“Why are pro-lifers so focused on defunding Planned Parenthood?” This is the ever-present question we get asked multiple times a day from students on college campuses, sometimes even the ones who self-identify as pro-life, as well as legislators in state and federal government.
The pro-life movement is laser-focused on removing taxpayer money from Planned Parenthood for many reasons but the top one is that they are the nation’s largest abortion vendor, committing one-third of all abortions, which is equal to about 324,000 per year, or 888 per day.
There is a government law that prohibits federal funds from paying for most abortions called the Hyde Amendment, which is what Planned Parenthood points to when questioned on taxpayer money paying for abortions.
What the Hyde Amendment doesn’t prohibit federal funds from paying for are abortionist salaries for their non-abortion work, medical equipment, rent costs, advertising, staff salaries, or all the other expenses that come with running an abortion facility. It’s called fungibility, and it means that money is interchangeable and all goes into one big pot of funds, which is used to pay for everything Planned Parenthood needs to operate.
So while federal funds aren’t paying directly for abortion, they are paying for everything that enables Planned Parenthood to be the largest vendor of abortions in the country.
But there’s more to the horror story. Because Planned Parenthood is the nation’s largest abortion vendor, they make a lot of money. They are a non-profit that raked in over $1 billion in 2015 (the latest numbers available).
To put that in perspective, NARAL, one of the other large pro-abortion groups, had an annual revenue of $8.4 million in 2015. The National Abortion Federation’s revenue in 2014 only amounted to $2.3 million. Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood’s public relations spending by the national office alone in 2015 was over $4 million.
They are also a leader in filing lawsuits preventing states from enacting any kind of abortion restrictions. In their 2012-2013 annual report, Planned Parenthood boasted of their litigious year: “As part of a growing litigation docket with active cases in 12 states last year, courts strike down laws in Arizona and Indiana that would have blocked Medicaid patients from getting care at Planned Parenthood.”
Planned Parenthood is also a national leader in the political world, no matter how hard they push the lie that they are nonpartisan. In the 2016 presidential election, they endorsed Hillary Clinton during the primaries, and it was at a Planned Parenthood ritzy event where she gave her first speech after formally securing the nomination. The abortion giant then went all in, spending upwards of $30 million to elect Mrs. Clinton. They also spent 99 percent of all their political funds on electing Democrats.
The kicker is that through all of Planned Parenthood’s outrageous political spending, lawsuits, and fundraising, the actual healthcare they claimed to provide was tanking, while their number of abortions continue to rise.
From 2014 to 2015, their cancer screenings and preventative services dropped an astounding 27 percent, while government funding increased. While non-abortion health services have decreased, abortions at Planned Parenthood have risen 12 percent between 2006-2014.
This is the heart of Planned Parenthood: abortion. They don’t even try to hide it. When offered a deal to continue federal funding by President Trump in exchange for stopping their abortion services, Planned Parenthood came back with a giant “hell no.” Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, tweeted out that abortions were as vital to her organization as “birth control or cancer screenings.”
Let that sink in for a second. No matter if you believe abortion should be legal or not, do you think that abortions are as vital as pap smears?
The bottom line is that pro-lifers know that if Planned Parenthood is defunded, it would be the beginning of the end of the abortion industry. Planned Parenthood is that huge of a player.
If Ms. Richards feels that the pro-life movement is unfairly targeting Planned Parenthood, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Planned Parenthood has slipped through too many cracks as it has for the past 100 years of its existence, relying on their friends in Hollywood and in the press to carry the dead weight of an organization who cares more about stuffing their bank accounts than truly helping women.
And that’s why Americans, and particularly pro-life organizations and individuals, have been rallying for the past several years to defund Planned Parenthood. It’s time for legislators to be emboldened by the support to defund the abortion giant and vote to strip them of taxpayer dollars.
LifeNews Note: Kristan Hawkins is the president of Students for Life of America