While national abortion numbers are on the continued decline, Planned Parenthood’s latest report revealing the corporation’s record high abortions and grossly increased tax dollars in 2018 has outraged many in the pro-life community. Unfortunately, there appears along with the outrage to be growing confusion over reasons for the substantial increase in taxpayer dollars going to the corporation.
Planned Parenthood presents itself as a health care organization, yet year after year, most of its legitimate health services decline while abortions increase. It’s no wonder many correctly connect the dots from an increase in taxpayer funds directly to abortion; Live Action has documented that money sent to Planned Parenthood is fungible. Live Action News previously documented that Planned Parenthood’s own 2018-2019 annual report shows its abortions and taxpayer dollars reached a record high in 2018. Some key takeaways:
- PP committed 345,672 abortions, an increase of 13K or 4 percent (3.88%) from 2017.
- PP now ends the lives of 947 abortions a day, 39 each hour, one abortion every 91 seconds.
- PP committed 81 abortions for every adoption and 35 abortions for every prenatal service referral.
- PP now garners 40% of the US abortion market share (using 2017 Guttmacher stats).
- Taxpayer dollars to PP increased by nine percent (9.4%), from $563.8 million in 2017 to $616.8 million in taxpayer dollars (highest amounts recorded in recent years) in 2018.
- Between 2008 and 2018, taxpayer dollars to PP have increased nearly 70 percent (69.82%) from $363.2 million in 2008 to $616.8 million in taxpayer dollars in 2018.
While it is understandable to be outraged each time the Legislative and Executive Branches approve a budget that does not cut dollars to Planned Parenthood, the blame for the corporation’s funding increases doesn’t necessarily just lie at the federal level. Here’s why:
1. Funding to Planned Parenthood comes from a variety of sources — including state programs.
Taxpayer funding to Planned Parenthood comes from a variety of sources, including Medicaid, Title X, and local city and state dollars. As several states ramp up pro-life laws to protect women and preborn babies, abortion advocates are hard at work pushing for expanded abortion — including taxpayer-funded abortion — in more liberal states.
According to Medicaid.gov, “The Medicaid program is jointly funded by the federal government and states. The federal government pays states for a specified percentage of program expenditures…. States can establish their own Medicaid provider payment rates within federal requirements, and generally pay for services through fee-for-service or managed care arrangements.”
2. As Planned Parenthood corners more of the U.S. abortion market, more taxpayer dollars will predictably go to the organization.
It should be obvious that as Planned Parenthood increases its market share of all abortions in the U.S., the likelihood of taxpayer dollars funding those abortions also increases. While the Hyde Amendment protects federal dollars from funding most abortions, the state portion of that money can be used to pay for abortions. The Hyde Amendment allows abortions to be funded in certain situations, such as rape and incest.
While abortions have been decreasing nationwide, they are increasing at Planned Parenthood. Live Action News has previously documented that:
- Abortions nationwide have dropped 50 percent since 1980, according to the latest (2016) CDC report.
- The U.S. abortion rate hit its lowest point since Roe v. Wade, according to (2017) Guttmacher data.
- Abortions are declining nationally after topping more than 20 million since 2000.
But even as abortion numbers overall are dropping, Planned Parenthood has scooped up more of the nation’s total abortions.
3. State tax dollars directly fund abortions at Planned Parenthood.
An analysis published in 2018 by Guttmacher found “Medicaid was the second-most-common method of payment, reported by 24% of abortion patients. The overwhelming majority of these patients lived in the 15 states that allow state funds to be used to pay for abortion.” In 2018, Live Action News documented that more than half of abortions in Medicaid-coverage states are taxpayer funded. In addition, a survey conducted by the Guttmacher Institute revealed that women who have taxpayer-funded abortions tend to have more abortions.
Previous state abortion data reveals:
- Alaska: 2017 data shows 50.6 percent of women who aborted used Medicaid to fund abortions. Out of 1,255 abortions reported, 635 were taxpayer funded.
- California: In 2014, taxpayers paid $28 million for 83,485 abortions according to a Medi-Cal (2014) induced abortion report. In 25 years, Live Action News documented California taxpayers paid over half a billion dollars for abortions.
