Pro-Life Calls and E-Mails Are Impacting Health Care Debate

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Staff Journalist

Even with abortion funding imbedded in every health care reform bill currently moving through Congress, Planned Parenthood’s president says pro-life citizens are way ahead of abortion supporters when it comes to contacting legislators about their cause.

According to a report by, Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards sent an e-mail to supporters last week in which she complained that pro-life groups are generating more calls and e-mails to Congress than abortion supporters.

“Opponents of health care reform — and especially those fighting against women’s health — have been well-funded, loud, and aggressive,” she said in the e-mail. “That’s what we’ve all witnessed, but what really worries me is what’s been going on behind the scenes.”

“Make no mistake — Planned Parenthood has been working with legislators day and night,” she continued. “But when it comes to hearing from regular people, the contact with voters that matters most to members of Congress, we’re getting out-hustled, outnumbered, and just plain drowned out.”

She went on to plead with supporters: “Even though you may already have called, e-mailed, or written your senators — we need you to do it again.”

Ms. Richards was so desperate to encourage supporters to contact Congress that she is asking donors to sign up for a text message that will walk them through how to phone elected officials.

“You know as well as I do that our opponents are riled up and extremely motivated,” she admitted. “They won’t let up until the final vote is cast — so we can’t, either.”

Unfortunately, Ms. Richards went on to mislead her supporters about the amendments pro-life advocates are proposing to prevent health care reform from funding abortion and accused them of wanting prohibit private insurance companies from covering abortion care — even those that currently do so.”

“Anti-choice extremists aren’t just trying to deny uninsured women access to reproductive care — they’re fighting to make sure that women whose private plans currently cover abortion care lose their access as well,” Richards says.

This claim is untrue. The Hatch amendment, which the Senate committee defeated last week, would have prevented government funds from paying for abortion or plans that cover abortion, but it would not prevent women from obtaining their own separate abortion policies if they chose to do so.

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