Response to "the cultures of death" letter

I feel compelled as a member of the board of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England to respond to Leonid Garder's letter. The letter is based on an erroneous reading of the facts and thus leads to fallacious conclusions. Mr. Garder asserts that Planned Parenthood is primarily in the business of providing abortions, in connection with which, he asserts, it callously sells "body parts."

First, the widely distributed video upon which this misstatement of fact is based has been revealed to be a hoax, whose perpetrators gained access under false pretenses — a conclusion that led a prosecutor in Texas who was asked by anti-abortion leaders to investigate the matter to bring an indictment not against Planned Parenthood but against the videographers.

About 3 percent of Planned Parenthood's services involve abortion. The remainder are precisely those Mr. Garder says he wishes Planned Parenthood would provide: "...help and guidance to our young people, providing them with counseling, with freely available contraceptives, offering a refuge perhaps to a young woman abused by her friends, parents, lovers."


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Planned Parenthood, an organization formed nearly 100 years ago to serve the reproductive health needs primarily of poor women, has become the target of a vicious national campaign of anti-abortion activists, based on exactly the kind of disinformation being promulgated by presumably well meaning people like Mr. Garder.

— Steven W. Sinding Manchester