The nation’s largest abortion provider maintained its infamous title, performing 333,964 abortions—a record for the organization that received 45 percent of its revenues from taxpayer-funded government sources during the 2011–2012 fiscal year. According to analysis by the Susan B. Anthony List, Planned Parenthood has performed almost 1 million abortions in the past three years alone.
Despite the organization’s prominence—performing roughly one out of every four abortions in America—Planned Parenthood has ridden the waves of taxpayer funding to millions of dollars in annual surpluses. Last year, like many before it, Planned Parenthood saw a very comfortable income, reporting excess revenues exceeding $87 million and net assets of more than $1.2 billion.
In the face of large surpluses and increased abortions, supporters and activists are still quick to point to the provision of other services to justify continued and expanded federal funding of the organization. But a closer look at Planned Parenthood’s own report and actions still point to a strong emphasis on abortion procedures.
While Planned Parenthood affiliates performed a record number of abortions in 2011, the organization made only 2,300 adoption referrals and provided fewer than 30,000 prenatal services. Roughly 40 percent of the organization’s reported contraceptive services last year were the provision of more than 1.4 million emergency contraception kits, which many believe can cause an abortion in early pregnancy. To solidify its place as the top abortion provider, Planned Parenthood recently announced that all local affiliates would have to begin providing abortion services starting in 2013.
Despite the half-truths spread by leaders and supporters of Planned Parenthood—including President Obama during last year’s election—the organization does not and cannot provide mammograms. (It was over this fact, among other considerations, that leaders of the Susan G. Komen Foundation originally pulled grant funding from Planned Parenthood—before they were bullied back into supporting the abortion provider.)
Women can receive clinical breast exams at some Planned Parenthood affiliates, but women are referred to local health care providers for more comprehensive mammogram services. Planned Parenthood can use funds obtained from grant sources to pay for the referrals, but it acts merely as a go-between for women in need of screening. Moreover, as Alliance Defending Freedom’s (ADF) Casey Mattox explained following an ADF Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, no Planned Parenthood affiliate even holds the licenses necessary under federal law to perform mammograms.
If Planned Parenthood’s lackluster offering of breast health support and single-minded provision of abortion services isn’t enough to question the continual stream of federal tax dollars, accusations of fraud and the group’s apparent willingness to abet the sex trafficking of minor girls should at least raise scrutiny of the organization’s federal funding.
Late last week, Representative Marsha Blackburn (R–TN) introduced the “Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act,” which would strip Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers of federal taxpayer support under Title X funding.
There has been longstanding consensus that federal dollars should not be used to fund abortions. Policymakers looking for organizations capable of self-funding more of their activities and wishing to put limited federal tax dollars for women’s health to more efficient and effective use would do well to view Planned Parenthood’s subsidies with a critical eye.
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