This is a continuation of part 1.
Planned Parenthood does receive government money – a LOT of government money. In its most recent annual report, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) said it received $553.7 million – that’s over half a billion dollars – in “government health services grants & reimbursements” in fiscal year ending 6/30/15. That represents 43% of the group’s $1.3 billion revenues.
It will be a big chunk to make up – that’s why Planned Parenthood is fighting so hard to hold onto it. But it is a serious mistake to think this money is the reason these clinics stay open or close.
It may not be widely known, but Planned Parenthood affiliated clinics have already been closing, even with government revenues on the increase. In its last five annual reports (covering fiscal year ending 6/30/10 to 6/30/15), Planned Parenthood gained an additional $66.3 million in “government health services grants & reimbursements” but the number of “health centers” decreased from 840 to 661.
As noted in Part One, the number of abortions stayed steady at PPFA while other services such “cancer screenings” tumbled during that same five-year time frame.
Indeed, despite the overall drop in clinics and major services other than abortion, the number of abortion performing clinics rose during that time (see NRL News Today, 9/27/16 ).
Planned Parenthood is shutting down clinics, but not for lack of government money. Ostensibly a “non-profit,” Planned Parenthood is making business decisions. It is shutting down clinics that aren’t generating the desired level of revenues, don’t have the customers, cost too much to operate, or aren’t fulfilling the group’s policy goals.
It may well be the case that reductions or eliminations of government funds give Planned Parenthood reason to do more pruning. But it isn’t as if the extra $66.3 million pulled in from “government health services grants & reimbursements” in its past six annual reports was used by Planned Parenthood to help build or maintain non-abortion performing centers in rural areas.
No, what Planned Parenthood affiliates all over the country have been doing the last ten years is closing a lot of their old, non-abortion clinics and building giant new high volume central abortion mega-clinic hubs in major metropolitan areas, sometimes with government grants, as we have documented many times at National Right to Life News Today.
That business model doesn’t provide a whole lot of “cancer screenings” or even “family planning services” for women in remote rural areas, but it does help Planned Parenthood build and maintain its lucrative abortion empire.
It’s where Planned Parenthood is going, with or without government help.
MYTH #4: Poor women and minorities will lose basic healthcare if Planned Parenthood is defunded.
Though it adamantly denies that it targets the poor or minorities with its abortion marketing, Planned Parenthood is anxious to let people know that “nearly half” of its patients are “people of color” and “many…live in rural areas.” Also supposedly at risk [if government funds are cut] are “people with low incomes.” (See “The impact of Defunding Planned Parenthood,” “Groups That Would Be Disproportionately Hurt by ‘Defunding’ Planned Parenthood,” at www.istandwithpp.org, accessed 3/29/17).
When Planned Parenthood makes broad statements about such patients having “nowhere else to turn for healthcare,” a serious caveat is in order. Planned Parenthood generally doesn’t offer basic health care, just some low level gynecological care. At your standard Planned Parenthood clinic, you won’t get immunizations for your kids, help for your achy joints or sore throat, or treatment for your diabetes, asthma, or heart disease.
Such services are offered at community health centers, which are greater in number and reach than Planned Parenthood clinics and offer these and other many other services at low or no cost. The difference is that these federally funded community health centers do not offer abortion.
There are some 9,800 sites in the federally health center program, compared to about 650-665 Planned Parenthood locations. Federally qualified health centers provide all these services that Planned Parenthood does – birth control, STD testing and treatment, cancer screenings, etc. – but not the abortions. We should also note that one can get prenatal care at a federally qualified health centers (something Planned Parenthood rarely offers), as well as mammograms, which Planned Parenthood does not provide at all.
Planned Parenthood wants to argue that these federally qualified health centers and other rural health clinics (estimated to be around 4,100 in number) cannot or will not absorb its family planning clients, but this is not a given. If federally qualified health centers had access to the half a billion dollars that Planned Parenthood gets from the government each year, it could certainly provide such services to many if not most of Planned Parenthood’s current patients.
Though, unlike federally qualified health centers, rural health clinics are not required to offer family planning services or serve lower income patients, access to that revenue stream could also incentivize some of those to pick up patients in any areas not covered by federally qualified health centers.
As noted above, it is not the federal government but Planned Parenthood itself which is closing many of its clinics in rural areas, even with government funding showing an increase. If Planned Parenthood was really committed to keeping those clinics open, though, to providing birth control and cancer screenings and STD treatments to poor and minority clients, and if federal funding really was the key, it could do so by simply dropping abortion from its offerings.
That is something Planned Parenthood simply refuses to do. It has decided, for whatever reason, that it would rather continue to perform abortions, taking lives, than provide poor or minority women in rural areas those lifesaving “cancer screenings” they say are so critical.