Reaching Out in the Astrodome

Steven Mosher
By Joseph A. D'Agostino
PRI Weekly Briefing
9 September 2005
Vol. 7 / No. 35
Reproduced with Permission

Abortion providers have their own relief efforts underway for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. But instead of going into emergency mode and giving female evacuees what they need most - food, water, shelter, and basic medical care - abortion providers have been offering their usual services, to women and girls who are temporarily in an especially vulnerable state. Instead of trying to support these women through their pregnancies in this difficult time, these folks want to help eliminate their offspring.

Planned Parenthood even has workers combing Houston's Astrodome, looking for takers. They are promoting not only free birth control pills, but free morning-after pills (euphemistically called "emergency contraception"). The morning-after pill sometimes prevents the implantation of an already-conceived child, and thus it kills.

"Birth control pills are basic medical care," said Rochelle Tafolla, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood of Houston and Southeast Texas. She explained that Planned Parenthood is not providing food or other such aid because "our area is reproductive health care for women. . . . After natural disasters, there are increases in unplanned pregnancies." Women who left their birth control pills behind "don't have to worry about the expense" of getting more, since Planned Parenthood is providing a free one month's supply to each female victim of Katrina who asks, she said. She said pills were not being distributed at the Astrodome itself, but Planned Parenthood representatives were promoting Planned Parenthood's services there.

Unfortunately, Planned Parenthood is not only providing the standard birth control pill, but the high-dose form of it called the morning-after pill (MAP) that can be taken up to 72-120 hours after intercourse to prevent or end a pregnancy. Taking the standard line of pro-abortion activists, Tafolla insisted that MAP does not cause abortion though she admitted it sometimes prevents the implantation of a fertilized egg. "Abortion is the termination of a pregnancy," and pregnancy begins at implantation, not fertilization, she said. She said that she was unaware of any rape victims asking for MAP from her Planned Parenthood group, and said Planned Parenthood of Houston and Southeast Texas is not offering free surgical abortions to Katrina victims.

The national Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) is using the Katrina disaster to raise funds for its affiliates in the Gulf region. How much is this cutting into donations for genuine relief efforts? "Planned Parenthood clinics in the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and in other affected areas, are doing everything possible to attend to the needs of patients in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina," says PPFA. "Help the surviving Planned Parenthood affiliates and health centers in these states remain open to serve patients that are most in need at this critical time. Your tax-deductible contribution will help Planned Parenthood affiliates and health centers in Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and in other affected areas. 100% of your gift will go directly to the Planned Parenthood affiliates and health centers in that region so that they can serve women and families who have nowhere else to turn."

In a small bit of good news, Texas recently decided to cut off state funding for Planned Parenthood and redirect its money to crisis pregnancy centers, and there is one less abortion clinic providing such services in south Texas: The clinic in Pharr, Tex., closed as a result of the budget cut.

Planned Parenthood of Indiana is also providing free "emergency contraceptive services" to victims of Hurricane Katrina, as is Planned Parenthood of New Mexico, and Planned Parenthood of East Central Iowa is giving "free contraceptive care." Planned Parenthood of Nebraska & Council Bluffs says it "is responding to the people arriving in Nebraska or Council Bluffs who are displaced by Hurricane Katrina with free reproductive health services which include all contraception methods, emergency contraception, STD testing and treatment. . . ." Others are making similar offers. With MAP now considered "contraception" even though it sometimes acts after conception, this means free abortion.

Other abortionists now use Katrina for their fundraising. The website of the National Abortion Federation, the umbrella group for American abortion clinics, says, "Hurricane Katrina victims can call the NAF toll-free hotline to speak with professional hotline operators who can help with options counseling and with referrals to providers of quality reproductive health care services. On a limited basis, hotline staff also may be able to help raise the funds necessary to help cover the cost of quality abortion care. . . . Donations to our Hotline Assistance Fund will allow us to provide the financial assistance desperately needed by women affected by Hurricane Katrina."

It's a sad day when, despite the continuing lack of basic services for Katrina's victims, abortionists are busy plying their dismal trade among the lost and homeless, using the disaster as an excuse to end more lives and make money.