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Former Planned Parenthood director challenges current PP president to debate

In the wake of the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act moving its way closer to becoming federal law (the bill passed the House Judiciary Thursday and is headed to the House chamber), former Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson has challenged current president Cecile Richards to a public debate, according to CNSNews.com.

Johnson has been publicly accusing Planned Parenthood of lying to the public that taxpayer dollars do not fund abortions and this week sent Richards a letter asking her to respond to her comments publicly.

Johnson worked for Planned Parenthood for eight years, before writing Unplanned: The Dramatic True Story of a Former Planned Parenthood Leader’s Eye-Opening Journey across the Life Line, which slams the health care provider. Last month, Johnson became the chief research strategist of anti-abortion rights group Live Action.

A Planned Parenthood spokesperson said no official response has been released.

The letter:

Dear Ms. Richards,

I write to formally challenge you to a public debate, through a mutually agreed upon media forum, on the issue of whether or not Congress should continue to provide taxpayers’ dollars to Planned Parenthood. This issue has received a great deal of media coverage in recent days and weeks.

I worked for Planned Parenthood for eight years at its Bryan, Texas clinic. For over two of those years I was clinic director and in 2008 I was named Planned Parenthood’s “employee of the year” for Texas. Given my experience with Planned Parenthood, I believe I can give the public a needed perspective – as a former insider who is now here to tell the truth about how Planned Parenthood operates.

For many years I was part of the deception that taxpayer funds don’t finance abortions at Planned Parenthood clinics, the deception that Planned Parenthood wants to reduce the number of abortions, and the deception that Planned Parenthood’s highest priority is women’s health and safety. You continue to repeatedly perpetuate these deceptions and the public deserves to know the truth.

Given one-third of Planned Parenthood’s funding comes from taxpayers, and that Planned Parenthood’s own reporting notes it performs over 324,000 abortions per year, it defies all logic and common sense to say taxpayers are not financing abortions at these clinics.

Recent undercover investigations by Live Action have unveiled disturbing revelations of Planned Parenthood’s willingness to aid and abet self-identified sex traffickers – to the extent that the New Jersey Attorney General has opened an investigation. There have been repeated instances, covered by wide variety of news accounts, of Planned Parenthood providing abortions to underage girls without reporting names and information to law enforcement despite being required to do so for the purpose of pursuing charges of statutory rape. Just this week, it was revealed in court proceedings in Kansas, a Planned Parenthood clinic in that state failed to report 164 instances of underage abortions to law enforcement, which likely allowed numerous statutory rape cases to go uninvestigated, much less prosecuted.

In difficult economic times, when working families are stretched, taxpayers already bearing a heavy burden, and the national debt exceeds $14 trillion, the debate over whether or not Congress should continue to annually provide over $300 million in taxpayer money to Planned Parenthood is pivotal. Your organization turned a profit of over $63 million according to is most recently available annual report, yet Planned Parenthood somehow continues to call itself a “non-profit.” The deceptions must stop. I look forward to your prompt response.

Sincerely,

Abby Johnson

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