Connor Semelsberger is Director of Federal Affairs for Life and Human Dignity at Family Research Council. This article appeared on Townhall.com on February 16, 2021.
After observing the first few weeks of the Biden administration, the CEO of American’s largest abortion chain Planned Parenthood says she is “over the moon” about the Biden/Harris administration’s “vision” for expanding abortion. And it’s easy to see why.
President Biden has already begun reinstating President Obama’s policies. He repealed Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance Policy (PLGHA), granting international abortion providers access to millions of dollars in global health funds. He also pledged to restore Title X funding to Planned Parenthood and block states attempting to defund Planned Parenthood through Medicaid.
But the funding won’t stop there. Biden also stands ready to expand Obamacare, which provides billions of dollars in subsidies for health plans that cover elective abortion. He is also working with congressional Democrats to pass a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package that will surely give Planned Parenthood even more bites at the apple.
It’s no wonder Planned Parenthood has a vocal advocate in the White House, who pledged during the campaign to fund their organization, when the deep-pocketed giant was one of Joe Biden’s earliest supporters.
President Biden has made taxpayer funding of abortion one of his highest priorities even as a recent report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) shows Planned Parenthood raked in $572.7 million of federal taxpayer funds in 2018, the highest total in the last 10 years, and $100 million more than in 2008. The nation’s largest abortion provider received $1.6 billion total across fiscal years 2016, 2017, and 2018 (at Congress’ direction, the GAO releases this report every three years). As their share of the abortion market continues to rise, so does their bottom line—subsidized by taxpayer money.
The Hyde amendment, passed annually by Congress, prevents federal funds from paying for elective abortions directly. However, Planned Parenthood and other abortion businesses still receive federal funds through a variety of programs, including Medicaid and family planning grants for actual health care services like cancer screenings, breast exams, and STD testing.
These government subsidies free up Planned Parenthood to spend their other funds on hiring more abortionists, opening new abortion facilities, and expanding into the business of mailing dangerous abortion pills.
Planned Parenthood managed to increase its government funding despite the efforts of the Trump administration. Their largest source of government funding, Medicaid, which totaled $467.5 million in 2018, is the program for which presidents and pro-life states have the least flexibility in directing funds. One example is how Texas was blocked by courts from excluding Planned Parenthood from their Medicaid program, even after evidence showing they sold aborted fetal tissue for profit. After years of court battles a ruling from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals finally allowed Texas to exclude unqualified providers like Planned Parenthood from the program.
But even where the administration took decisive action to defund abortion providers, Planned Parenthood still found ways around them. In 2017, the Trump administration instituted the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance Policy (PLGHA), which prohibited all global health funds from going to foreign organizations that promote abortion. Planned Parenthood International evaded this rule by subcontracting for other organizations, until the Trump administration closed that loophole in 2019.
The Trump administration’s most successful action against Planned Parenthood was the Protect Life Rule, finally implemented after a prolonged legal battle in 2019. This rule, which prevented the co-location of abortion facilities with those receiving Title X family planning funds, cut off Planned Parenthood from nearly $60 million.
Because of these delays, the Trump administration’s actions to cut off funding for abortion businesses will not be reflected until the GAO’s next report is released in 2024. The 2018 increase in funding for Planned Parenthood is more reflective of the policies that the Obama administration put in place before he left office in 2016.
Planned Parenthood aggressively pursues public funding, often by political means, to obtain legal and social validation that their obsession with abortion is normal. In the 2018 election cycle alone Planned Parenthood pledged to spend $20 million to elect candidates that would continue to increase their profits.
And that spending has already paid off. Not only did Planned Parenthood’s federal funds increase through 2018, but, when the Trump administration moved to cut off Planned Parenthood from federal programs, state governments were lining up to backfill any lost funds with state taxpayer dollars. Planned Parenthood even worked to get financial kickbacks from local city governments as well.
But this should come as no surprise, as nearly every Democrat in the U.S. House and Senate is endorsed by Planned Parenthood, as well as many state legislators, governors, and even city council members across the country.
Until elected officials are willing to stand against the well-funded abortion lobby once and for all, you can count on your taxpayer funds continuing to subsidize the large salaries of Planned Parenthood executives and their ever-expanding abortion machine.
Planned Parenthood is intent on funding their abortion business with your tax dollars and will stop at nothing to increase their bottom line. And President Joe Biden has clearly signaled he plans to help them achieve that goal.