Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont has a plan to give Planned Parenthood of Southern New England (PPSNE) $2.1 million of state funding in his proposed budget. The increase in funding would come from the pockets of taxpayers and is in response to Planned Parenthood’s decision to walk away from Title X federal family planning funding they had previously been receiving, of which PPSNE received $2.1 million.
On March 5, a public hearing was held by the Human Services Committee at the Connecticut Legislator regarding the proposal to increase funding to PPSNE. Known as SB 274 or “An Act Concerning Funding for Planned Parenthood and Other Family Planning Clinics,” citizens testified both in favor of and against this proposed budget. PPSNE operates 16 locations in Connecticut.
Marian Blawie, a registered nurse, certified lactation consultant, and Yale University Midwifery graduate student testified at the public hearing. She reminded the committee that Planned Parenthood had voluntarily refused Title X funds and, she said, “since then it has waged an impressive and disingenuous PR campaign to spin its willful refusal to accept those funds as having been forced out of the program instead.”
Blawie, who has worked in a Title X funded clinic in New Haven, Connecticut, told the committee that she took the time to read the Title X regulations and said it was “dishonest” to claim that the regulations include a “gag rule.” She went on to say that the local Planned Parenthood affiliate has a $10 million net operating surplus and had over $12 million in its own endowment.
“This is about dropping the charade that Planned Parenthood needs even more taxpayer funding to carry them out,” said Blawie. “[…] If more money is truly needed, Planned Parenthood could comply with Title X or else leverage the brand recognition and extensive fundraising network at its fingertips. Strong financial resources that are the envy of most non-profits. This is deep-pocketed political advocacy masquerading as health care. The state of CT faces billion-dollar deficits for the next several years. There’s an old saying that a budget is the skeleton of government, stripped of all ideology and rhetoric. What exactly are we spending money on? With our state drowning in red ink and so many crucial needs still unmet this proposal would constitute a flagrant misuse of scarce resources. For example, this legislature has not allocated adequate funds to address maternal mortality to promote healthy pregnancy and birth in Connecticut, but somehow it can find millions of public funds to give to this already profitable operation that I would like to note does not provide prenatal care. As a nurse and soon to be midwife I am appalled at the backwards priorities on display. I respectively urge all of you to vote no on SB 274.”
According to Connecticut’s 12th Annual State of Abortion report, Connecticut taxpayers already fund 75 percent of Connecticut abortions. In 2018 there were 9,294 abortions with 6,995 of them committed on low-income women using state-funded health care. Those abortions cost Connecticut taxpayers $4.2 million.
In 2019, Planned Parenthood rejected funding through the federal government’s Title X program which had been providing the abortion corporation with $60 million annually. When the rules for participation were changed under the Trump Administration, Planned Parenthood decided to walk away. The new rule states that abortion-providing groups such as Planned Parenthood must separate their abortion “services” from their family planning services both fiscally and physically in order to receive funding. Rather than comply, Planned Parenthood decided to leave the money on the table, putting abortion ahead of care for women. Those millions of dollars were then rerouted to health care organizations that do not commit abortions and complied with the rules.
Since the decision to forgo the Title X funding was made, Planned Parenthood officials have been playing the victim, acting as if the Trump Administration forced them out of the program. This has led many states, including Connecticut, to attempt to give Planned Parenthood money from state taxpayers. Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Vermont, Oregon, Washington, Massachusetts, California, and New York have made similar moves.
Planned Parenthood, however, is not lacking funding, as proven by its latest annual report which showed $110 million in excess revenue and net assets of nearly $2 billion.
The majority of Americans oppose taxpayer-funded abortions, and as previously reported by Live Action News, a 2016 poll by Politico and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that individuals who make less than $25,000 a year were even less likely to favor taxpayer-funded abortions than individuals making more than $75,000 a year.
Editor’s Note: This article was updated to include a quote from the public hearing.
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