Faced with budget cuts, Planned Parenthood cuts patients first

Two interesting stories out today about how Planned Parenthood in two states–Indiana and Minnesota–is being forced to download because of losses in taxpayer subsidies. We should look carefully at the way Planned Parenthood is responding to this revenue loss, because it is indicative of their priorities. In Minnesota:

Planned Parenthood is closing six clinics in outstate Minnesota on Aug. 1 because of federal budget cuts made this spring in a highly politicized abortion battle.

And in Indiana:

Planned Parenthood will stop treating Medicaid patients and lay off two of its three STD specialists after the donations it had been using to replace state funds ran out Monday.

A tough state anti-abortion law cutting off Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood of Indiana went into effect May 10, but more than $100,000 in donations has helped the health-services provider stay open and continue serving Hoosiers on Medicaid — until this week.

“Our 9,300 Medicaid patients, including those who had appointments Tuesday, are going to see their care disrupted,” said Betty Cockrum, president of Planned Parenthood of Indiana.


A total of 85,000 Hoosiers receive services at Planned Parenthood of Indiana’s 28

health centers. If the law stands, Planned Parenthood says, it must close eight of them: two Indianapolis locations and clinics in Bedford, Hammond, Michigan City, New Albany, Terre Haute and Muncie.

Planned Parenthood likes to present itself to the public as an indispensable community healthcare provider. Well, some other public-funded community organizations that arguably are indispensable have been facing loss of government revenue for longer than Planned Parenthood, and have been dealing with it in a much more noble way. I’m talking about public schools.

All across the country, public school districts have been facing painful budget cuts. Keeping their mission to educate children first in mind, they are responding by instituting furloughs for some teachers or cutting pay for administrators, who have the largest salaries. Some administrators are even submitting to voluntary pay cuts to keep their districts solvent. In Indiana itself, in the Medora school district, Superintendent John Reed is voluntarily resigning and finishing out the year without pay in order to save his district the $123,000 that would go to his salary.

Would a Planned Parenthood administrator like PP IN’s Betty Cockrum, who makes nearly $160,000 in her capacity as CEO, ever take similar actions? Public school districts’ priority is educating the kids, and so when they face hard financial times, they pull out all the stops–administrator cuts, furloughs–to keep the classrooms open. Planned Parenthood claims that its priority is helping women in need–but if that priority were anything like the school districts’ priority to educate, it would be using innovative tools like furloughs and voluntary administrator pay cuts to keep providing its “essential” services, rather than closing its clinics, laying off medical specialists, and canceling client appointments. One suspects that there aren’t many Planned Parenthood workers who love the organization enough to take a voluntary pay cut for it. And based on the way it first cuts its client services to deal with a tighter budget, it looks like Planned Parenthood and its administrators are more concerned about keeping their business serving their own bottom line rather than serving all of their patients.

Oh, and Planned Parenthood IN’s abortionist, Dr. Michael King? He makes over $100,000 per year. Wonder if they’ll be furloughing him any time soon….

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