In announcing the closure of two Colorado centers yesterday, the Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains abortion business claimed it does not receive taxpayer funds. That claim is false.
From its press statement on the closures:
For over 10 years and without public funding, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains has provided its patients throughout Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Wyoming with high quality, affordable health care. Proving its resiliency and strength over the last decade, PPRM sees over 106,000 patients annually and has fought major political battles such as defeating two statewide “personhood” ballot initiatives in the 2008 and 2010 Colorado elections, respectively.
Today PPRM announces the consolidation and closure of two of its 23 Colorado health centers.
Although the Colorado state Constitution prohibits public funding of abortions, the Planned Parenthood abortion business has received $10 million in taxpayer funds from the state. According to Media Trackers:
The Colorado Constitution clearly states that public funding of abortion is forbidden, but four separate Colorado state departments are listed as financially supporting the most public advocate for abortion in the state. Planned Parenthood Rocky Mountains (PPRM) has received $10 million from the state between fiscal years 2009 and 2012. Upon request, state department receipts documenting the payments have been released to Media Trackers Colorado.
The Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, Department of Education, Justice Department, and Department of Health and Environment have all contributed state funds to Planned Parenthood.
While the state does not regulate or set medical standards for Planned Parenthood, they have spent millions of dollars financially supporting the organization. The Department of Health Care Policy and Financing has spent nearly $10 million since 2009 on PPRM services. Due to Medicaid rules, the purpose of these expenditures are hidden from public view.
According to the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains is an enrolled Medicaid provider. As a provider, they present claims within an electronic system (MMIS) and those claims are approved for payment in the MMIS. This is an electronic system, and there are no documents routinely generated by the system.
The Department of Health Care Policy and Financing did provide Media Trackers Colorado with ad hoc reports which have been prepared for internal use. These documents reveal claim payments from Planned Parenthood that are eligible for federal financial compensation. PPRMs expenses in the state of Colorado are for medical equipment, medical tools, and a lengthy list of contraceptive drugs (some of the contraceptive expenses exceed $600,000). Several of these records are from fiscal year 2008-2009, before contraception became part of the political debate.
The Department of Human Services receipts for 2012-2013 are for PPRM services such as relationship classes, classes for youth, and a $4,500 expense for a Preparation Conference Honorarium. These programs paid for by the state include topics about contraception, sexually transmitted diseases/infections, pregnancy options, and healthy relationships, among other things. The Department of Human Services has sent nearly $5,000 to Planned Parenthood since fiscal year 2009.
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The Justice Department has also used PPRMs educational services with receipts for classes on contraception, healthy relationships, and “refusal kills.” The costs add up to over $1,100 since 2010.
The Department of Health and Environment specifically noted that they do not regulate or license PPRMs health services although they regulate and license the majority of health clinics in the state of Colorado. The Department has contributed over $3 million to Planned Parenthood since 2009.
While Planned Parenthood and those who advocate on their behalf will no doubt claim that the money spent by the state doesnt directly fund abortions, critics will note that money is a fungible asset. Taxpayer money sent to Planned Parenthood may not directly fund abortions, but it can be used to offset costs elsewhere within the organization while other funds with fewer or no strings attached can be used to directly subsidize activities like abortion.