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Home » News » WSR: 2021-03-17

WSR: 2021-03-17

  • Planned Parenthood to receive millions from COVID bill
  • Planned Parenthood and Unions–an Update
  • Be motivated by Texas
  • Planned Parenthood closes three centers in Washington State

The US Congress passed, and the president signed into law, the latest “COVID Relief Bill” last week. Officially known as the “American Rescue Plan Act of 2021” (H.R.1319), the $1.9 trillion spending bill is full of expenditures that have nothing to do with the COVID virus or its after-effects.

Section 2605 of the law specifically sets aside $50 million for “family planning services.” Although the law is not specific about how this money is to be spent, it is generally recognized that this was the current administration’s attempt to return to Planned Parenthood most of the $60 million Planned Parenthood gave up rather than abide by the Trump administration’s Title X rules that prohibited Title X (family planning) recipients from committing or referring for abortions.

The new law also contains a Payroll Protection Program. Unlike the previous PPP, this bill as written would have allowed Planned Parenthood to receive the PPP loans. Last- minute Republican maneuvers removed this assurance of Planned Parenthood funding from the bill. Although not allowed, remember that the last PPP was specifically written to exclude Planned Parenthood, yet Planned Parenthood managed to get approximately $80 million in PPP loans anyway. Efforts by members of Congress to get Washington bureaucrats to get the money back from Planned Parenthood have not been successful. We are now expecting that Planned Parenthood will, once again, apply for and receive millions of PPP dollars under the current administration.

Of course, the Biden administration is doing much more to drive money towards Planned Parenthood. Its very active push for unbridled abortion in the United States will mean millions more in Planned Parenthood income. Planned Parenthood operates the largest abortion chain in the nation with over 53 percent of all the abortion facilities. Planned Parenthood charges about $610 for first trimester abortions. This means that an increase of just 0.2 percent (1,640 abortions) will put an additional $1 million in Planned Parenthood’s bank accounts. 

Planned Parenthood is expecting this increase in income, but it will only happen if people who respect every human being, from creation to death, give up and do nothing. We must all understand what is happening in America today and take peaceful, prayerful action within our circles of influence. Educate the young people in your community on the sacredness of every human being’s life. Speak up when those who want women to have the right to kill their children loudly advocate that in your town or on social media. This is not the time to be silent.

Of course, one of the greatest things you can do is to pray for those trapped by the culture of death. Join the Marian Blue Wave and use the Rosary as God’s weapon of choice to destroy the devil and all that he incites. 

As our readers are aware, the STOPP International program at American Life League focuses exclusively on Planned Parenthood and its various activities—both its internal organization and its dealings with the public. Because of the major support PP receives from unions, the lack of union representation within the organization is a topic we’ve looked at over the years. We ran short articles in October 2016 and in July 2020 looking at the issue.

Lately, we have noted a number of efforts on the part of Planned Parenthood workers to organize several of the affiliates, so we thought it would be good to bring you an update.

The first PP affiliate to unionize was Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette in Oregon. Workers voted in 2011 to join SEIU Local 49. It took some time for Planned Parenthood to seriously negotiate with the union, but 10 years later, the affiliate and union are still together, having agreed to a new contract in 2020.

The last five years have seen nine more unions recognized at Planned Parenthood locations across the country.


On February 1, 2017, Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington DC signed a contract with the Office & Professional Employees International Union, Local 2. OPEIU Local 2 is a labor union supporting over 8,000 professional workers in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC.

In August 2017, Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands signed an agreement with the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW 21).  


In March 2018, Planned Parenthood Federation of America signed a union agreement with the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU Local 153); the union represents PPFA staff in staff in Miami, FL. 

In August 2018, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains finally dropped an almost two-year battle to prevent staff at 14 of its 24 clinics from being represented by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 105.


In December 2019, Planned Parenthood Federation of America signed a union agreement with SEIU Local 500; the union represents PPFA staff in staff in Washington, DC.


In January 2020, when Planned Parenthood of Greater New York was formed from the merger of five separate Planned Parenthood affiliates, it inherited a union contract with SEIU Local 1199.

In August 2020, Planned Parenthood of Northern New England’s workers in Maine voted overwhelmingly to form a union with The Maine Service Employees Association, Local 1989 of the Service Employees International Union. The official vote tallied 83 percent of the workers to unionize.


