By Rita Diller
Do you hear it? It begins as a whimpering, sniveling sound and peaks with a vicious roar, before dying down once again to a whimper. There it is again! And again!
It’s the sound of Planned Parenthood ending. Not with a bang, but with a whimper.
And after cutting taxpayer money from the abortion giant, if the amounts of taxpayer dollars stripped are large enough, you will hear the doors to Planned Parenthood facilities slamming shut. There’s the bang! What sweet music it is to the ears of those who have worked long and hard to stop Planned Parenthood.
What started as one small wail followed by two bangs in New Jersey is becoming a beautiful symphony as creative citizens throughout the nation"citizens who have had enough of the immoral sex-pushing abortion profiteer"work on the state level to put an end to the public funding of Planned Parenthood.
Planned Parenthood’s public funding
In its latest annual report, Planned Parenthood reported that it received $363.2 million"over 1/3 of its annual billion dollar budget"from government grants and programs. That is almost a million dollars every day that taxpayers dole out to the abortion giant"against our will.
But that is only part of the equation. Above and beyond what it reports as government grants and programs income, Planned Parenthood receives millions of dollars annually in reimbursement of client fees from the Medicaid program, which is a joint program of the federal and state governments.
According to Planned Parenthood’s sidekick, the Guttmacher Institute, Medicaid provided 70.6 percent of "expenditures on family planning client services" during the fiscal year 2006 for an astounding total of $1.3 billion!
The Guttmacher report, Public Funding for Family Planning, Sterilization and Abortion Services, FY 1980"2006, makes a shocking revelation: "The state and federal governments spent $89 million to fund 177,000 abortion procedures for low-income women in FY 2006. The federal government contributed to the cost of only 191 procedures. Virtually all publicly funded abortion procedures occurred in the 17 states that have nonrestrictive abortion policies."
"Nonrestrictive abortion policies" refers to the fact that 17 states allow the state portion of Medicaid funds to pay directly for abortions under circumstances prohibited by the Hyde Amendment.
So while Planned Parenthood hides behind the Hyde Amendment, saying over and over again that Title X and Medicaid do not directly fund abortions, the Guttmacher Institute very clearly reports that government funds paid directly for 177,000 abortions on low-income women in 2006. It also reveals that the overwhelming percentage of "family planning" funding emanates from the Medicaid program, with money provided by the state and federal governments.
Thus, it becomes ever more critical that state officials and legislatures move to divest Planned Parenthood of all state-controlled monies.
The momentum builds
While efforts to take taxpayer money out of the hands of Planned Parenthood stalled at the federal level due to Democrat Senators, many of whom received political endorsements and financial backing from Planned Parenthood during the election cycle, the battle to defund the abortion giant was already building at the state level, where an influx of new conservative, pro-life legislators and governors enabled successful campaigns to cut Planned Parenthood funding in several states.
Governor Chris Christie led the way by eliminating $7.5 million in Title X family planning funding by executive veto from the New Jersey state budget in 2010 and again in 2011. The money has been diverted to federally qualified health centers. Planned Parenthood has tried and failed at least four times to reinstate the funding. As a result of the loss of funding, Planned Parenthood announced the closure of its facility in Cherry Hills effective Sept. 23, 2010, and says it will close its Dover facility by the end of 2011.
In March of 2011, Kansas stripped Planned Parenthood of $330,000 in Title X funds. The funds were deflected to local full service clinics, placing Planned Parenthood at the bottom of the priority list. Kansas will also put $300,000 into a grant-matched fund for pregnancy maintenance and adoption counseling.
In May of 2011, the Indiana legislature passed a bill banning the state from entering into contracts with, or granting funding to any entity that performs abortions or maintains or operates any facilities which performs abortions, effectively denying between $2 million and $3 million to Planned Parenthood.
The legislation was signed into law on April 27, 2011, and was immediately challenged by Planned Parenthood. The Justice Department has joined Planned Parenthood in a federal lawsuit to stop enforcement of the law. Planned Parenthood announced that it will close its facilities in Bedford, Hammond, Michigan City, New Albany, Terre Haute, and two in Indianapolis if the law stands.
