Leana Wen: It’s “Unethical and Unconscionable” Not to Force Americans to Fund Planned Parenthood

National   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Mar 6, 2019   |   6:37PM   |   Washington, DC

Planned Parenthood wants our tax money to prop up its billion-dollar abortion empire.

And this week, Leana Wen, the leader of Planned Parenthood, claimed it would be “unethical” to cut off even a portion of its taxpayer funding.

Title X funds help low-income women and men receive birth control, cancer screenings and other health care services. Planned Parenthood receives about $60 million in Title X funds every year. While the tax money cannot be used to pay for abortions, it indirectly funds Planned Parenthood’s vast abortion business.

Last week, the Trump administration finalized a new Title X rule that requires health care entities to completely separate abortion from their taxpayer-funded services. Planned Parenthood already has said it will not comply.

Wen told KUT News that the rules are “unethical and unconscionable” because they ensure tax dollars do not indirectly fund abortions.

“To me, as a physician, this is unethical and unconscionable,” Wen said. “It is direct interference with the practice of medicine. It’s what happens when politicians tell doctors what it is that we can say to our patients, and I worry about what this will do to patient rights.”

Abortion activists claim the rule comes with a “gag” order that prevents doctors from even mentioning abortion to patients. This is not true. The rule prohibits “referral for abortion as a method of family planning,” but it still permits “non-directive counseling on abortion.”

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Wen also claimed the new rules “would force Planned Parenthood to refuse funding from the Title X program,” according to KUT. But this is not true either. It is Planned Parenthood that is choosing not to comply by making abortion its “core mission,” rather than real health care. The abortion chain could continue to receive Title X funds if it stops aborting unborn babies or if it completely separates its abortion business from the real health care services it provides.

Wen said people’s lives and health would be in jeopardy if Planned Parenthood no longer participates in the program.

“We know what happens when people are prevented from going to their provider of choice,” she told the news outlet. “They delay care, or they simply go without …”

However, patients have options other than Planned Parenthood for health care through Title X. Community health centers vastly outnumber Planned Parenthoods and provide far more comprehensive medical services to low-income women across the country. They still have access to those funds.

Planned Parenthood sees about 1.5 million a year through Title X, and its services through the program, including cancer screenings, birth control, etc., have been dropping steadily for years, according to its own annual reports. Meanwhile, its abortion numbers have been growing – a clear indication of its true focus.

The abortion chain performs about 330,000 abortions a year and reaps in nearly half a billion dollars in tax funding. The Trump administration has been working to strip away various funding streams to Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers. The Title X rules would cut about $60 million of its funding. Trump also cut about $100 million in funding from Planned Parenthood’s international arm through his Mexico City policy in 2017.

Abortion activists, including attorneys general from 22 states, are suing to block the Title X rule.