April 04, 2018
Believe it or not, Planned Parenthood's Cecile Richards is a huge believer in adoption. For dogs. Yesterday, before heading out on a national book tour, the boss of America's richest abortion business decided to act out the title of her new memoir: Make Trouble. In a Twitter post that struck most people as either incredibly insensitive or shockingly unaware, Richards took a moment to pitch what her organization usually doesn't: compassion.
Above a picture of her dachshund, Richards encourages people to #AdoptDontShop. Of course, the idea of rescuing dogs isn't a bad one, but it's certainly a stark contrast to what she's been advocating for babies the last 12 years. Maybe if children were fluffy with four legs, she'd understand the importance of saving them too! Instead, she talks about giving pets homes while her own business spends its days ripping unborn children out of theirs. Unfortunately, that's the hypocrisy of the Left: Forget the humans, save the dogs!
If Richards wants more Americans to adopt, you sure could have fooled us. Planned Parenthood is so obsessed with making a buck that the idea of adoption rarely -- if ever -- comes up. Sure, the organization will take credit for a few moms choosing life to feed the lie that it does more than abortion, but the numbers are hardly flattering. In its latest annual report, Planned Parenthood could only claim one adoption referral for every 83 abortions. If Cecile wants to rescue dogs, she might want to show a little more concern for their prospective owners.
Back in the mid-nineties, when people still used the words "safe, legal, and rare" with a straight face, Planned Parenthood may have actually seen some value in adoption. They referred for 11,866 of them in 1994 -- five times more than today. Almost 25 years later, the focus has changed. In this business, it's about cash – not kids. And 3.5 million abortions later, Richards's 12 years have proven how lucrative Planned Parenthood's killing machine can be. Sitting on a record-setting $1.45 billion in revenue, the group can afford its pet political projects and massive leadership salaries. (At last check, Richards made $700,000 a year -- almost twice the salary of the president of the United States.) Not bad for a "nonprofit."
The only thing Planned Parenthood has more of than money is controversy. And both seem to be fueling Americans' urgency to cut the organization's taxpayer ties. They know, like we do, that if Planned Parenthood is spending 96 percent of its time on abortion, it certainly doesn't need our $537 million for the measly four percent that's left. For starters, abortion is a cash cow. They could just as easily pay for the rest of their operation with its profits. Secondly, how are we supposed to believe that the more than half-billion in federal and state funds is actually going to the tiny sliver of other services?
Simple. We can't. Even if Richards's group were trustworthy (a prospect that faded with every mammogram lie, every sexual abuse cover-up, every invoice for baby body parts), there's no denying that the massive pool of taxpayer funds helps free up the money Planned Parenthood needs for the deadlier side of business -- or its election hobbies. Sure, it's illegal for Richards to spend a penny of government money on abortion or campaigning, but Congress makes it a whole lot easier to spend politically when they're rewarding the group financially. Need proof? Check out today's news from Wisconsin, where a Planned Parenthood clinic (one of 600 such clinics in the U.S.) has just been fined by the FEC for hiding more than $116,000 in support for Hillary Clinton's campaign. Imagine how many of the other state chapters are operating under the radar, refusing to disclose their political expenses.
For those reasons (and so many more), I can understand the outrage from pro-lifers that Congress kept the taxpayer gravy train flowing in last month's omnibus spending package. I also understand the limits of the current GOP majority, which is the biggest hurdle to accomplishing what 60 percent of Americans want: defunding Planned Parenthood. But some things are worth fighting for, and life is one of them. In the meantime, FRC is hoping that Donald Trump will do what Republicans did not: sever some of taxpayers' financial ties to Richards's group. Behind closed doors, there's a serious discussion taking place right now in Washington about one of the weapons at the president's disposal -- a long-forgotten rule from the Reagan years that could blow an $80-million hole in Planned Parenthood's accounts.
If the Trump administration revives the "co-location" regulation from the 1980s, Planned Parenthood could still get Title X funds, but they wouldn't be able to offer those services in the same clinics where they perform abortions. They'd have to split up their offices -- probably at great expense. Ultimately, Planned Parenthood would be forced to choose between dropping their abortion services from any location that gets Title X dollars and moving those abortion operations offsite. Either way, it could take away a significant $80-million cushion from the group's family planning funds. Until Republican reinforcements arrive, that would certainly help take the sting out of the current situation.
In the meantime, Richards is out on the road, missing her dog -- and more importantly, missing the point. The next time Planned Parenthood's president wants to rescue something, she might want to consider the next generation.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.