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Is Planned Parenthood Costing Us More Than We Realize?

Family Research Council

The combination of Live Action's undercover videos showing Planned Parenthood employees conspiring with sex traffickers and a new conservative majority in Congress adds up to trouble for Planned Parenthood.

Following the lead of veteran Congressman Mike Pence (R-Ind.), the House took a historic vote that would remove federal funding for Planned Parenthood. But Planned Parenthood and their allies on the Left, fearing an end to the federal gravy train on which they have become dependent, are fighting back.

Gods_Wrath_ApproachesPlanned Parenthood's political arm reportedly is spending a small fortune on political ads and a PR campaign. And Planned Parenthood is not alone. Groups on the Left like the Sierra Club, MoveOn.org, Media Matters, People for the American Way, Service Employees International Union and others have closed ranks and come to the abortion giant's defense.

One of the apparent coordinated talking points is that the Republicans are pursing a fiscal policy that is penny wise and pound foolish, because the elimination of $75 million plus in taxpayer dollars in family planning to Planned Parenthood will ultimately cost taxpayers $1.2 billion for costs related to unplanned pregnancies and births.

Does Planned Parenthood's so-called family planning really save taxpayers money or does the nation's largest abortion provider actually drive up the cost to taxpayers?

Consider the connection between contraception and abortion. It might surprise some, but it would not surprise Malcolm Potts, the former Medical Director of the International Planned Parenthood Federation. Back in 1979 Potts said, "As people turn to contraception, there will be a rise, not a fall, in the abortion rate."

Earlier this year, the medical journal "Contraception" published a study, "Trends in the use of contraceptive methods and voluntary interruption of pregnancy in the Spanish population during 1997-2007." The researchers noted that from 1997 to 2007, "the overall use of contraceptive methods increased from 49.1 percent to 79.9 percent." During this same period, "The elective abortion rate increased from 5.52 to 11.49 per 1000 women."

Although the article states, "The factors responsible for the increased rate of elective abortion need further investigation," the relationship between increased contraception and increased abortion seems apparent.

But the connection between Planned Parenthood's so-called family planning and an increase in abortion is not the only manner in which the abortion giant is running up the taxpayer tab. A 2005 study from George Mason University suggests that as the nation's largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood is costing taxpayer billions of dollars a year by fueling the sexually transmitted disease pandemic.

According to researchers Jonathan Klick and Thomas Stratmann, who examined over four decades of data related to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), there is a statistically verifiable link between legalized abortion and the rise in STDs. Klick and Stratmann make the argument that sexual behavior responds to economic incentives. In other words, as the laws and economies of scale, along with government subsidies made abortion more economically enticing, an increase in risky sexual behavior followed and with it STDs.

How much is this increase costing us? The Centers for Disease Control estimates that 19 million new STDs occur each year, almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24. The estimated price tag is $15 billion dollars for healthcare costs alone!

Is Planned Parenthood solely responsible for the STD pandemic? No. But as the nation's largest abortion provider, having performed more than 5.3 million abortions over the course of its history, they have led the way and are costing Americans more than we realize.

Tony Perkins is president of the Family Research Council.

This article appeared in The Hill on March 15, 2011.

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