Running head: Paper #1: Planned Parenthood, Congress, and Abortion 1 Elizabeth Boeckman 8 February 2012 POS 2041-0013 Paper #1 Planned Parenthood, Congress, and Abortion On July 7th, 2011, Americans United for Life published a report accusing the Planned Parenthood Federation of America of engaging in illegal activity. (Americans United for Life) This report sparked a far-reaching investigation headed by United States House of Representatives Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee chairperson Cliff Stearns that is so controversial that other members of the same subcommittee have called for its end. Many people allege that this is a ?witch-hunt? intended to complicate things for or even completely eliminate an organization that is often perceived as performing exorbitant numbers of abortions. However, this perception is very much incorrect. In fact, according to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America?s 2009-2010 Annual Report, only 3% of what Planned Parenthood does is abortion. According to their report, That equates to 329,445 abortions out of 11,003,366 total services, with the remaining 10,673,921 services being made up of cancer screenings (1,596,741); STI/STD Prevention and Treatment (4,179,053); Pregnancy Tests and Prenatal Care (1,144,558); Contraception, including emergency contraceptives often given to victims of rape (3,685,437); and Other Services (68,132). The United States Government also has a history of dealing with abortions that is sometimes misunderstood. Roe v. Wade (1973) established the basic right to an abortion, H.L. v. Matheson (1981) upheld a law requiring that doctors notify the parents of an ?unemancipated minor girl living with and dependent on her parents? that the child was seeking an abortion, and Webster v. Reproductive Health Services (1989) held that a law in Missouri prohibiting the use of government facilities for abortion was constitutional. According to www.motherjones.com, a nonprofit news organization, ?Since 1976, federal law has prohibited the use of taxpayer dollars to pay for abortions except in the cases of rape, incest, and when the pregnancy endangers the life of the woman. But since last year, the anti-abortion side has become far more aggressive in challenging this compromise.? This new, far-reaching investigation appears to be an example of that challenge. Just as the U.S. Government and Planned Parenthood both have long histories with abortion, they have long histories with each other. In 1916, Margaret Sanger and her colleagues opened the first birth control clinic in the United States, the precursor to Planned Parenthood, in Brooklyn, N.Y. Ten days later, police shut the clinic down (Encyclopedia Brittanica). Since then, relations have improved. In Planned Parenthood of Central Missouri v. Danforth (1976), the Supreme Court sided with Planned Parenthood and struck down a Missouri law that required spousal and parental consent before an abortion could take place and invalidated a provision that required doctors to use their professional skill and care ?to preserve the life and health of a fetus.? Planned Parenthood received $16.9 million from the United States Government in 2009 (politico.com), a huge drop from the $161,986,202 the U.S. Government gave to the organization in 2001 (United States General Accounting Office). Due to the laws in place, the money that Planned Parenthood receives from the U.S. Government is used to fund the 97% of their services that are not abortions. Despite this fact that has been annually proven by the organization, Planned Parenthood is being investigated once again by the U.S. Government ? all because of a report by a special interest group that vehemently opposes Planned Parenthood. References Americans United for Life. (2012). The case for investigating Planned Parenthood: AUL looks behind the closed doors of the nation?s largest abortion provider. [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.aul.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/PPReport_FULL.pdf Jones. (n.d.). The House GOP's plan to redefine rape | Mother Jones. Mother Jones | Smart, Fearless Journalism. Retrieved February 2, 2012, from http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/01/republican-plan-redefine-rape-abortion law., & abortions., n. T. (n.d.). Groups unite vs. Planned Parenthood - Sarah Kliff - POLITICO.com. Politics, Political News - POLITICO.com. Retrieved February 2, 2012, from http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0211/48651_Page2.htmlPlanned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania., Casey, R. P., Friedman, L., & United States. (1993). The Supreme Court confronts abortion: The briefs, argument, and decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. Planned Parenthood Federation of America. (2012). In Encyclopędia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/463155/Planned-Parenthood-Federation-of-America Planned Parenthood Federation of America annual report. (n.d.). Issuu - You Publish. Retrieved February 2, 2012, from http://issuu.com/actionfund/docs/ppfa_financials_2010_122711_web_vf?mode=window&viewMode=doublePage Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania., Casey, R. P., Friedman, L., & United States. (1993). The Supreme Court confronts abortion: The briefs, argument, and decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. United States Government Accounting Office. (2003). Federal Funds: Fiscal Year 2001 Expenditures by Selected Organizations Involved in Health-Related Activities (GAO-03-527R). Washington, DC: Government Printing Office.
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