Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Planned Parenthood Offers Neither Food or Medicine to Katrina Victims

From the Special email bag:
As organizations like Catholic Charities and Red Cross solicit donations in order to provide basic necessities for Hurricane Katrina evacuees, Planned Parenthood is asking for money in order to hand out contraceptives and abortifacient morning after pills to victims of the storm making their way to the Houston area.

A link on Planned Parenthood's website that says, "Help with Hurricane Effort," takes visitors to a page that touts the organization's work. "Planned Parenthood staff are on the frontlines aiding patients in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. You can help. 100% of your tax-deductible contribution will go directly to supporting our continued efforts to provide health services." Included in those health services are a month's supply of contraceptives and an "emergency contraception kit." Elsewhere on the website, birth control is referred to as an item "critical" to the "well-being" of women and families. Visitors to the site are assured that nothing will stop Planned Parenthood's efforts. "Despite the horrific events of the past few days, affiliates and health centers in this region are determined to serve all those that come through the door."

Emergency contraception typically refers to Plan B, the controversial drug that can work by preventing a fertilized egg from implanting in a women's uterus. Despite the fact that medical textbooks show otherwise, Planned Parenthood insists Plan B never ends a pregnancy.

The effort is being coordinated by Planned Parenthood of Houston and Southeast Texas. Peter Durkin president and CEO of that chapter said, "We're offering a free month's supply of birth control pills and/or emergency contraception if they have either a Mississippi or Louisiana driver's license. During these calamities, sometimes you don't bring your pills with you, because you're trying to get out of there in one piece." Their website says they are working to make sure evacuees "can continue to get birth control and other reproductive health services." Abortions are among the "reproductive health services" offered by Planned Parenthood of Houston and Southeast Texas.

The Houston area has drawn more Katrina evacuees than any other city with some estimates placing the number at 150,000 and it is believed that as many as a quarter million – maybe more – evacuees will make their way to Texas.

Meanwhile, according to a press release, Father Larry Snyder, president of Catholic Charities USA, met today with President Bush at the White House. Father Snyder, along with other nonprofit leaders, reported on ongoing relief efforts in the aftermath of Katrina. Catholic Charities agencies across the nation have responded to the crisis to meet the immediate needs of evacuees and plan for long-term recovery efforts. While Catholic Charities cannot accept gifts of clothes and food, donations of money will be used to provide for the emergency relief and long-term recovery of Katrina's victims.

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