California Budget Battle May Soon Include Abortion Debate

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 8, 2011   |   1:19PM   |   Sacramento, CA

With June 15 marking the constitutional deadline for legislators to pass the state budget, California lawmakers are set to engage in a battle over budget priorities and abortion may become part of that debate.

Clamping down on persistently late budgets, voters last fall passed Proposition 25, dictating that state legislators not get paid for each day past the deadline that they do not approve the budget. Last week, Controller John Chiang announced he would “enforce the voters’ demand” and not pay legislators should they fail to get it passed.

Knowing the battle is forthcoming, the California Pro-Life Council is alerting its members to support amendments to the budget that it says are targeted at the state’s financing of the abortion industry.

“You’ve seen the headlines that California is broke. They are laying off teachers, police and fire. California is releasing prisoners from jails. And yet they still fund the abortion industry,” CPLC says. “California ProLife is asking legislators not to turn a blind eye to this contradiction. There will soon be amendments offered to restrict our government in how it finances the abortion industry.”

“Ask your legislator’s office how they will vote on the continued funding of this supposedly “private” issue… with “public” money. Actually it’s your money. Make the call today,” CPLC said. “This lurid business of promoting and performing human abortions should stand on its own corrupt feet, and not be living off our tax money.”

Rebecca Burgoyne of the California Family Council explained some more of the budget details in an email.

“Perhaps the threat of going without a paycheck will motivate some legislators to negotiate in earnest,” she said. “Governor Jerry Brown and the Democratic majority – while differing somewhat in their exact goals – claim headway is being made with Republicans. The Assembly on Friday passed a dozen-plus “shell” bills, skeletons that leaders in both chambers pledge to flesh out with details this week. Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) went as far as committing to a budget vote this week to “make sure that we have as much time as possible to debate these issues before the 15th.”

California spends more than $23 million to pay for the abortions of women even though main abortion business Planned Parenthood brought in $1 billion in revenue last year.

Every year, pro-life advocates have tried to amend the state budget to remove the funding for as many as 80,000 abortions annually. That’s about 7 percent of the total number of abortions done nationwide — and all paid for at the expense of California taxpayers.

The California Catholic Conference has also worked to stop tax-funded abortions.

“Medi-Cal pays for 39 percent of all abortions in California. Planned Parenthood organizations receive one-third of their funding from government grants and contracts,” the group says.

According to Planned Parenthood’s latest report, abortions increased to 305,310 abortions, up from 289,750 in 2006. That is despite the total government grants and contracts received by PPFA affiliates from government sources including state, local and federal governments increasing from $337 million to $350 million.

Looking at Planned Parenthood data from 1997 to the present, the increase in government funding corresponds with an increase in the number of abortions.

In 1997, Planned Parenthood did about 160,000 abortions and received approximately $160 million in total taxpayer funding from various levels of government. Both the number of abortions and the amount of money received from government, supposedly for family planning to reduce abortions, has doubled since then.