24 Mar Truth, Lies and Defunding Planned Parenthood
by Elise Ellsworth
While Congress is hotly debating the American Health Care Act there are many Americans who remain unaware that the act contains language which could be the undoing of America’s biggest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood (originally HJ Resolution 43). Over the last few weeks there has been a flurry of half-truths promulgated by Planned Parenthood and affiliated individuals that have left the public and even pro-lifers confused about what the act would actually do.
One of Planned Parenthood’s central claims is that federal funds already do not pay for abortions at Planned Parenthood facilities. While federal funds cannot (under the Hyde Amendment) directly pay for abortions, they most certainly have been used to support the 324,000 abortions performed by Planned Parenthood every year (or 888 abortions/day). Federal funds to the tune of half a billion dollars a year do go into the pot that pays for the many overhead costs at Planned Parenthood – rent, medical equipment, advertising, lobbying ($4 million dollars in 2015 was earmarked for “public relations”) and staff salaries – all services used by Planned Parenthood’s abortion providers.
Planned Parenthood further claims that if defunded, low-income women would lose access to valuable non-abortion services. As a Focus on the Family article “A Case to Defund Planned Parenthood” notes, there are over 8,000 community health center locations across the country that provide these same services for low income women. These health centers outnumber Planned Parenthood facilities 11 to 1. In addition, while Planned Parenthood performs only 3% of women’s cancer screenings nationwide, it performs over 30% of the nation’s abortions.
The AHCA does not require Planned Parenthood to cut any services but abortion. Indeed, Planned Parenthood may continue to receive federal funding as long as it severs its links to the abortion business.
So, why does this matter to Planned Parenthood who recently claimed that only 3% of the services they provide are abortions (now debunked as the “3% myth”)? Because abortions at Planned Parenthood are big business. More than one in 10 Planned Parenthood patients will have an abortion. And Planned Parenthood aborts 160 children for every one child referred for adoption. Indeed – from 2014 to 2015, Planned Parenthood’s cancer screenings and preventative services dropped 27 percent, while government funding to Planned Parenthood increased. While non-abortion health services have decreased, abortions at Planned Parenthood have risen 12 percent between 2006-2014. All this while the national number of abortions performed has been steadily decreasing nationwide. Although a “non-profit,” Planned Parenthood’s one billion dollar annual profits make it the clear giant among abortion providers. Make no mistake about it, Planned Parenthood would find it hard to survive without their abortion business.
Whatever finally happens to the AHCA, pro-lifers across the country should be rallying around the portions of the bill aimed at defunding Planned Parenthood. This would prove a giant leap toward cutting federal government ties to the abortion business.