Guest Post by Vicki Cowart, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains
Political groups with an extreme agenda took to social media this week to claim they’ve found proof that Planned Parenthood has “quotas” for how many abortions the organization should provide. The entire basis of their claim was a photo of a certificate that Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains gave to a health center for increasing its abortion services – which these groups blasted as “sickening” and “appalling.”
Let’s set the record straight.
First, and plainly, Planned Parenthood does not have “quotas” for any of our services.
As a nonprofit health care provider, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care and education to as many people as possible. We aim to expand access to all of our services, and we commend our dedicated, passionate staff when they succeed in reaching more people who need care.
The organizations and individuals who have spent the last week trying to gin up a controversy about this have one agenda: To restrict women’s access to reproductive health care, including safe and legal abortion, birth control, and sex education. That’s their stated goal, so it’s no surprise that they’re “sickened and appalled” by the idea that more women are able to make their own decisions about pregnancy and have access to safe and legal abortion services.
Nobody does more than Planned Parenthood to prevent the need for abortion. We are proud to provide sex education and birth control to so many people. We are also proud to provide abortion services to women who have made the decision to end a pregnancy.
Too often, abortion is stigmatized and women who decide to end a pregnancy are judged or shamed. The baseless claim that Planned Parenthood has “abortion quotas” is just the latest in a long line of attacks that are really about perpetuating stigma and judgment. Women have abortions for all kinds of reasons, after careful consideration and with full information and counseling. They have a right not just to make that decision themselves, but to have access to services in a safe, supportive, nurturing environment.
So, no, we don’t have quotas. And, yes, we absolutely do celebrate our progress in ensuring that more people have access to the full range of reproductive health care, including abortion. And we always will.