The sinister agenda of Planned Parenthood
In the last two issues of Celebrate Life, we have examined the abortion business of Planned Parenthood and how it works to come between parents and their children. This issue, we will tell you how Planned Parenthood uses your money to push its sinister agenda.
Today, Planned Parenthood receives millions of dollars each year of your tax money, but that was not always the case. Come with me as we take a journey back in time and see how Planned Parenthood has been able to receive over $3.9 billion of our hard-earned money to ply its trade of death and destruction. Then we’ll talk about how you can take action to stop your money from going to Planned Parenthood.
Tax funding history
Planned Parenthood was founded in 1916 and, for 47 years, it survived on donations and the fees charged at its clinics. In 1963, Planned Parenthood reported a total income of $6.2 million. About 70 percent of that came from donations and 30 percent from clinic fees.
It was in 1964 that Planned Parenthood reported its first receipt of taxpayer money—$8,500. It received this money under the presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson. The basis of giving money to the organization is that Planned Parenthood claims that it provides reproductive “health care” to poor women. The Johnson administration accepted that premise and recognized Planned Parenthood as a “health care” organization. That designation has never changed, thus it is eligible to receive government funds under programs that pay for “family planning” or other reproductive health care services.
In 1965, the United States Supreme Court struck down the last laws against contraception in the nation with its Griswold v. Connecticut decision and Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer income almost doubled—to $16,825.
In 1970, Congressman George H.W. Bush introduced legislation to establish the nation’s first federally funded family planning program. The program was passed into law and is known as Title X of the Health and Human Services Act. This set the stage for explosive growth at Planned Parenthood. Under President Richard Nixon in 1973, the government gave out over $100 million in Title X grants to a multitude of agencies. That year Planned Parenthood reported taxpayer income of $26.4 million—which was a whopping 43 percent of the organization’s total budget.
The increase in government money also fueled the increase in Planned Parenthood clinics across the country. In 1962, the year before it received its first taxpayer funds, Planned Parenthood operated fewer than 200 clinics. By 1973, that number had exploded to 700. This, of course, meant that Planned Parenthood’s influence in our nation grew greatly because of government largesse.
Administrations in Washington, D.C., have come and gone, but Planned Parenthood has continued to receive more and more taxpayer funds. By the time Gerald Ford left office in 1977, Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer income was $50.8 million. Under Jimmy Carter, it saw a 67 percent increase in four years, receiving $85.2 million in 1981.
Ronald Reagan tried to end the Title X funding of Planned Parenthood by putting in place regulations that no Title X money could go to organizations that performed or referred for abortions. Planned Parenthood called these regulations the “gag rule” and tied them up in court challenges throughout Reagan’s two terms. It thus kept receiving Title X and other taxpayer funding. To Reagan’s credit, he did slow the growth of Planned Parenthood funding. In 1989, his last budget year, Planned Parenthood received $118 million—an increase of 39 percent over eight years (one-quarter of the growth that occurred during Carter’s years).
As president, George H.W. Bush continued the court battle over the Title X regulations and, eventually, won the court cases just a few months before he left office. However, he never had time to implement the changes and Planned Parenthood became more and more adept at finding ways, in addition to Title X, to get our tax money. At the end of his one term, Planned Parenthood had increased its taxpayer funding by 33 percent in four years, to $157.8 million.
Bill Clinton undid the Reagan/Bush Title X regulations during his first week in office and proceeded to continue the increased funding of Planned Parenthood through numerous programs, including Medicaid waivers. When Clinton left office in 2001, Planned Parenthood received $202.1 million in just that one year.
Planned Parenthood has continued to receive increased taxpayer dollars under George W. Bush. In 2005, Planned Parenthood received $272.7 million in taxpayer funds.
The numbers reported above include all taxpayer money that goes to Planned Parenthood, whether it is from federal, state or local governments. The current estimate is that 70 percent of the funds are federal and the rest are state and local. Of course, all the money comes from the pockets of hard working American taxpayers.
At the federal level, the two government programs that provide the most annual money to Planned Parenthood are Medicaid and Title X.
Medicaid Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood comes under what are normally called “Family Planning Waiver Programs.”
In the early years of the joint federal-state Medicaid program, eligibility was limited largely to low-income, single mothers and their children who were receiving welfare. In the 1980s, however, Congress broke the welfareMedicaid link for pregnancyrelated services by first allowing and later requiring states to extend eligibility for Medicaid-covered prenatal, delivery and postpartum care to women with incomes up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level.
In the 1990s, several states began pushing for Medicaid expansion to cover family planning services. In addition they raised the eligibility to 185 percent of the federal poverty level. Unlike the increases for pregnancyrelated care, which are specifically provided for in the federal statute, these expansions require approval—generally referred to as a “waiver”—from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the federal agency that administers Medicaid.
As of December 2003, the Guttmacher Institute reported that 18 states have gained approval for these waivers. The states have a real incentive to push for these programs because the federal government pays 90 percent of the cost of providing family planning services and supplies under Medicaid, compared with 50-77 percent of the cost of other medical services, including pregnancy-related care.
Currently there are efforts in Congress to make the providing of these family planning services a normal part of the Medicaid program so that they will not need to be obtained through waivers.
According to a study done by the U.S. government’s General Accounting Office, in 2001 Planned Parenthood received $60.9 million in Medicaid funds.
Title X The Title X program is the only federal program devoted solely to the provision of family planning and reproductive health care. The program is designed to provide access to contraceptive supplies and information to all who want and need them with priority given to low-income persons.
Title X service funds are allocated to the ten Department of Health and Human Services regional offices. The regional offices manage the competitive review process, make grant awards and monitor program performance. Services are delivered through a network of communitybased clinics that include state and local health departments, hospitals, university health centers, Planned Parenthood affiliates, independent clinics and public and non-profit agencies.
According to a study done by the U.S. General Accounting Office, in 2001 Planned Parenthood received $59 million in Title X funds.
Who is responsible
In tracing the history of taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood, we referred to the various presidential administrations. Of course, it is not the president who ultimately votes for these funds, but members of Congress.
The funding bills are handled by a number of different committees in Congress. In general, the Senate Committee on Finance; the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions; the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation; the House Committee on Energy and Commerce through its Subcommittee on Health; the House Committee on Science; and the House Committee on Ways and Means have jurisdiction over legislation authorizing the funds.
Also, the Senate Committee on Appropriations, through its Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education; and the Subcommittee on VA, HUD and Independent Agencies; and the House Committee on Appropriations, through its Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education; and Subcommittee on VA, HUD and Independent Agencies, have jurisdiction over legislation appropriating funds for the programs.
What you can do
We would all like to see an immediate cessation of all taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood. While we may have enough votes in the House of Representatives to do this, we clearly do not have the votes in the Senate.
That doesn’t mean we should do nothing. This election year, every House seat and one-third of the Senate seats are subject to the will of the people. Thus we ask you to do the following:
Every time a candidate for any office contacts you, your first question should be “Will you stop government funding of Planned Parenthood?” If they will not commit to it, tell them you will seek another candidate.
Contact your current members of Congress and tell them to oppose any effort to normalize the providing of family planning funds under Medicaid.
Also tell all your state and national elected officials to put an end to all family planning waiver programs, as well as Title X. The minimum that should be accepted is that Medicaid and Title X be changed to require parental approval before any family planning service is given to minors.
Go on the internet to www.StopPlannedParenthoodTax Funding.com and sign the petition. Urge your friends and family to sign it too.
Jim Sedlak is vice president of American Life League. For more resources to help shut down Planned Parenthood, visit www.ALL.org/STOPP.