South Dakota Planned Parenthood, Pro-Life Advocate Dispute Govt Funding

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 13, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

South Dakota Planned Parenthood, Pro-Life Advocate Dispute Govt Funding Email this article
Printer friendly page

by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 13
, 2006

Sioux Falls, SD ( — A South Dakota Planned Parenthood abortion business is coming under fire form a watchdog group for saying it receives no government funding when Planned Parenthood’s own records seem to indicate otherwise.

Last week, pro-life Congressional candidate Bruce Whalen said he wanted to see the federal government de-fund Planned Parenthood.

He indicated that money spent on the abortion business could be put to better uses in the state, such as paying for the Lewis and Clark Pipeline.

"This pipeline is a needed project for South Dakota, and instead of promoting (abortion) we could promote life," Whalen said at the time.

But Kate Looby, the state director of Planned Parenthood in South Dakota, said the group, which runs the lone abortion business in the state, does not receive federal funding.

She said that was the case because South Dakota does not have a state family planning program. As a result, Looby said the group does not receive any funds from Title 10 in the federal budget that allocates money to family planning programs and activities.

"In South Dakota, Planned Parenthood is not a Title 10 recipient. We get government funding through Medicaid because some of our patients have Medicaid and those services are paid for with federal and state Medicaid funds, but those are the only tax dollars we would have," Looby told the Capital Journal newspaper.

Jim Sedlak, the head of STOPP International, a Planned Parenthood watchdog, disputes Looby’s contention.

Sedlak said the federal government spends $260 million on Title X funding and Planned Parenthood gets $65 million of that budget.

"I believe Ms. Looby was being disingenuous regarding Title X funding," Sedlak told the Capital Journal. "It doesn’t make any sense why Planned Parenthood in South Dakota wouldn’t get any of that money."

He also explained that Planned Parenthood of South Dakota is part of a three state affiliate with Minnesota and North Dakota, headquartered in Minneapolis, which gets Title X funds. Last year, it received $17.5 million in federal funds including $3.2 million from Title X.

Sedlak said its possible the South Dakota affiliate doesn’t get any of the money, but he would be surprised if that was the case.

"They claim they don’t use any of that in South Dakota, but we have no way of actually knowing whether or not they funnel any of that money into South Dakota because that would all be internal bookkeeping," he told the newspaper.

The Reagan administration put in place restrictions on any abortion business like Planned Parenthood using Title X fund. Sedlak said Planned Parenthood took those prohibitions to court and eventually the court ruled in favor of the restrictions. During the Clinton administration, the restrictions were lifted and Congress has not put them back in place in future budgets.