Multiple Planned Parenthood locations in Washington state have closed since January 1, yet the nation’s largest abortion provider continues to clamor for increased government funding despite operating fewer facilities.
Three Washington Planned Parenthood centers have reportedly already shut down this year, with the most recent closure in February. Planned Parenthood executives blamed the closures on decreased patient volumes due to the pandemic as well as low Medicaid reimbursement rates. They, along with private abortion providers at Cedar River Clinics, are pressing their state government for increased Medicaid reimbursement. The Kitsap Sun noted, “Both organizations are 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 of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands’ (PPGNHI) chief operating officer, Rebecca Gibron, said, “This is the last place we wanted to go, to have to close health centers — but here we are. We’ve been asking for these increases for years, and we’ve just hit our breaking point.” But Gibron’s description of Planned Parenthood as a beleaguered do-gooder succumbing inevitably to financial pressures doesn’t give the whole picture, especially when it comes to Planned Parenthood’s relationship with Medicaid.
Contrary to the picture Gibron paints, Planned Parenthood commits 40% of all abortions in the United States, and its family planning and other legitimate healthcare services — including in Washington state — have been declining for years. While PPGNHI, which includes Washington state’s Planned Parenthood centers, has seen steady decreases in patients served and services provided for years now, its abortion numbers have increased year over year. These trends were already obvious before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
Notably, Washington is one of just five states that require any state-sponsored insurance plan that offers maternity services to also cover abortions, meaning that Washington taxpayers are directly subsidizing abortions, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
In October of 2020, Live Action News linked Planned Parenthood’s ever-increasing receipt of taxpayer funds with increased rates of Medicaid reimbursement, despite successful defunding efforts in multiple states. This is concerning because Planned Parenthood has a troubling history in relation to Medicaid. Live Action News has previously covered reports from previous employees who stated the corporation views Medicaid patients as “mini cash cows.”
Planned Parenthood has been implicated for financial mismanagement — and specifically for Medicaid fraud — multiple times. This financial malfeasance is especially disturbing given that Planned Parenthood’s own 2019-2020 annual report showed that the national organization “brought in $69.7 million in excess revenue in 2019-2020.” Clearly, Planned Parenthood overall isn’t hurting for money. If it was, surely it wouldn’t have rejected roughly $60 million in Title X funds in 2019 by failing to separate its abortion services from its family planning services.
It may be true that Planned Parenthood in Washington state will face more closures without increased Medicaid reimbursement rates, but this reality should prompt a closer look at the organization’s financial solvency as a whole. For years, the whole organization has been propped up by taxpayer dollars, whether at the state or federal level. Yet, no matter how much money the abortion giant makes, with the most recent national annual report showing that taxpayer funding totaled $618.1 million, it’s never enough.
It’s long past time for taxpayer funds to be rerouted to organizations like federally-qualified health care centers, that provide true family planning and other women’s health services, not abortions.
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