"The Killing Fields of America"
by Donna Garner

New Project (4)

On Friday, December 8, 2006, I stepped into the "Killing Fields" of America at 1927 Columbus Avenue, Waco, Texas: an abortuary called Planned Parenthood (PP).  I could not help but notice the irony of the location.  On one side of the street was an elementary school with children energetically frolicking in the cool air. On the other side of the street, 11,050 babies from 1994-2005 have been torn limb from limb out of their mother's bodies. These babies will never frolic in the cool air of the schoolyard.

On this day in December, Planned Parenthood of Waco had boldly invited the public to an open house to coincide with the free distribution of Plan B, the "morning-after" pill. (This pill keeps the pre-embryo from implanting in a mother's womb after she has intercourse.)  I wanted to experience for myself what it would be like to go into this place, knowing that PP only stays in business so long as its vulnerable client base is sexually active. Would the clients be told that Plan B does nothing to stop the spread of sexually transmitted infections, or would the young and vulnerable clients be assured that all their problems with unplanned pregnancies would be over if they would simply take an innocent-looking pill?

First, a policeman allowed me to pass through a sturdy iron gate on the side of the PP building; and he told me to enter through the back entrance, a well-fortified door with a video camera in place. After pushing a button and identifying myself to a voice on a squawk box, I was allowed to enter the "safety" of the facility. (I couldn't help but reflect on the lack of "safety" for those 11,050 little babies who gave their lives inside the confines of this "safe and secure" building.)  Inside were various clients, male and female, all very young; most were Afro-Americans or Hispanics. At a table stood two friendly women, and we fell into chatty conversation.

The staffers eagerly gave me a tri-fold, slick, brightly colored pamphlet, written in simplified wording and produced by PP of Waco.  Based upon their eagerness and their statements, I could tell the staffers believed most clients would read the pamphlet rather than the uninteresting black-and-white, two-pager which I was handed next. The staffers hyped the pamphlet by telling me that everything that was written on the two-pager was covered in the pamphlet as if to say, "You really don't need to waste your time reading anything but the yellow pamphlet."

They were totally wrong. The pamphlet (1) does not say that girls could be put at risk if they take Plan B more than once a month thinking it is a regular form of birth control; and (2) the pamphlet does not tell clients that even though Plan B may help to prevent a pregnancy, the pill offers no protection whatsoever against sexually transmitted infections (STI's or often called STD's).

The two-pager is written at a much higher reading level than is the brightly colored pamphlet. As a classroom teacher for over 33 years, I know that many clients will either struggle or will be completely unable to read the two-pager. This means that many if not most Planned Parenthood clients will rely solely on the information found in the much more appealing, brightly colored pamphlet.

Looking at the two-pager, I later noticed that out of two pages of text, this one succinct and unelaborated statement is found: "Having unprotected sex may have put you at risk for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and a serious infection could cause sterility.  If you think you could be at risk for STIs, you should talk to your clinician about getting tested."  Nothing is mentioned about the specific STI's of genital herpes, Chlamydia, gonorrhea, HPV, or syphilis; and no details about the life-long complications and dangers of each is given.  It is an understatement on the part of PP to say that STI's can cause sterility without telling clients that STI's can also cause death.  The word "abstinence" appears nowhere on either the pamphlet or the two-pager.

In the course of our chatty conversation, the staffers vaguely alluded to information from the Texas Department of State Health Services; but I had to ask explicitly for that booklet before it was given to me. The booklet was not a part of the items, including the Plan B pills, which were placed in the little brown sack that we clients received after showing our I.D.'s.  It is in that Department of State Health Services booklet (which I had to ask to receive) that the statement is made each and every time that a contraceptive device is described:  "No protection against STI's or HIV/AIDS."


Unfortunately, the typical client with a limited reading level will not ask to see the Department of State Health Services booklet and will probably read only the slick, brightly colored pamphlet which gives no warning about sexually transmitted infections nor about the dangers of using Plan B as a regular birth-control method.

Inside the little brown sack along with the Plan B pills was a price list of services offered by Planned Parenthood of Waco:

Pregnancy tests, physical exams, male/female urine tests for Chlamydia/Gonorrhea, lab work, counseling, emergency contraception, and physical exams cost from $10 to $49.

