Investigative

Why did Senator Susan Collins vote to continue funding Planned Parenthood, when its health care services have been plummeting for a decade?

Two Republican Senators, Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Susan Collins (R- Maine), are being credited with halting a Congressional effort to defund the nation’s largest abortion chain, Planned Parenthood. In a previous post, Live Action News documented Sen. Murkowski’s inaccurate claim that Planned Parenthood is a health care agency worthy of taxpayer funds. In this post, we will examine whether the activities of Planned Parenthood in Sen. Collins’ state of Maine live up to her statements defending the organization.

Maine Senator Susan Collins defends Planned Parenthood

In 2015, following the release of the Center for Medical Progress’s undercover videos of Planned Parenthood representatives haggling over prices for aborted baby body parts, Sen. Collins introduced a measure to investigate Planned Parenthood’s practices. At the time, she said:

I was sickened when I viewed the recently released videos featuring Planned Parenthood physicians… the callousness with which Planned Parenthood employees discuss the sale of fetal tissue is appalling. It deserves our attention. The videos also raise valid questions about the ethics and legality of Planned Parenthood’s practices in some of it’s clinics…. As a result I believe a full investigation is warranted to determine whether or not Planned Parenthood broke the law prohibiting the sale of fetal tissue….

But despite the Maine senator’s apparent outrage, Collins gave a clear signal just prior to the recent Senate vote on the ObamaCare repeal that she was hesitant to defund Planned Parenthood for one year. She told ABC News, “I think it’s not fair and it is a mistake to defund Planned Parenthood. It’s one of many issues.”

After her vote against the “Skinny Repeal,” Sen. Collins pointed to Planned Parenthood as an alleged health care organization:

The issue of family planning services, cancer screenings, and women care probably does resonate with us more than it does with our male colleagues, and to me it was so unfair to single out one Medicaid provider and say to women in particular, “You can’t choose which health care provider you want to go to.”

The problem is that Planned Parenthood only masquerades as a health care provider, and the facts show that Planned Parenthood is not the best choice for Maine citizens.

GOP Senators Collins and Murkowski are just two in a long line of politicians that Planned Parenthood has paraded out to repeat its deceptive talking points on services it either does not provide or on services that have been declining for years, as Live Action has exposed in the video below:

While Planned Parenthood is focused on abortion, federal health centers, (which outnumber Planned Parenthood by the thousands nationally) offer a wider range of services.

Facilities:

Planned Parenthood operates four facilities in Maine, including one of the largest abortion facilities in the state.

In contrast, according to the Rural Health Info Hub, there are 40 Rural Health Clinics and 18 Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) providing services at 123 sites in Maine. These centers offer a wide range of health care services for men, women and children.

Patients:

According to statistics published on Planned Parenthood’s website, the organization saw a total of 8,745 clients in Maine, a decrease of over 35 percent since 2006, when Planned Parenthood recorded 13,548 clients.

In contrast, the latest published data on the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) website, federal health centers served 187,269 patients in 2015. This was an increase of 13 percent from 2008, when Maine health centers served 165,458 patients.

Abortions:

Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (PPNNE) operates facilities in Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire.

Statistics published by the Guttmacher Institute reveal that between 2011 and 2014, the abortion rate decreased in two of the three states in which PPNNE operates facilities:

  • 4 percent decline in Maine
  • 3 percent increase in Vermont
  • 19 percent decline in New Hampshire

PPNNE Services 2011 and 2015

Yet, despite an abortion decline in Maine and New Hampshire, state reports from PPNNE show that abortion, as a percentage of services, is increasing. According to documents on file with PPNNE, abortions in those three states increased from 2 percent of PPNNE’s services in 2011 to 6 percent of services in 2015.

Breast Exams and Pap Tests:

In 2015, PPPNE performed a total of 4,250 Pap tests in all three states. This is a decline of nearly 81 percent from 2006, when PPPNE reported 22,127 Pap tests in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont combined.

Breast exams have also decreased at PPNNE, dropping 21 percent from 8,000 in 2013 to 6,311 in 2015. A closer look at Planned Parenthood’s website reveals that in Maine, Planned Parenthood provided 2,531 total cancer screenings.

In contrast, statistics published on the HRSA website for 2015 (the latest published numbers) reveal that 59.4 percent of the almost 190,000 patients who visited federal health centers in Maine received cervical cancer screenings alone.

Contraception: 

An analysis conducted by Planned Parenthood’s former “special affiliate,” the Guttmacher Institute, which reviewed Maine’s Planned Parenthood centers (PP), Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), and Title X facilities for 2015, revealed:

  • 3 out of 16 counties providing publicly funded contraception care in Maine had at least one Planned Parenthood center.
  • All 16 counties had at least one FQHC site providing contraception services.
  • There were no Planned Parenthood centers located in 13 of the 16 counties.
  • Almost 4 percent (4 out of 106) of publicly funded family planning centers were Planned Parenthood centers.
  • Planned Parenthood served 28 percent of contraception clients while FQHC sites served slightly less, at 27 percent.

FQHC vs. Planned Parenthood in Maine Contraception Care

State and federal taxpayers have been forced to send $3,381,528 to PPNNE despite the organization’s decrease in services. This number has remained fairly consistent for the past several years. As of 2015, these tax dollars now make up 14 percent of the affiliate’s annual budget.

Audited financial reports published by PPNNE reveal that despite the millions of tax dollars it receives every year, PPNNE’s net assets totaled $12,604,134 in 2015 and $13,471,397 in 2016, proving that it does not need government dollars.

Nationally, an analysis by Live Action News proves that FQHCs are far more worthy of tax money than Planned Parenthood. And they can handle Planned Parenthood’s patients if and when the abortion corporation is defunded.

Data from Planned Parenthood’s annual reports reveal that nationally, services such as contraception, prenatal care, breast exams, and pregnancy tests have decreased. In fact, the reports show that Planned Parenthood has lost over half a million (661,000) patients in the past ten years.

What has increased at Planned Parenthood nationally? Abortion — rising nearly 24 percent from 264,943 in 2005 to 328,348 in 2015. This means that today, Planned Parenthood garners nearly 35 percent of the abortion market share in the country, ending the lives of 900 precious preborn children every day.

Despite the decreases in services and increases in abortions, in the past ten years, taxpayer funding to Planned Parenthood has nearly doubled from $305.3 million in 2005 to $554.6 million in 2015.

This cash flow enabled Planned Parenthood to end its year with an excess of $77.5 million in 2015, an increase of nearly 39 percent from 2005 when they netted $55.8 million.

Planned Parenthood has been netting a profit for many years, with yearly surpluses ranging from $12.2 million in 2001 to a high of $155.5 million in 2010).

You do the math, because it is obvious that Senator Collins hasn’t.

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