Healthcare and Planned Parenthood: The Significance for Pro-Life OB/GYNs

By Pauls, Jeffrey J.; Landwehr, Carl | Issues in Law & Medicine, Fall 2017 | Go to article overview

Healthcare and Planned Parenthood: The Significance for Pro-Life OB/GYNs


Pauls, Jeffrey J., Landwehr, Carl, Issues in Law & Medicine


The findings from Vitae Foundation's seventh Right Brain research study, Saving Grace: Examining the Planned Parenthood Brand (2015), offer practical suggestions for helping medical professionals serve an important role in an ever-developing, integrated pro-life model of healthcare and social services. The responses of women in the study reveal both positive and negative feelings, experiences and attitudes toward the Planned Parenthood brand and the "healthcare" offered there. The Planned Parenthood strengths, to the extent possible, can be mimicked and reproduced and the weaknesses can be easily addressed within more responsible, comprehensive and professional medical practices.

Right Brain Research Methodology

The Vitae research strateg)? employed in these seven studies is unique as it focuses on the right side of the brain where consumer decisions are made including having an abortion. Charles Kenny, Ph.D., a consumer psychologist who has conducted research in the area of branding and marketing with companies such as American Express, Maybelline, McDonalds, Toyota and Wal-Mart, has led each of the projects. The proprietary research methodology perfected by Dr. Kenny and his Right Brain team bypasses the left side of the brain, which is the logic side, through a process of visualization, repetition, and relaxation. This process investigates the emotional needs and barriers that explain the respondent's behavior. According to Dr. Kenny, "The pictures that respondents see in their minds' eyes are emotionally significant to them. The pictures are available to them because the emotion they experienced at the time locked the visual images into their long term memories. Once respondents are viewing past experiences with the products or the service, [in the case of respondents in the Saving Grace study, it is their visit to Planned Parenthood] we interview them about what they are seeing and how they are feeling in the picture. This technique elicits information that is much richer and far more revealing than information produced from more traditional interview methods, because people are actually reliving the experiences they have had in the past and are in touch with the feelings that are associated with those events. Emotional research is a powerful tool for understanding consumers, because it provides the deepest level of psychological analysis possible."1

Propping up the Planned Parenthood Brand

The Saving Grace study included 70 women (total) in New York, Miami, Chicago and Los Angeles who went to Planned Parenthood for services including birth control and abortion. The respondents included those with both a favorable and un-favorable experience. This study shows that Planned Parenthood's image as a valid health-care provider is dependent upon the support of two demographics: (1) Adolescents and (2) "Legacy Customers."

Adolescents

The adolescent group is defined by their emergence into young adulthood, and, unfortunately, engagement in risky sexual behavior. For this group, the Planned Parenthood brand promises: 1. Secrecy - adolescents are usually scared that their parents will find out they are sexually active and, 2. The illusion of empowerment to make their own decisions, be "protected," and enjoy sex without repercussions.

Additionally, adolescents believe that Planned Parenthood can help them with various reproductive health concerns but this is generally secondary to their desire to obtain birth control, which Planned Parenthood effectively manipulates to its own advantage in two significant ways. First, Planned Parenthood markets birth control extensively and effectively, relying heavily on widespread societal acceptance and societal ignorance of the often-severe and unsafe side effects and complications, especially of the most common form used by adolescents: the pill/chemical contraception (which is listed as a Group 1 Carcinogen by the World Health Organization).2 Second, they overemphasize the effectiveness and safety of birth control, as demonstrated by the following information on the Planned Parenthood website: "Birth control is how you prevent pregnancy before it begins. …

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