"Abortion -- Medical to 8 weeks or Surgical to 13 weeks 6 days -- $390"

"Abortion -- Surgical from 13 weeks 6 days to 14 weeks 6 days -- $525"

"Medical" probably means administering RU-486 to the woman to cause her to abort. "Surgical" undoubtedly means suctioning out the live baby's body parts.

Now I understand better how Planned Parenthood Federation of America was able to report a $63 Million profit in 2004-2005.  The fact is that PP profits only if people are sexually active: PP gets money for the sexually related services; it gets money for the abortions; and it also gets over $272.7 Million a year from us taxpayers through government grants and contracts.

PP constantly uses the words "unprotected sex" and "condoms" in its literature. What PP says in its hand-outs is bad enough; but it is what the organization does not say that is the most disturbing.  PP consistently refuses to inform clients of statements from the Centers for Disease Control such as, "Abstinence from vaginal, anal, and oral intercourse is the only 100% effective way to prevent HIV, other STDs, and pregnancy...No protective method is 100% effective, and condom use cannot guarantee absolute protection against any STD or pregnancy. "

As stated in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) condom workshop, condoms can reduce the transmission of HIV (85%) and the risk of pregnancy (greater than 95%) if they are used consistently (every time) and correctly; however, since most people do not use condoms consistently and correctly, actual risk reduction is much lower in preventing both HIV and pregnancy.

Because a condom cannot cover all infected areas, condoms do not appear to reduce greatly the risk of other STDs including herpes simplex virus (HSV), Chlamydia, syphilis, and human papillomavirus (HPV).  HPV is the leading cause of cervical cancer.  Planned Parenthood fails to tell its clients what the National Cervical Cancer Association says: "In the United States, about 14,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer disease each year and more than 3,900 women die in the USA each year from this disease."  It is a true outrage that Planned Parenthood gives its vulnerable client base a sense of false security by pushing condoms without telling them of their failure rate in the spread of STI's.

The staffers with whom I talked at Planned Parenthood of Waco left out vital information which they should have told us clients. The staffers did not bother to mention why it is that many healthcare professionals consider it dangerous for Plan B to be passed out without women going to their family doctors for the prescription.  For instance, we clients at Planned Parenthood were able to get Plan B without having to be tested for STI's and without physical exams being performed by our family doctors.

Medical evidence exists that says women can still conceive while using Plan B and that these women are three times more likely to suffer potentially fatal ectopic pregnancies.  Because women can now receive Plan B without going to the doctor, it will be easier for the abusive actions of male predators to be covered up while they put more pressure on young women to become sexually active; all involved will probably think that preventing pregnancy is as simple as taking a pill after intercourse.  None of these concerns were mentioned to us by the Planned Parenthood staffers.

The most grisly part of my visit to Planned Parenthood of Waco was yet to come: the tour of the "Killing Fields" -- the abortion section of the facility.  Now that advanced ultrasounds are common in our country, the debate is over as to whether a fetus is a blob of tissue or is a distinct baby.  In the first month of development, the baby's brain, spinal cord, bones, eyes, and ears form; and the heart beats.

Knowing all that, I cringed with revulsion as I saw the tables on which living and breathing babies are torn from their mothers' wombs.  I saw the forceps which squish these babies' brains.  I saw the recovery room where the clients recuperate, the memory of which will haunt these women for the rest of their lives.  The glibness and nonchalant attitude of the staffer who was giving me the tour of the "Killing Fields" revealed much of what is wrong with our society today -- a lack of respect for God's creation.

At this special season of the year when we are particularly reminded of the birth of the Christ Child and of the holiness of life itself, I could not help but wonder what might have happened if Mary were living in today's world and had come to seek the grisly "services" of Planned Parenthood to get rid of an "inconvenient" pregnancy.

For those of us who value God's creation, we must speak out against Planned Parenthood and its evil practices. The fact that we as taxpayers are perpetuating PP's influence on our society by rewarding them with $272.7 Million a year must stop.  We must make a concerted effort in 2007 to expose Planned Parenthood for what it is -- a curse upon our American society.