Planned Parenthood is a respected and trusted health care provider in our community, and we would like to respond a recent letter to the editor suggesting otherwise (Letter: Defund Planned Parenthood, Oct. 13).

Planned Parenthood does not receive a lump sum from the government in the form of a check. Rather, we receive Medicaid reimbursement for services rendered, just like any other health care provider. Under the Hyde Amendment, federal funds may not be used to pay for abortion.

Planned Parenthood does not sell fetal tissue for profit, and never has. A small number of Planned Parenthood health centers allow women to donate fetal tissue for scientific research, which is legal. The anti-abortion activists who created the distorted smear video were charged with felonies for their criminal deception.

On a local level, only 15 percent of the services we provide at Planned Parenthood Mid-Hudson Valley are abortion-related services; 85 percent are preventative health care services ranging from birth control options to testing/treatment for sexually transmitted infections to breast cancer screenings and mammogram referrals. On a national level, this statistic is 3 percent to 97 percent.

The preventative and contraceptive services we provide reduce the numbers of unintended pregnancies and need for abortions.

As a case study, look at Texas: When the state eliminated Planned Parenthood from its state family planning program in 2011, researchers found a dramatic 27 percent spike in births among women who had previously used injectable contraception.

Planned Parenthood does more to prevent unintended pregnancies than any other organization in this nation. We will continue to proudly and unapologetically offer abortions to those in need. (In the Hudson Valley, call 845-562-7800 to make an appointment.)

“Pro-life” agitators are not pro-life — they are merely pro-birth. These same self-professed “pro-life” activists want health care taken away, want the food stamps program to shrink, want Medicaid cut, don’t want to fund Head Start for small children who come from low-income families to have a chance at an equal education — they don’t even want to fix the lead-laden water pipes in Flint, Michigan, that are poisoning children’s bodies.

A “kinder, gentler, and less violent nation” would be one in which every woman had the freedom of choice without government intervention, one in which every child was a wanted child, and one in which support systems were institutionalized to care for every child born. At Planned Parenthood, we work hard every day to create that world.

Ashley Casale, New Windsor
Casale is the public affairs manager of Planned Parenthood Mid-Hudson Valley.


Thank you to those who responded to my Oct. 13 letter on Planned Parenthood, and to The Current for printing all sides of a topic that definitely needs airing.

My letter was filled with easily authenticated facts detailing the brutal methods used in Planned Parenthood clinics to destroy thousands of new lives.

Thankfully, however, no one need go to a Planned Parenthood abortuary for health care. There are 13,000 federally funded community and rural health clinics that are easily accessible and last year served nearly 26 million people, compared to 2.7 million served at Planned Parenthood (see These clinics typically offer more services than Planned Parenthood, with the exception of abortion.

It is partly due to Planned Parenthood’s political influence that the U.S., along with China and North Korea, are among the nations with the most unrestricted abortion laws. In the U.S., the procedure is allowed right up to the final weeks of pregnancy for “the health of the mother,” which is so broadly defined that there is effectively no limitation.

Almost all European countries protect vulnerable new life with much more restrictive laws. As a result of this American debacle, the Alabama mud hen, the Florida gator and an eagle egg at Denning’s Point have more legal protections than a pre-born American child. This is what must change and why my letter was written. Defunding Planned Parenthood would be a big step in the right direction.

Dick Murphy, Beacon

Behind The Story

Type: Opinion

Opinion: Advocates for ideas and draws conclusions based on the author/producer’s interpretation of facts and data.

This piece is by a contributor to The Current who is not on staff. Typically this is because it is a letter to the editor or a guest column.

4 replies on “Letters: Planned Parenthood, Redux”

  1. Dick Murphy’s follow-up letter continues to be rife with outright falsehoods. His letter to the editor is nothing more than propaganda.

  2. What about all the lives lost in the ongoing meaningless wars, lack of gun control, police brutality that has killed so many black, innocent people, our violent prison system, the nightmare of Guantanamo? What right does any man or woman have to tell women when or when not they can have children, to force unwanted children into the world? It is ludicrous as well as ignorant and effects mostly poor women. Women with means and education control their own bodies as well as make their own decisions. You reflect an anomaly called social control, and I find it extremely offensive.

  3. Dick Murphy’s follow-up letter concludes with this: “Defunding Planned Parenthood would be a big step in the right direction.” Mr. Murphy and those in agreement with his sentiments should know that Texas defunded Planned Parenthood and now has the highest maternal mortality rate in the developed world. I fail to see how an exponential increase in maternal deaths is “pro-life,” let alone “a step in the right direction.” Mr. Murphy clearly has an agenda that disregards the actual facts of the matter.

  4. Federal funds are not and may not be used to pay for abortions at Planned Parenthood. This may help people to be calmer and get women’s and children’s health the positive attention they deserve.

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