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Rights and Profits

posted by awelborn

In the WSJ, Manuel Miranda points out , via a piece on the Roberts/NARAL ad flap, that what NARAL fears isn’t the abridgement of rights, but more probably, the reduction in profits that abortion restrictions might bring



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Katherine

posted August 10, 2005 at 12:26 am


I doubt that’s their motivation. They’re ideologues. Hatch’s claim that the abortion industry is “as big as any industry that lobbies in Washington”, is pretty patently false as a matter of economics. I would guess it was not reported because it’s just pretty standard political speech, it did not contain any substantive factual information at all despite Miranda’s breathless retelling, and 95%+ of what is said in Congress never makes it into a newspaper.
NARAL is (a) a nonprofit, (b) has relatively low revenues as lobbying organizations go (c) as far as I can tell from its annual report gets its revenue from membership donations rather than from abortion services–I don’t think NARAL actually performs abortions.
Their ad is completely dishonest and despicable, and I think they are a destructive force. But I also think their motive is ideological, not financial.



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reluctant penitent

posted August 10, 2005 at 12:53 am


Planned Parenthood owns many abortion clinics, and NARAL and PP cooperate quite closely.



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Katherine

posted August 10, 2005 at 2:32 am


They do. But they are a 501(C)(3) as well, as are all their affiliates. Here’s the tax form. Some of their officers make hefty salary by my standards (see page 9), but compared to private medical specialists or private sector executives it’s quite modest.
I don’t know why I’m bothering to google this stuff, it’s really very much a side issue. I guess the thing is, that an ideological belief seems inexplicable and wrong does not necessarily imply that it is insincere. And if a group or organization is basically in the wrong–it still doesn’t mean every individual accusation of wrongdoing or bad intent by that group is true.



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ajb

posted August 10, 2005 at 9:04 am


Is this the same criminal Manuel Miranda who was forced to resign from his Senate staff position after he was caught illegally hacking Democratic Party computers?



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DarwinCatholic

posted August 10, 2005 at 9:21 am


He didn’t hack Democratic Party computers, abj. He copies some files which Democratic staffers went and left on network drives available to all staffers. One can argue that’s not 100% honorable, but it’s sure not “hacking”.
And you’re failing to mention that the documents involved members of the judiciary committee being asked to hold up confirmations in order to effect the outcome of specific cases to the benefit of those providing the senators with contributions. Which is arguably illegal itself.



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Peter Nixon

posted August 10, 2005 at 10:02 am


I’m with Katherine on this one. A concern with profits might explain the National Abortion Federation’s (the abortion industry trade association) position or Planned Parenthood’s, but not NARAL or NOW. There are a significant number of people in this country who support legalized abortion and are willing to support organizations like NARAL and NOW who agree with them. No big mystery here.



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Jay Anderson

posted August 10, 2005 at 10:43 am


ajb,
The only “criminal” involved in “Memogate” was Teddy the Swimmer.



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Jay Anderson

posted August 10, 2005 at 10:47 am


Oh yeah, another “criminal” involved in “Memogate” was Pat “Leaky” Leahy, whose leak of classified info during the 1980s may actually have led to the deaths of CIA agents – much worse than the Valerie Plame affair that ajb seems so concerned with.



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reluctant penitent

posted August 10, 2005 at 11:28 am


Katherine,
The question is do people who work for PP abortion clinics donate to NARAL? It’s a safe bet that they do.
Of course it’s about ideology, but one cannot readily dismiss interest as an additional motive. Most lobbying groups are driven by both. For example, someone might lobby on behalf of the coal mining industry out of personal conviction but they couldn’t do it without donations from people with a financial interest in this industry.



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Brian

posted August 10, 2005 at 11:32 am


Just a reminder to folks.
Being a 501(c) non-profit organization does not mean that you don’t make money. It simply means that all of the money that you make goes back into the company (paychecks, advertising, expanding, maintenance, etc.)
Believe me NARAL and NOW make money.



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Peter Nixon

posted August 10, 2005 at 1:28 pm


I don’t think NARAL and NOW are pure c3s. They have c4 “education funds” where the money cannot be spent on political activity. They also have PACs, where the money can be spent on political activity. A lot of DC groups do this and it can be complicated to keep it all straight.
In any case, having lived in DC and known some of the folks who work at NARAL and NOW, I can vouch for the fact that they aren’t compensated any more richly than other folks who work in the non-profit sector. In fact, several years ago, the UAW organized some of the office staff at NARAL.
There is no doubt a lot of money flows through these organizations, but the individuals working for them aren’t raking it in and most are doing this for ideological rather than monentary reasons.



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Catherine L

posted August 10, 2005 at 2:34 pm


Ideology is always influenced by where your bread is buttered, so we can’t discount the profit motive in this.
My husband’s business services medical practices, so he has a lot of contact with MD’s in both the private and academic spheres. He has noticed a link between pro-ESC research ideologues and their career positions within the academic sphere. For some reason ESC has become the next hot research venue and the academics have a vested interest in getting government funding for it. My husband (particularly in the recent case of Senator Frist) has made a compelling case to me that ego, prestige, and money are propelling the ESC jugernaut. It’s not hard to see how these same motives can inspire pro-aborts.



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reluctant penitent

posted August 10, 2005 at 3:36 pm


” I can vouch for the fact that they aren’t compensated any more richly than other folks who work in the non-profit sector”
That’s not really the point. People who work for NARAL and PP may want the money from PP abortion clinics not to enrich themselves personally but to fund PP and NARAL activities (like the ‘Screw Abstinence’ Party) that they would not be able to fund if the clinics made less money. The motive can be money even if the aim is not personal enrichment.



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