- Illinois: Illinois News Network (INN) reported that “Illinois taxpayers paid for nearly four times more abortions in the first six months of 2018 than the year before….”
- Maryland: Data on state taxpayer dollars funding abortion reveal that, in 2017 $5.7 million funded 8,798 abortions.
- Minnesota: In 2017, out of 10,177 abortions performed, nearly 44 percent (43.9) or 4,469 abortions were recorded as paid for with public assistance.
- New Mexico: Calls to abortion facilities reveal taxpayers do fund abortion.
- New York: percentage of taxpayer-funded abortions: 49% in 2015, 49% (40,491 out of 82,189 abortions) in 2016 and 48% (37,275 out of 77,810 abortions) in 2017.
- Oregon: KGW8 reported that $1.9 million of public funds were used to pay for about 3,600 abortions via the Oregon Health Plan in the 2017-18 fiscal year, according to the Oregon Health Authority.
- South Carolina: Planned Parenthood alone received almost $360,000 from SC taxpayers from 2011-2016, according to a letter submitted by Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant.
- South Dakota: In 2017, 14 out of 443 abortions were paid for by a public health plan.
4. The courts continue to block efforts to defund Planned Parenthood of its many sources of taxpayer funding.
While lawmakers in several states have passed measures to defund Planned Parenthood, these pro-life efforts are frequently blocked by courts. Some recent examples:
- Dec. 2018: The Supreme Court declined to take up a case that would have eliminated Planned Parenthood’s Medicaid funding in Louisiana and Kansas.
- Oct. 2019: A court blocked South Carolina from preventing Medicaid recipients from using coverage at Planned Parenthood.
- June 2019: The 22nd Circuit Court in St. Louis found Missouri’s attempt to block Planned Parenthood from receiving Medicaid payments unconstitutional, according to media reports.
5. Pro-abortion states continue to increase taxpayer funds to Planned Parenthood.
When the Trump administration implemented a 2019 Title X rule change requiring abortion providers to keep their abortion businesses physically and fiscally separate from other services, Planned Parenthood made a calculated decision to prioritize abortion over the health of low income clients. Planned Parenthood chose to reject $60 million in Title X taxpayer dollars; however, it continues to receive hundreds of millions from other state and federal taxpayer programs going forward. And, predictably, states working to expand abortion are ramping up to replace that Title X funding and increase the amount of money they funnel to Planned Parenthood:
- March 2019: Massachusetts House voted to replace PP’s rejected Title X dollars with state funding through the end of fiscal year 2020.
- July 2019: Illinois Department of Public Health agreed to provide estimated $2.4 million in funding to grantees, including PP, that previously received Title X.
- August 2019: New York state dollars replace rejected Title X dollars, and will total estimated $15 million.
- Dec. 2019: Oakland County Board of Commissioners approved a budget amendment granting $500,000 to Planned Parenthood
- Jan. 2020: NJ granted $9.5 million to PP.
The good news is that millions of taxpayer dollars are now flowing to health care facilities which do not offer abortions.
6. Planned Parenthood’s political arm continues to fund politicians who funnel more taxpayer dollars to the organization.
In 2019, Live Action News reported about Planned Parenthood’s plans to spend at least $45 million to help elect pro-abortion candidates in 2020.
- In 2018, PP’s political arm poured additional millions into electing pro-abortion politicians during the mid-terms.
- Politicians then push to fund Planned Parenthood, perpetuating false claims about PP’s services.
There is no more urgent time than now to defund Planned Parenthood and it is imperative that pro-lifers continue to pressure political leaders at the state and federal level to end all forced taxpayer funding of this abortion behemoth. Realistically, as pro-life efforts to change hearts and minds — and to defund Planned Parenthood of its multiple sources of taxpayer funding — continue to increase, the fight for total victory will intensify with increased moves to fund abortion generally and to increase funding to Planned Parenthood at the state level.
As a result, in the short term, there is no doubt that Planned Parenthood’s annual reports will continue to reveal these increased millions. But we can never stop fighting until every life is protected and every dollar is removed from Planned Parenthood’s coffers.
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