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The Rushmore Report: Planned Parenthood Update: Less Healthcare, More Abortions

Planned Parenthood was front page news last year. To women’s rights activists, they stand for women’s health and security. To pro-life groups, they stand for abortion. So which is it – healthcare or abortion? We have delved deep into the numbers in search for real answers. What we have found is shocking . . . but only to those secure enough in their views to keep reading. Planned Parenthood is not what you might think.

We all know Planned Parenthood provides for abortions – 320,000 each year. But what of the “other services” they say are the predominant focus of their work?

Here’s the data . . .

Breast cancer screenings: down 51.3 percent in the last five years

PAP tests: down 64.7 percent

Prenatal care: down 44 percent

HPV treatments: down 37 percent

You won’t hear any of this from MSNBC, CNN, NBC News, New York Times, HuffPo, LA Times, and many more. All you hear is that undeniably distinct sound of cheerleading. Even STD testing has declined by 5.4 percent since 2011.

Meanwhile, Cecile Richards, Executive Director for Planned Parenthood, has seen her salary increase from $420,153 in 2010 to $957,952 now – an increase of 228 percent – while overseeing a sharp decline in services rendered.

While healthcare services have dropped significantly, abortions are way up. Planned Parenthood provided 323,000 abortions last year – up from 289,750 ten years ago. That is a 12 percent increase in annual abortions.

Of course, Planned Parenthood is a “nonprofit” entity. Yet, they reported $309.2 million in revenues last year.

Our nation needs to have an honest conversation about Planned Parenthood, free of the mainstream media’s spin, free of the abortion giant’s tens of millions spent in election campaigning and advertising, and free of the shouting from pro-abortion activists who defend something they know so little about.

About the Author

Ryan Bomberger is a guest writer for Christian Post. He is an outspoken opponent of abortion and an Emmy-Award winning Creative Professional, with his work for the Radiance Foundation, committed to preserving the lives of the unborn.

The Rushmore Report: Congress Should Defund Planned Parenthood

Recent videos suggesting that Planned Parenthood Federation of America affiliates are harvesting and selling the body parts of aborted unborn children have led to renewed calls for Congress to end taxpayer funding of the nation’s largest abortion provider. During the 2013-2014 reporting year alone, Planned Parenthood affiliates performed over 327,000 abortions, while the national organization reported $127 million in revenue over expenses, and held $1.4 billion in net assets. Yet, the organization’s affiliates receive over half a billion dollars in government funding each year from both federal and state sources.

Congress should end federal taxpayer funding to Planned Parenthood affiliates and redirect those funds to health centers that provide health care for women without entanglement in abortion or questionable handling of baby body parts. Planned Parenthood affiliates face serious allegations of profiting from the sale of baby organs and other disturbing conduct, adding to arguments that taxpayer funding should not subsidize the nation’s largest abortion provider.

Legal Questions Raised by Recent Videos

Numerous statements made on the recently released videos raise questions as to whether Planned Parenthood is violating federal law that makes it illegal for any person “to knowingly acquire, receive, or otherwise transfer any human fetal tissue for valuable consideration if the transfer affects interstate commerce.” The videos appear to show Planned Parenthood executives haggling over the price of organs from aborted unborn children and casually discussing performing abortions in ways that would better preserve baby body parts for sale.

Whether Planned Parenthood and its affiliates have violated federal laws is unclear from the videos alone. Congress, the Department of Justice, and state governments owe it to American taxpayers who have funded Planned Parenthood for decades to determine whether the organization has violated any federal laws. Some of those investigations have already begun.

Government Funding of Planned Parenthood

During its 2013-2014 reporting year, the latest available, Planned Parenthood reports its affiliates receiving over $528 million in government funding – 41 percent of the organization’s total revenue. The annual report does not provide a breakdown of federal versus state funding or the exact government grants, contracts, and reimbursements Planned Parenthood affiliates receive.

In order to end the flow of federal tax dollars to Planned Parenthood affiliates, Congress must disqualify the national organization and its affiliates both from receiving grants under specific family planning programs, like Title X, and from receiving any federal Medicaid reimbursements. Congress can address both funding sources during the appropriations process. Disqualifying Planned Parenthood affiliates from receiving Title X and Medicaid reimbursements would not decrease the amount of overall funding available for women’s health services, as these funds could still flow to the many other qualified health care providers that offer the same and additional services as Planned Parenthood affiliates without entranglement in abortion.

Planned Parenthood Has Become America’s Leading Abortion Provider While Taking Taxpayer Funding

No federal funds may be used to cover the direct cost of elective abortion procedures. But the funding is used for overhead costs of family planning centers. During its last reporting year, Planned Parenthood reported revenues after expenses exceeding $127 million and net assets of more than $1.4 billion. In that same year, they performed 327,653 abortions – almost one out of every three abortions in the United States.

While Preventative Care Has Decreased, Abortions Have Increased

The number of annual abortion procedures has increased from 255,015 in 2004 to over 327,653 in 2013. During that same year, Planned Parenthood reported only 1,880 adoption referrals (170 abortions for every adoption referral) and provided just 18,684 prenatal services. Cancer screening and preventive services have decreased by more than 50 percent since 2004. Contrary to some reports, Planned Parenthood clinics do not perform mammograms.

Women Have Other Healthcare Options

Women’s health care services are available without entanglement in abortion. There are about 1,200 federally qualified health centers across the country that operate over 9,000 service sites in medically underserved areas, providing family planning services, cancer screenings, and women’s health exams. In 2013, these sites served over 21 million people – seeing about eight times as many patients as the 2.7 million Planned Parenthood’s 665 clinics reported seeing.

