by Ken Gorrell,
Weirs Times Contributing Writer
If the primary season had an official song, it would be the 1980 chart-topper Another One Bites the Dust. I was never a fan of Queen, and I don’t like that song, but there’s no denying it was popular in its day: a world-wide hit, number one in the US for three weeks, and in the top ten for 15 weeks, the longest of any song that year.
“And another one gone, and another one gone
Another one bites the dust”
Last week the one who bit the dust, at least to me, was Executive Councilor and GOP gubernatorial candidate Chris Sununu. His decision to shovel more of our tax dollars into the maw of Planned Parenthood, Inc., (PP) was not just a flip-flop, it was unsupportable from both the fiscal and women’s health perspectives.
Regardless of one’s position on the issue of abortion, providing more public money to the nation’s largest – and very profitable – non-profit abortion provider is simply not the best use of limited resources if one’s goal is to promote and improve women’s health. While Planned Parenthood’s PR department works overtime to maintain the illusion that their mission is exactly that – improving women’s health – the facts tell a different story.
From 2009 to 2013, Planned Parenthood:
● reduced cancer-screening and -prevention programs by about half
● cut prenatal services by more than half
● decreased the number of breast exams by 41 percent. (And these were just “exams.” Planned Parenthood does not do mammograms.)
Strangely, for an organization that bills itself as essential to supporting a woman’s overall reproductive health:
● women were 174 times more likely to receive an abortion operation than an adoption referral in 2013 (I wonder which option generates more profit?)
● adoption referrals decreased by 18 percent from 2011 to 2013
● abortion made up over 94 percent of services provided to pregnant women, while prenatal care made up about 5 percent and adoption counseling and referral about 1 percent.
Did Mr. Sununu consider any of these facts before he voted to add more of our tax money to the half-a-billion dollars Planned Parenthood Federation of America currently receives from our government?
The above facts come from the Family Research Council and are based on Planned Parenthood’s own annual reports. As with any listing of facts and statistics, there’s always a “Yes, but…” Context is important. Perhaps there are no alternatives to Planned Parenthood for women seeking access to healthcare. Maybe the number of cancer screenings and prenatal services decreased because demand decreased. But it is precisely the context that makes Mr. Sununu’s vote not just puzzling, but inexcusable.
Planned Parenthood operates just 5 centers in New Hampshire, all in the southern third of the state. They all offer limited healthcare services, and of the 5, only 2 provide abortions. In contrast, there are 52 federally-qualified health centers (FQHC) providing a full range of health services, operating from the seacoast to the north country.
It gets worse for Executive Councilor Sununu. According to the Congressional Research Service, while both PP and FQHCs provide family planning and contraceptive services, only FQHCs provide comprehensive primary care, dental, and behavioral health services. PPAHCs and FQHCs “serve a diverse, but disadvantaged population” but PP focuses services on “individuals of reproductive age” while FQHCs provide services to “individuals throughout their lifetime”. In 2014, “31% of FQHC patients were children and 8% were age 65 and over”.
As for demand, FQHCs served more than seventy thousand Granite Staters last year. Here and nationally, demand for health services, including prenatal care, from “disadvantaged populations”, has gone up even as PP provides less care but more abortions.
With the family name, Mr. Sununu may think he’s already running in the general election and can safely ignore the many GOP primary voters who care about the rights of the unborn and believe in the principles of fiscal conservatism, which starts with a pledge to spend our money wisely.
Mr. Sununu’s Facebook posting after the vote read in part: “Today’s vote will provide $549,000 in funding for important health services for nearly 12,000 New Hampshire women and families, including cancer screenings and STI testing and treatment.” Unfortunately, there was a much better option, but Mr. Sununu seems more interested in catering to general-election voters who are unlikely to vote for him. That’s the very definition of a RINO.
Ken can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org