Five years ago this week, I was standing outside the upper West Side headquarters of the American Red Cross of Greater New York, helping the organization manage the streams of would-be volunteers and blood donors who swarmed the building. It was both beautiful and heartbreaking to see how people of every age and background wanted so badly to do something for the survivors, the victims' families, the city, and the country.
Meanwhile, downtown, the powers-that-be at Planned Parenthood were thinking of what they could do to help. In their minds — and I do believe that, in their twisted logic, they sincerely thought they were just doing their part to help — the best thing they could do was offer free "services" to women who were "in need due to the World Trade Center tragedy." Among those services was an untold number of abortions.
Dave Andrusko reported the story in October 2001 in his essay "Beyond Words," reprinted here in its entirety with added links to archived Planned Parenthood press releases:
There can be little doubt that the horrific tragedy of September 11 brought out the best in Americans. Red Cross blood drives in every city in the country, telethons, hundreds of thousands of offers to volunteer, countless imaginative ways of raising money to help the victims' families--what a display of patriotic solidarity. Others, however, saw their obligations in this hour of national emergency quite differently. On the web site of Planned Parenthood of New York City, we read this on September 18:
"Planned Parenthood of New York City Offers Free Reproductive Health Care in Wake of World Trade Center Tragedy."
No, this is not a misprint. This is what PPNYC chose to offer.
"Planned Parenthood of New York City (PPNYC) extends our sympathies to all who have suffered a loss in the tragic events of last week. To provide for the many New York women who have been displaced or may otherwise be in need due to the World Trade Center tragedy, PPNYC will be offering complete reproductive health care from Sept. 18-22 free of cost."
Included in the "reproductive health care" that would be provided through "state-of-the-art clinical services, education and professional training, and advocacy" is abortion.
Even as just a few miles away firemen and emergency rescue workers were digging through the rubble of the World Trade Center for victims of the terrorist attacks, PPNYC was assuring women that while they were encouraged to make appointments, PPNYC "will do our best to accommodate walk-ins."
Three days later, Joan Malin, Planned Parenthood of New York City's CEO, extended the "free services," gleefully noting, "The response has been overwhelming. PPNYC health centers have been booked to capacity and have had 100% show rates for appointments."
What to say?
No one should expect that the leopard will change its spots. Planned Parenthood of New York City (or any other place) sees the world very differently than do you and I.
But at this particular mo-ment in time, to subsidize the taking of innocent life, to pat themselves on the back for helping to make sure that no baby goes unaborted just because their mother lacks the money to take his/her life, is incomprehensible.
The rest of America conducts car washes, donates blood, pledges money, consoles families who've lost members to terrorists, and prays each night that our nation remains strong and united.
Planned Parenthood of New York City underwrites the elimination of unborn babies.
It's beyond words.
It's beyond comprehension.
It's beyond obscene.