In June of 2011, the North Carolina general assembly passed a budget rider that will cut $434,000 in contracts and grants to Planned Parenthood, including federal Title X funds that pass through the state budget. On July 12, Planned Parenthood officials said that it may close its Durham Health Center on September 1, 2011, if it cannot get an injunction to stop the state from cutting off its funding. Since the Durham center also gets a 10 percent discount on contraceptives as a Title X provider, the loss would amount to 49 percent of its budget. Planned Parenthood sued the state of North Carolina on July 7, 2011, to reinstate the funding.
In June of 2011, Wisconsin legislation was passed withholding $1 million in Title V and Medicaid funds from Planned Parenthood. After failed attempts to raise enough local funds to keep all its facilities running, PP says it will have to cut "services" or staff in light of the cuts.
In May of 2011, the Tennessee legislature shifted the priority for Title X funds from Planned Parenthood to county health departments, resulting in an estimated $335,000 loss for the abortion profiteer. Planned Parenthood officials say they will not close any facilities as a result.
While Planned Parenthood had predicted all of its previous losses of funding, its officials were caught off guard when, in July of 2011, the executive council, which oversees state contracts, declined to renew a $1.8 million state contract. Planned Parenthood officials said that as a result of the cut, they "may have to close centers." Planned Parenthood claims it has turned away 1502 clients because of the cut. The Obama administration issued a strong rebuke to New Hampshire officials, ordering the state to fund Planned Parenthood by August 15 or face the loss of federal health care funds.
And in Texas, where everything is bigger including Planned Parenthood taxpayer funding cuts, projected losses to Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer funding over the next two years have just been upgraded to $58 million, according to Dr. Joe Pojman of the Texas Alliance for Life, who was instrumental in pushing through this legislation. The $58 million is a compilation of:
" Family Planning Grants: V, X, & XX $24 million. The prioritizing language in HB 1, the General Appropriations Bill, and in Senate Bill 7, a health care reform bill, puts these funds out of reach for Planned Parenthood.
" Medicaid Family Planning, Women’s Health Program $34 million. Language in Senate Bill 7 excludes abortion providers and affiliates of abortion providers from being eligible contractors. Planned Parenthood has been receiving $17 million per year.
Planned Parenthood announced the closure of its Gainesville, TX, office effective August 29 due to reduced federal funding. And STOPP of Dallas reports that when members went to pray at Planned Parenthood in Plano on July 21, they found large signs on the doors saying the facility will be closing in late August due to the Texas legislature’s funding cuts. In addition to the two we have confirmed, we have reliable information that the following PP Texas facilities are scheduled to be shut down:
Closing in July/August
Closing in September
1. Mesquite Health Services
2. Arlington North
Other closures due to decrease in funding
Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota announced that effective August 1, 2011, it will be closing its facilities in Thief River Falls, Brainerd, Red Wing, Owatonna, Albert Lea and Fairmont, MN, due to an 11 percent decrease in federal Title X funding. Though no legislation has passed the Minnesota legislature, a bill was introduced to the state Senate that would prohibit "family planning grants" to any organization that provides abortions or has affiliates that provide abortions.
It is no secret that Planned Parenthood relies on taxpayer money to keep its doors open. The amount of money that has been stripped from the abortion giant so far may seem rather inconsequential when you look at its bottom line, but the closures that have resulted show how very vulnerable it is to loss of taxpayer funding.
American Life League’s Stop Planned Parenthood International just introduced a new online action center that will keep you informed about what is happening in the battle to defund Planned Parenthood and that will give you the resources you need to fight Planned Parenthood funding. Please visit us today at stopplannedparenthood.com and stay immersed in the battle to cut off all public funding to Planned Parenthood.
Start listening for the sound of closing doors a sound that will signal the end of Planned Parenthood’s reign of terror in our nation.
Rita Diller is the national director of American Life League's Stop Planned Parenthood project.