Scott Tibbs
Published by Hoosier Review, 11-03-2002

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John Fernandez approves funds for Planned Parenthood while abortions skyrocket

Over the last four years, Bloomington Mayor John Fernandez and the Democrat-controlled City Council have given just under $9,900 to the local Planned Parenthood, which operates an abortion clinic on South College. This has been broken down into the following:
  • $5,000 for a medical examining table in 1999

  • $2,000 for "teen education" in 2000

  • Approximately $1,400 for medical testing materials in 2000

  • Approximately $1,500 for an autoclave in 2002
The Democratic Mayor of Bloomington, John Fernandez, who is hoping to win the Secretary of State's office on November 5th, has approved these grants. Fernandez, who is running as a "moderate", hasn't acted in a moderate fashion at all in signing these grants.

Supporters of the subsidies note so many other things Planned Parenthood does other than provide abortions. But statistics recently released by the Indiana Department of Health show that Bloomington has seen a 38 percent increase in abortions since 1995. The local Planned Parenthood performed 610 abortions in 1995, compared to 840 in 2001. That represents an increase from 12 abortions per week to 16. This increase has been suspected for a while, as people who picket Planned Parenthood on Thursday mornings have noted an increasing number of women going into the building.

Nationwide, the number of abortions has been steadily decreasing. According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, the research arm of Planned Parenthood, there was an 11% drop in abortions from 1994 to 2000. So why has Bloomington seen such a dramatic increase in abortions while the nation as a whole has seen the abortion rate drop?

One possible explanation is the aggressive marketing by Planned Parenthood to college-age women. One only needs to observe the Indiana Daily Student to see ads from Planned Parenthood offering "abortion services". Mike Fichter, executive director of Indiana Right to Life, also noted aggressive marketing by Planned Parenthood on local rock radio stations.

In addition, Planned Parenthood's "teen education" program reaches out to local high school students. Earlier this year, PP held an informational meeting in the Monroe County Public Library for local teens, educating them about various methods of birth control and how to prevent pregnancy. According to Kelly McBride of Planned Parenthood, some of the tax money PP received for "teen education" in 2000 was used to train the teens that served as PP's peer educators at this forum. She also said that while Planned Parenthood hopes that the teens present at the forum would talk to their parents about what PP was teaching them, PP had no policy about parental notification. Planned Parenthood also advertised an event called "make prom night your night" in which they were to hand out condoms to local teens who stopped by their clinic before the prom. (Prophetically, IU Students for Life issued a press release before the council approved the funding request in 2000, expressing a hope that Planned Parenthood would not use that funding to promote a pro-abortion, pro-promiscuity message.)

Isn't this ironic? At the same time Mayor Fernandez and the City Council were approving taxpayer subsidies for the abortion clinic on South College, and at the same time apologists for such funding were lauding the other great things Planned Parenthood does, the number of lives being snuffed out just a few blocks from City Hall on a weekly basis has sharply increased. High-ranking representatives of Planned Parenthood were also promoting the other services they provide in lobbying for their latest piece of corporate welfare in June while they knew of the drastic increase in abortions at their facility. Planned Parenthood even rejected a private donation from Democratic City Council member Jeffrey Willsey earlier this year in favor of proceeding with their funding request in an obvious attempt to get political approval from city government.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the first time Planned Parenthood went before the City Council to request funding (and when they got the biggest grant) former Democratic Party chairman Julio Alonso was working in a high-profile role for PP. Alonso would later be selected by Democratic precinct committee chairs to serve on the Monroe County Council in 2000.

While Mayor Fernandez tries to project an image of "moderation" in his bid for statewide office, Hoosier voters would be well served to know about the pro-abortion agenda being promoted in City Hall.