Iowa’s Big Abortion Circle of “Scratch-My-Back” Continues



des-moines-registerOctober 2, 2012–Des Moines–The Des Moines Register has refused to publish two letters from Iowa Right to Life refuting promotional puff pieces for Planned Parenthood of the Heartland and the Iowa Initiative. The most recent one that they did publish on October 1 was carved up like a Halloween pumpkin.

What The Des Moines Register Cut Out of Our Most Recent Letter:

- The $750,000 of Iowa tax dollars Christie netted for Planned Parenthood is in addition to $5 million annually Planned Parenthood in Iowa was already milking out of taxpayers. Funny Christie doesn’t mention that on her campaign website.

- Pro-abortion Emily’s List called Christie "a promising candidate," but her campaign website left off that honor, too.

- Children who log on to the Iowa’s Initiative’s Stork website even today are treated to cartoon images, including one mocking a popular Christian image of praying hands, which tells of the "Pull N’ Pray" method of birth control. (Okay, maybe not that one for a "family" newspaper.  But this is the content Iowa Initiative thinks is good for children.)

In fact, their latest article promoting the Iowa Initiative appeared just three days after we sent in a letter exposing Iowa Initiative’s failings under its former leader, Christie Vilsack.  Coincidence?

This time, we are not sending our letter to The Register. We are taking this one straight to the people. Anyone who would like to write a letter to The Des Moines Register using any of our stats is encouraged to do so.

Iowa Right to Life’s Response to The Des Moines Register’s Iowa Initiative Article:

The Des Moines Register’s article by Reporter Tony Leys, "Group: Unplanned pregnancies, abortion rates decline in Iowa," (9/28/12) was misleading and one-sided.

Sally Pederson’s claim that her Iowa Initiative’s promotion of long-term birth control (intrauterine devices and implanted hormone devices) led to a decline in abortions and unintended pregnancies in Iowa is preposterous. Pederson said Iowa Initiative spent $35 million to pay for such devices, as well as training of staff at dozens of clinics. Planned Parenthood, a big beneficiary, increased its patient visits for IUDs and Implanon from 550 in its fiscal year ending in 2007 to 4,645 in its fiscal year ending in 2009. (Source: Planned Parenthood of the Heartland Annual Reports)

That should reduce abortions, according to Pederson’s reasoning, right? WRONG. Planned Parenthood increased its Iowa abortions in that time from 4,401 in 2007 to 4,792 in 2009. (In fact, Iowa Right to Life has pointed out Planned Parenthood’s growing abortion numbers so often that Planned Parenthood stopped breaking out their abortion stats for Iowa in 2009.)

Full disclosure: Iowa Initiative’s Board of Directors is stacked with Planned Parenthood’s own board members and big donors. Pederson’s husband, James Autry, was also a former trustee for Planned Parenthood in Iowa. Iowa’s big abortion circle of "scratch-my-back" continues.

Abortion Numbers in Iowa are Incomplete

Pederson claims abortion numbers in Iowa have decreased. But no one really knows, because the Iowa Vital Stats reports that Iowa Initiative often quotes are incomplete, despite a state law requiring abortion reporting. For instance, the Planned Parenthood abortion count for 2009 was 4,792 and the Iowa Vital Stats count for 2009 was 5,829 abortions. If that were correct, that would mean all the other abortions at Iowa hospitals, doctors’ offices and places like the Emma Goldman clinic in Iowa City would only add up to 1,037 abortions. Not possible.

Unintended and Unwanted are Not the Same

Are unintended (or "unplanned") pregnancies on the decline in Iowa? According to the Iowa Barriers to Prenatal Care Summary for 2010, 66% of pregnant mothers said they desired the pregnancy at that time and earlier. Another 30% said, "No, but in the future," which suggests they might be open to the pregnancy. Only 4% said the pregnancy was not desired then, nor in the future. Those numbers remained pretty consistent since 2006 (63% yes / 32% no, but in the future / 4% no, nor in the future), where Pederson said nearly half the pregnancies in Iowa were "unintended." It appears Pederson’s misleading terms "unintended" and "unwanted" are not the same.

Other Facts:

The Dangers of IUDs

Dr. Rebecca Shaw, an OBGyn in Des Moines also quoted in the The Register’s article said, "Modern IUDs have overcome safety issues of earlier models." Read the small print on the labels and tell us how safe they are. Serious risks of "modern" IUDs still include pelvic inflammatory disease, perforated uterus, damage to other internal organs, ectopic pregnancy and infertility. If the "modern" IUD gets stuck, it still may have to be surgically removed. And the risks of "modern" implanted hormone devices still include blood clots, strokes or heart attacks.  Time after time, we see risks downplayed and women’s reproductive safety sacrificed by groups like Iowa Initiative with a pro-abortion agenda.

Much of Iowa Initiative’s Marketing was Targeted Towards Teens and Pre-Teens:

Teen pregnancies in Iowa were on the decline in Iowa and nationwide long before the Iowa Initiative was a gleam in Warren Buffet’s eye (and wallet.) Iowa’s teen pregnancy and abortion rates have been dropping steadily since 1988 and most rapidly from 1990-1996. Has anyone bothered to ask why Mr. Buffet is so keen to control the population in Iowa instead of his own home state of Nebraska?

The Big Myth about Birth Control Availability and Pregnancy

The Guttmacher Institute, Planned Parenthood’s own research arm, tried to shame Iowa a few years ago by ranking her 48th in the nation for birth control availability. It turns out low birth control availability is a good thing–Iowa has the 7th lowest teen pregnancy rate in the nation.

See one of IRTL’s other letters not fit to print by The Des Moines Register in our latest issue of the Iowa Right to Life News!

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