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The Pulse

Miss America’s internship with Planned Parenthood deserves criticism

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I'd like to take a few moments to examine why criticisms that have been leveled at the new Miss America, Kira Kazantsev, for her 2013 internship for Planned Parenthood are both valid and reasonable.

According to Huffington Post, some pro-life advocates have criticized Kazantsev for interning at Planned Parenthood. While her LinkedIn page has been removed, Huffington Post has a screen shot:

When I posted about this on Facebook, someone immediately asked why Kazantsev needed to be critiqued. The person suggested that I believe that "a pro-choice woman shouldn't be Miss America," and the person asked whether "now all celebrities/pageant winners have to agree with our political stances?"

Well, here's my response.

First, it would indeed be preferable if all Miss America winners supported life; however, that's not the position I was taking with my criticisms. Rather, there is a difference between holding a private opinion in favor of abortion -- which would be problematic for reasons of personal morality -- and interning for the nation's most prolific killer of unborn children.

As noted at Salon.com, this year's Miss America is not the first winner to support abortion. However, it is not Kazantsev's personal position that is at issue, but, rather, her work for Planned Parenthood. Literally, she gave her time and effort to promote and expand Planned Parenthood's reach into young minds.

In addition to being the nation's largest organization to sacrifice unborn babies for money, Planned Parenthood employees also regularly break the law by covering up sex trafficking and the rape of minors, as documented by Live Action. I wonder if Kazantsev stands behind these practices, as well as Planned Parenthood's support for violent sexual experiences by teenagers.

Second, Planned Parenthood takes taxpayer money and uses it to kill the unborn, harm their mothers, break laws, and manipulate the minds of teenagers.

Third, as noted at Salon, the Planned Parenthood internship is hardly an outlier for Kazantsev. She has also interned for pro-abortion Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, and interned for liberal advocacy and strategy organization Solidarity Strategies. The organization told me that it doesn't speak to reporters -- apparently an interview on MSNBC's The Ed Show in 2012 doesn't count -- but its website explains that it focuses on "civil rights" as a major issue, and its clients include the pro-abortion National Council of La Raza Action Fund and pro-abortion Congresswoman Annie Kuster. Furthermore, Salon indicates that Kazantsev may have worked on Kuster's campaign.

So, again, working for Planned Parenthood is hardly an outlier for Miss America, whose political background screams support for a political party and political position that deems life unimportant.

Lastly, like it or not, beauty pageant winners are often looked up to as role models by young women. For Miss America to openly support Planned Parenthood is a serious problem for the girls whose role model Kazantsev may soon be.

One additional point: Often, defenders of Planned Parenthood say the company does few abortions compared to its total services. In its article, Huffington Post uses the oft-heard claim that "abortion services account for only 3 percent of what [Planned Parenthood] does."

The insinuation, of course, is that if we ignore the lawbreaking and mind-twisting of Planned Parenthood, it appears that Miss America's internship should be non-controversial.

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The facts, however, reveal a different story. From Just Facts president James Agresti (Full disclosure: Jim is a friend, and Just Facts is a client):

Planned Parenthood's claim that abortions are only 3% of its services is highly misleading, and the organization's annual report reveals just how this figure is generated. It involves counting "discrete clinical interactions," such as "the provision of a birth control method." This means that giving away a pack of condoms—even if they are never used—is counted as a service. A better indication of Planned Parenthood's activities is revealed by the following data in their latest report: During 2012, the organization made 2,197 adoption referrals, provided 19,506 prenatal services, diagnosed 160,000 sexually transmitted infections, and performed 327,166 abortions.

In other words, more than 64 percent of the aforementioned services were abortions in 2012. And Kazantsev's work supported Planned Parenthood's business model of killing hundreds of thousands of human beings for cash.

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