May 31, 2017
Want to make more for doing less? Ask Planned Parenthood how. The abortion giant is sitting on piles of cash according to their latest annual report -- and not because they earned it! It was a record year for abortions and profits, but not much else. And in the middle of the biggest fight over their funding in a decade, Planned Parenthood’s 35-page document may have just made conservatives’ case for them.
Services for women are down across the board -- except for one area: abortion. While the “vital medical care” plunged, the group’s primary moneymaker raked in more than ever. It was one of the bloodiest years in the organization’s history, making the Memorial Day release of the report an eerie irony. Somehow, Cecile Richards still manages to keep a straight face when she says abortion is a tiny fraction of Planned Parenthood’s business, but, as National Review points out, “this tired, bogus statistic has been debunked numerous times -- including by left-leaning outlets like Slate and Washington Post. Despite repeating the three percent statistic, the new report lists 328,348 abortions in the U.S. during the 2015-16 fiscal year, up nearly 5,000” over the previous year.
In one of the biggest shocks of the report, abortions now outnumber basic breast exams for the first time in Planned Parenthood’s history. That’s not difficult to believe since overall health screenings have dropped by half since 2011. Cancer exams, the go-to talking point for Planned Parenthood’s defenders, are down a whopping 16,974 at Richards’s clinics. Of course, the number of mammograms performed at Planned Parenthood stayed the same: zero. Even contraception counseling, the group’s bread-and-butter, fell by 136,244. They even saw 100,000 fewer patients than the year before!
But even though business slumped, government aid certainly didn’t. Once again, taxpayers chipped in the lion’s share of Richards’s budget, forcing Americans into a reluctant partnership to keep the killing machine afloat. For the fourth time in as many years, Richards’s “nonprofit” is celebrating more than a billion dollars in total revenue -- and almost half of it came courtesy of U.S. taxpayers. For all of Planned Parenthood’s scandals (including the latest), it still managed to squeeze $554.6 million out of federal, state, and local governments. Instead of putting the financial hurt on the group for its possible criminal activities, politicians rewarded it. And judging by its $77 million profit, the organization hardly needed the money!
Although the group’s overall services dramatically dropped, there is one area that never slows down for Planned Parenthood: political activism. Thanks to taxpayers’ reluctant contributions, Richards was able to free up millions to influence public policy. In the last three election cycles, Planned Parenthood’s political arms sank $38 million into electing candidates who will multiply their financial investment and send it back once they’re elected. Although the money comes from different accounts, it’s the same abortion cartel. Meanwhile, talk about a great investment! Richards only has to funnel $13 million a year into liberal campaigns for a $550 million return in taxpayer funds!
If there is a silver lining, it’s that the timing of the report couldn’t be worse for Richards. Like us, she knows the 35-page document will only fuel the GOP’s determination to pull the plug on Planned Parenthood. “This sham organization’s focus is increasingly on higher abortion numbers and higher profits,” FRC’s Arina Grossu argued. “Why are we continuing to hand over half a billion dollars in taxpayer money to an organization that kills America’s unborn children at record rates while lining their pockets with more than $77 million in profit? The time to defund Planned Parenthood is now. It’s time to redirect the funds to community health centers that provide comprehensive and holistic care to women and children.”
That’s exactly what Republicans are trying to do in the latest version of the American Health Care Act. Under the House plan, Richards’s group would stand to lose a huge slice of its Medicaid funding (80 percent) – which happens to be one of the bill’s biggest selling points. In polling just released by Kaiser Family Foundation, the provision gutting Planned Parenthood’s annual haul from taxpayers is the third most popular piece of the legislation among Republicans. Forty-five percent of GOP voters would be more likely to support the plan if it put Planned Parenthood on the financial chopping block. And that was before the Center for Medical Progress released its latest video exposing just how little the organization is actually doing for women. No doubt the push will be even more popular now that Americans are getting an honest look at the group’s real services.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.