Monday July 5, 2010

Planned Parenthood: 4th of July Speeches OK, Abortions on Military Bases Better

By John Jalsevac

NEW YORK, July 5, 2010 ( – As hundreds of millions of Americans celebrated freedom and the founding of their country on Sunday, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards had something else on her mind – abortion.

On July 4, Richards sent out an action alert, in which she urged congress to “stand up for women in uniform,” by allowing health clinics on military bases to perform abortions.

The issue of abortion on military bases has been a hot-button topic in the last month, after a U.S. Senate Committee in late May greenlighted an amendment to the FY 2011 Department of Defense Authorization bill that would permit abortions in military medical facilities. The amendment, which was brought forward by Senator Roland Burris (D-IL), would get rid of a ban on abortion in military facilities that has existed since 1996.

The measure has been blasted by pro-life groups, politicians, and the nation’s Catholic bishops, who argue that it effectively turns military bases into abortuaries.

“Our military facilities should be a place of hope and healing, not intentional destruction of innocent human life,” said Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04) in June. “This amendment will mean that as many as 260 military medical facilities worldwide will now be in the abortion business.”

In her action alert, Richards wrote that, “This 4th of July, among the outdoor cookouts and fireworks displays, countless politicians and members of Congress will give speeches to honor the women and men serving in our nation’s military. But speeches are one thing, and action is another. Will Congress stand up for women in uniform when it counts?”

She lamented that, “Right now, women serving abroad in the U.S. military are denied the basic freedom to make their own medical decisions, because abortion is banned at military hospitals and bases.”

“This is an outrageous injustice to women who sacrifice so much, and it’s time for a change.”

Richards concludes the alert by pointing out that her organization is supporting Sen. Burris’ amendment, and urging PP supporters to “stay tuned” about how they can help push the amendment forward.

“It is absolutely incredible that Planned Parenthood would use Independence Day to call for the killing of the children of our mothers in the military,” said Jim Sedlak, vice president of American Life League, in an email to Monday. Sedlak heads up an ALL project specifically devoted to exposing the activities of the abortion giant.

“For Planned Parenthood to advocate a woman, who becomes the mother of a child while serving in the military, be subjected to the pressure to kill that child is beyond the pale,” he said.

“And,” Sedlak continued, “for Planned Parenthood to use our tax dollars to advocate making abortionists out of our military doctors – who fight every day to save the lives of our brave men and women suffering from battlefield injuries – is a total disrespect for their profession of healing. It is time for Planned Parenthood to close its doors and get out of town.”

Last week the head of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, released a letter in which he urged senators to remove the abortion amendment on the grounds that it breaks with longstanding federal and military policies on government promotion of abortion.

Cardinal DiNardo said it was disingenuous to suggest, as the amendment’s proponents have, that the amendment is “moderate” in requiring patients at military facilities to pay for their abortions.

“Which is a more direct governmental involvement in abortion: That the government reimburses someone else for having done an abortion, or that the government performs the abortion itself and accepts payment for doing so?” the Cardinal wrote.

DiNardo also noted that during the brief period in the Clinton era when military facilities were told to make abortions available, “scarcely any military physician could be found in overseas facilities who was willing to perform abortions.”

The prelate concluded that “this amendment presents Congress with the very straightforward question whether it is the task of our federal government to directly promote and facilitate elective abortions.”

“During the recent health care reform debate, the President and congressional leadership assured us that they agree it is not.”

See related coverage:

U.S. Senate Committee Oks Amendment Ditching Military Abortion Ban