Well, the numbers are in, and Cowlitz County -- which had the highest rates for gonorrhea in the state just 3 years ago -- has cut that number by an incredible 96% in two and a half years.
How did they do it? While public health officials claim not to be able to explain the staggering drop, the fact is that just as the climb corresponded with the how long Planned Parenthood had had a clinic in Longview, so too the drop coincides perfectly with their departure.
We reported on these pages in early 2008 how the Cowlitz County Commission had finally severed all ties with the abortion clinic chain after the controversial organization had refused to operate on the county's terms. At that time, Planned Parenthood and its leftist supporters had whined about what a "terrible" decision this was, given the county's status as having the highest gonorrhea rates for any county in Washington.
The assumption was that somehow having a Planned Parenthood helps reduce STD rates.
But we have the data now, and we know that PP and all its allies in government and academia have been completely discredited.
Cowlitz County had 15 reported cases of gonorrhea in 2003, about the time PP arrived. That steadily climed until it reached a peak of 223 in 2006. It was early 2007 that Planned Parenthood announced it was going to "have to" close its Longview clinic for lack of funding. This was a posturing move to try to get more money out of Cowlitz taxpayers. In the end, the county commissioners stood firm.
In 2007, with no PP around, the gonorrhea rate fell in half to 2007. In 2008, the rate plummeted to 38. And in the first 5 months of this year, there have been only 3 reported cases! That compares to 26 for the corresponding period of 2008.
That's a 90% drop.
This data is extremely important as the Pasco City Council considers whether to allow Planned Parenthood of Central Washington to open an abortion referral clinic and drive-by contraception stand next door to an elementary school.
Anonymous sources have indicated that some of the swing votes on the council are susceptible to the notion that because Franklin County has relatively high STD rates, somehow having a Planned Parenthood would help bring those down. This despite the fact that there is not one scintilla of evidence available from the Planned Parenthood affiliates of Washington, or their friends at the Department of Health or the Department of Social and Health Services to back up this assumption.
The Pasco City Council would do well to pick up the phone and make a call to the Cowlitz County Department of Health. Today.