

The GOP cares about the fetus until its born, then your on your own.

And how would they pay for healthcare and social security for millions of babies should abortion be banned? What about the deaths of women in backyard abortions?

Anyway, god is the leading cause of death last I read.

Posted by: Chops2 | February 28, 2011 8:05 PM | Report abuse

There wasn't one highly edited video. There were at least five. They were edited in the interest of time, not to distort the truth. The full unedited videos were made available on-line so anyone can judge for themselves(how unlike the Post or the rest of the MSM.) Planned Parenthood behaved disgracefully. Their employees consistently ignored evidence of child abuse and sexual enslavement in order to make a buck. The Post is in enormous financial trouble at least partially because it has lost its moral compass. The Post should reconsider who it picks for allies.

Posted by: jy151310 | February 28, 2011 8:47 PM | Report abuse

These Ho's need to stop and think before they seduce every Tom, Dick, and Harry that comes along and then they get themselves in "trouble". After teasing some innocent man, these jezebels then claim rape or incest as an excuse to abort the product of their shameless one night stands. We all need to support the GOP and Speaker Boehner as he works to outlaw the excemptions for Rape and Incest from our current laws. God is on the GOP side, not the kenyan born, radical muslim communist waging jihad against America from our WHITE House!

Posted by: Bush2 | March 3, 2011 1:21 PM | Report abuse

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