In February 2021, Vermont-based staff at Planned Parenthood of Northern New England voted to form a union with AFT (American Federation of Teachers) Vermont. 

In March 2021, Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania workers voted to unionize. The United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE) will represent PPWP workers.

Although Planned Parenthood has begun to welcome unions, it does not appear to have nationwide acceptance. For example, in 2020, when Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas was laying off a number of workers, the affiliate blamed the pandemic for the layoffs. However, some employees in Austin said that those laid off were let go because of their efforts to unionize. 

Many see Planned Parenthood’s failure to unionize their affiliates as a sign of the continuing racism within the organization.

Many people are discouraged. Many hear what is going on in Washington or various pro-abortion states across the country and sigh. “Why try?” they ask.

As Mother Teresa used to say, our job is not to win, but to be faithful.

If you want encouragement, just look at the state of Texas and the fight to keep Planned Parenthood from getting any Medicaid reimbursement in the state. Texas has been fighting for years to take all government money away from Planned Parenthood. They have met many obstacles over the years, including a Supreme Court decision. But, like the famous bunny in TV commercials, they just keep going and going in the fight against Planned Parenthood.

The Obama administration put a policy in place that states had to include Planned Parenthood in any government health program that involved federal money. What did Texas do? It refused federal Medicaid money and established its own program, funded by state money, so they could keep Planned Parenthood out of the state-funded program. 

When Trump changed the rules and allowed states to accept federal money and not give any to Planned Parenthood, Texas was happy. Now, Biden is in the White House and he has promised to overturn Trump’s rule and go back to the way Obama had it. The problem for Biden is the same problem that Trump hadyou can’t make these changes overnight. There is an established procedure for changing the rules. It takes time to post the new rules, have public comments, answer the comments, and eventually make changes. In the meantime, the old rules still apply.

So . . . Texas is still following the Trump rules and stopping federal Medicaid funds from going to Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood, of course, is suing to get a judge to order Texas to give it the money.

One such suit was heard in a Texas court this month. According to the Biblical Recorder, “In a March 10 ruling, State District Judge Lora Livingston rejected Planned Parenthood’s request for an injunction to block enforcement of the state’s decision to terminate its Medicaid contract with the organization. Livingston’s denial came about five weeks after another district judge in Travis County granted a temporary restraining order that kept Planned Parenthood in the program.”

Of course, the battle is not over. We are sure Planned Parenthood will try more legal challenges and hope to keep everything tied up in court until the new Biden regulations can become law. But that’s not the point.

The point is, we have to keep fighting. We cannot give up. That great pro-lifer, Joe Scheidler (RIP), used to tell anyone who would listen that the job of pro-lifers is to “ora et labora,” which translates to “pray and work.” We need to continually pray to God and work for good. That is what Texas is doing . . . and we all need to do the same.

Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and Hawaiian Islands has closed three of its medical centers in the state of Washington. Its Kent and Shelton locations closed as well as its First Hill Center at 1229 Madison Street in Seattle. All three centers committed surgical and/or pill abortions.

News reports of the closures say that Planned Parenthood is blaming “low reimbursement rates from the state Medicaid program” as the reason for the closures. Planned Parenthood told reporters that it is “hoping the Legislature will take action in the coming weeks to increase the state’s Medicaid reimbursement rates for family planning services.” If lawmakers do not do so, Planned Parenthood said as many as six of its other clinics across the state are at risk of closure. Planned Parenthood began 2021 with 33 centers in the state.

All three of these locations are “permanently closed” according to Planned Parenthood’s website. There is some indication that Planned Parenthood’s closure of the three centers may have been politically motivated. There is currently a struggle in the state legislature over family planning reimbursement rates. Governor Jay Inslee has proposed an increase but is meeting resistance. State Rep. Nicole Macri (D-Seattle) is working to ensure the Legislature includes the rate increase for family planning clinics in the state’s new two-year budget. She told reporters “the pattern in the Legislature is to adjust Medicaid rates only when there is some sort of crisis, such as a loss of providers that cuts access to certain services in broad areas of the state. She said the recent closures of the Planned Parenthood health centers show that money for family planning services has reached that kind of crisis point.” 

Whatever the reason, Planned Parenthood has permanently closed these three centersand that is good news.