President Donald Trump’s administration has been cutting off various streams of taxpayer funding to the abortion chain Planned Parenthood.
America’s top abortion business receives about half a billion taxpayer dollars annually, largely through Medicaid. U.S. Congress is working to cut off a large chunk of that through the Graham-Cassidy bill.
However, Planned Parenthood also receives taxpayers’ money from government grants. Its affiliates have received millions in grants in the past several years to teach sex education and to help people sign up for Obamacare.
Now, Trump’s administration is making heavy cuts to both programs.
On Friday, Planned Parenthood’s Iowa affiliate said it will stop its Obamacare sign-up program after the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services cut about $250,000 (84 percent) of its grant funding, The Daily Nonpareil reports. HHS Secretary Tom Price is pro-life and supports defunding Planned Parenthood.
Here’s more from the report:
In 2016, Planned Parenthood received $304,373 to serve 78 Iowa counties — including Pottawattamie, Harrison, Mills, Fremont, Page, Cass, Montgomery, Shelby and Crawford Counties, according to a CMS summary of programs. A spokeswoman told The Nonpareil that Planned Parenthood navigators served residents in all those southwest Iowa counties except Shelby County.
“This is a brutal political attack on the Affordable Care Act and, more important, a heartless attack on the people who rely on the Navigator program to access health care coverage,” Suzanna de Baca, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland president and CEO, said in a release. “It is apparent that officials in the Trump administration will do whatever it takes to sabotage the program and ensure its failure.”
Groups that operate navigator programs across the country had been braced for the cuts since the Trump administration said it would shrink overall program funding by 41 percent and slash the department’s ACA advertising budget from $100 million to $10 million.
Planned Parenthood affiliates in Arkansas, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire and Oklahoma also received navigator grants. Each affiliate received a grant of at least $300,000 in 2016, according to a report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Added together and considering many affiliates received grants previous years as well, the total taxpayer funding to Planned Parenthood was in the multi-millions.
The Missouri affiliate received $349,908, while Montana received $337,555 in 2016. The Planned Parenthood affiliate in Oklahoma and Arkansas, which shared a grant with three other agencies, received $669,230 that year, according to the report.
Earlier this month, HHS said the grants were a huge waste of taxpayer funds. One unnamed recipient received $200,000 and only signed up one person for health insurance, according to the department.
“During the most recent open enrollment period, Navigators received over $62.5 million in federal grants while enrolling 81,426 individuals,” according to HHS.
While Planned Parenthood may not have used the funds directly to support abortion, money is fungible, and tax dollars free up other funding to promote and perform abortions.
The abortion chain also is slated to lose several million dollars in taxpayer-funded sex education grants. The grants came through a questionable teen pregnancy prevention program set up by pro-abortion President Barack Obama.
This summer, the Trump administration announced plans to cut the program funding by $200 million. This includes several million dollars in grants to Planned Parenthood affiliates in Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Utah and Hawaii.
Health and Human Services Department spokesman Mark Vafiades told the New York Times that they decided to make the cuts because there is very little evidence that the teen pregnancy prevention program is working.