Director, Commonwealth Policy Center
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Last weekend, Planned Parenthood and its allies celebrated the organization’s 100th birthday. President Obama, Hillary Clinton, and other abortion defenders publicly praised Planned Parenthood for its work and commemorated its milestone. For pro-choice Americans, Planned Parenthood has offered a century of autonomy and “reproductive freedom.”

Yet for millions of other Americans, Planned Parenthood’s legacy is one of death and seared consciences. As the nation’s largest and most politically protected abortion provider, Planned Parenthood has operated its clinics with impunity and without accountability for decades. Consider the video expose released last year, which depicted organization leaders discussing, in the most cavalier language possible, the best prices for infant body parts. The conversations in those videos revealed a corporate culture that actively dehumanizes babies for monetary gain. Despite evidence of deception and lawbreaking, Planned Parenthood and its president, Cecile Richards, were protected by political allies and escaped any meaningful consequences.

When governor Matt Bevin was elected, he immediately held a new Planned Parenthood facility accountable for operating without proper licensing. Despite a clear breaking of Kentucky law, abortion advocates defended Planned Parenthood and accused Bevin of playing politics with women’s health. It’s clear that Planned Parenthood enjoys a special privilege in progressive politics; whereas liberals are often thought of as the advocates of the consumer and the enemy of corporatism, they have consistently toed the company line with Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood’s 100 year mark is thus an occasion to grieve. Americans should grieve over the millions of abortions that have ended the lives of real human beings, real boys and girls. We should also grieve over the millions of women and families who have suffered from regret and shame over an abortion. But we should also grieve that an institution that deals daily in life and death somehow enjoys the benefit of the doubt even when evidence and testimony are decidedly against it. We should grieve that the personhood of the unborn has become such a weaponized political issue that attempts to keep abortion providers accountable are thwarted.

Our founders insisted that our first inalienable right was the right to life. 100 years of Planned Parenthood has been an assault on that right. We should pray, and work, that another such century never happens.