Congress Should End Planned Parenthood Funding

Congress should not force American taxpayers to fund the largest abortion provider in America, especially after videos suggesting it harvests and sells the body parts of unborn children it aborts. Congress should permantently end federal taxpayer funding to Planned Parenthood affiliates and put the funds to more efficient and effective use by redirecting them to the thousands of health centers across the country that provide women’s health care that is not entangled with abortion or questionable handling of baby body parts.

About the Author

Sarah Torre is a Policy Analyst in the Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society, of the Institute for Family, Community, and Opportunity, at the Heritage Foundation.

The Question the Media Won’t Ask

At midnight Wednesday, the government will shut down. Or it won’t. Odds are, it won’t. I want to be informed, so Sunday, I did what I do every week. I watched the political shows on NBC (Meet the Press), ABC (This Week), CBS (Face the Nation), Fox (Fox News Sunday), and CNN (State of the Union). Each program discussed the pending shut-down with its guests.

The issue is simple. Some conservative Republicans feel so strongly that Planned Parenthood should be defunded, in light of recent revelations of selling aborted baby body parts for profit, that they will vote against the pending continued funding resolution if it includes federally appropriated dollars for the organization. Democratic congressmen disagree, remaining unified in their support for the leading abortion provider in America. The conservatives want to reroute the same dollars to other women’s health clinics that provide every service that Planned Parenthood provides, other than the abortions. Democrats say they will not agree, and are willing to vote the budget down if it defunds Planned Parenthood, thus shutting down the government.

Each show asked their conservative guests why they would be willing to shut down the government over their position. But not one Democrat was asked the same question. Both sides are willing to shut down the government if they don’t get what they want. President Obama’s position is clear. If the resolution does not include funding for Planned Parenthood, he will veto that resolution, thus shutting down the government. So by sticking to their principles, either side can shut down the government. But only one side will get the blame.

 

John Boehner’s Message from District Pastors

Speaker of the House John Boehner is hearing it back home. A group of pastors in his congressional district are encouraging him to defund Planned Parenthood. They have asked him to “be bold,” and have written a letter requesting a personal meeting with the Speaker. In an interview with The Daily Signal, Johnathan Newman, pastor of Koinos Church in Troy, Ohio, said that he and his fellow pastors felt the need to “do something” about the undercover videos released by the Center for Medical Progress, showing Planned Parenthood executives discussing the trafficking of aborted fetal organs. As of Monday, 70 pastors from the district have signed the letter.

Boehner, who is pro-life, has indicated he is unwilling to shut down the government over Planned Parenthood funding due to the White House’s indication that President Obama will not approve a spending bill that defunds Planned Parenthood. Newman’s response: “Any government that would force its people to pay for such despicable acts – abortion in general and Planned Parenthood’s actions specifically – is a government that should be defunded.”

The Speaker has agreed to meet with ten of the pastors. Newman says, “This is not a political matter, but a God matter, a humanity matter. We want him to know we are praying for him and we want him to not be afraid.” The pastors come from many different churches – Catholic, Southern Baptist, Independent Baptist, Church of God, Nazarene, Assembly of God, Christian Congregational, and Disciples of Christ. But their message is one of unity.

One can legitimately argue either side of the issue. Boehner’s position has been that defunding the government will not hurt Planned Parenthood as much as it will hurt the conservative cause. Rev. Newman disagrees, seeing this as an opportunity to “be bold.” But one thing is clear. The Speaker of the House – third in line to be President – is making time to meet with ten pastors from his district, to hear the voices of the electorate. That is how the system is supposed to work. For that, Mr. Boehner is to be commended.

What Miss Tennessee Got Wrong

Miss Georgia was recently crowned Miss America. But let’s give Miss Tennessee, 21-year-old Hannah Robison, the crown for Miss Uninformed. In her answer to her interview question about Planned Parenthood funding, she said, “I don’t think Planned Parenthood funding should be cut off. The $500 million that gets given [well-spoken] to Planned Parenthood every single year goes to female care. It goes for scanning for cancer, it goes for mammograms. And if we don’t give that funding to Planned Parenthood, those women will be out of health care for reproductive causes.”

The first problem with Miss Robison’s assessment is that Planned Parenthood doesn’t offer mammograms. Oops! Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Liz Clark has confirmed that the organization does not provide mammograms at any of its health centers, according to PolitiFact Georgia. President Obama made the same false claim in a 2012 presidential debate. FactCheck.org exposed this error, which was not covered by national media outlets.

Hannah’s claim that “women will be out of health care for reproductive causes” is also a myth. Alliance Defending Freedom has documented that there are 13,540 health care clinics that could help women. (In contrast, Planned Parenthood has just 665 clinics.) If Congress defunded Planned Parenthood, the nation’s foremost provider of abortions, that $500 million could be redirected to health care clinics that serve women.

A recent poll conducted by the Heritage Foundation found that most Americans oppose funding any organization that, like Planned Parenthood, is “in the business of harvesting and selling baby parts from aborted children.” They found that 72 percent of voters agree that “taxpayer dollars would be better spent directed to the more than 13,000 health centers and hospitals that provide comprehensive women’s health care.”

We can provide health care for women without funding abortion clinics. There is no reason taxpayer dollars should go to an organization that could be behind the murder of a little girl who, in a more humane world, could have grown up to be Miss America herself. Hannah Robison is a bright young woman who I’m sure will represent Tennessee well. To become a contestant in the Miss America pageant, she had to do a lot of things right. But on the issue of funding Planned Parenthood and their mammograms, Miss Tennessee got this one wrong.