Planned Parenthood Clinic in St. Paul, MN
Photo credit: Fibonacci Blue (CC-By-2.0)
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Planned Parenthood Clinic in St. Paul, MN
Photo credit: Fibonacci Blue (CC-By-2.0)

Planned Parenthood’s stated mission is “to actively promote family planning and healthy, responsible reproductive and sexual behavior through the provision of high-quality, comprehensive, educational, counseling, medical, and referral services.”

The current controversy surrounds allegations that they’re harvesting organs and tissues from aborted remains for financial benefit. They claim that these allegations are false and that their tissue donation activities are performed only according to the highest medical and ethical (and legal) standards. Whatever is occurring in this regard, it seems that these activities are, at best, tangential to their stated mission.

Planned Parenthood is dependent on government funding to provide the services that they’ve declared are central to their mission, and this funding is potentially in jeopardy due to the current controversy. They’ve hired a high-powered crisis management firm to help them navigate the controversy. Doesn’t it seem like any crisis management firm worth its salt would advise Planned Parenthood to declare an immediate moratorium on their tissue donation activities in order to conduct an internal investigation of the claims being made against them? Wouldn’t that simple action take some of the wind out of the sails of the defunding effort, thereby protecting their core mission, at least in the short term?

Instead, their response has consisted almost entirely of accusations against the group that secretly recorded the videos. They don’t seem to be directly involved (at this point) in the efforts to use the courts to go after this group, but you can be sure they’re supportive of the effort. Rather than quelling the controversy, these actions are likely to keep propelling it forward.

Planned Parenthood’s entire response to this seems bizarre and counterproductive, in terms of preserving their ability to continue to carry out their stated mission. The impulse behind their response is something to consider.

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