Planned Parenthood Pushes Politics in Abortion Clinic Waiting Rooms

National   |   Rita Diller   |   Feb 7, 2013   |   8:27PM   |   Washington, DC

Have you ever—even once—been approached in the waiting room of a healthcare clinic by staff asking you to sign petitions, “training” you on legislative issues, “helping you” register to vote, and discussing with you how to stay informed and get involved in advocacy on the local level?

Do you expect a quick course in “reproductive healthcare issues” activism as you sit in the lobby waiting for a pap smear, pregnancy test, or perhaps a flu shot or sports exam? Can you picture a woman waiting for an abortion receiving a crash course in “reproductive rights,” being asked to sign petitions, and provide data that will be faxed to a community organizer at the end of the day?

Ads from Planned Parenthood centers across Illinois and Indiana show Planned Parenthood recruiting volunteers to do just that—pushing the envelope by recruiting and training patients who are waiting for “healthcare” in the waiting room—to be activists in support of Planned Parenthood’s political agenda.

Planned Parenthood flexed its political muscles in the last presidential election, taking credit for the re-election of President Barack Obama. It receives so much government funding—$1.5 million per day, each and every day—that many who monitor its actions think of it as at least a pseudo-government agency. Planned Parenthood took credit for electing a plethora of Democratic candidates and defeating Republican candidates, and spent millions of dollars in so doing. In fact, Planned Parenthood Action Fund spent $5.3 million opposing Republican candidates and $1.5 million in support of Democratic candidates. It spent $0 in supporting Republican candidates and $0 in defeating Democratic candidates.

Yet Planned Parenthood wants to portray itself as a healthcare organization—a very unique healthcare organization that women can’t do without. One that does political advocacy training in the waiting room for the benefit of waiting “patients.”

Planned Parenthood Federation of America and its affiliates are classified as nonprofit tax exempt 501(c)(3) organizations. Planned Parenthood Action Fund is the political arm of PPFA, organized under 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions to the political arm are not tax exempt.

In light of that, it would be reasonable to expect that PPFA and its affiliates will steer clear of political activity, leaving that to PPAF. Yet Planned Parenthood affiliates are putting staff in its own 501(c)(3) waiting rooms to recruit political activists.

What should we expect to see next in Planned Parenthood’s waiting rooms? Perhaps voting booths, with election judges provided by the abortion giant? Now that’s advocacy. Note: Rita Diller is the national director of American Life League’s Stop Planned Parenthood Project.