Politics & Policy

You’re Paying for Abortion Advocacy

Government cash keeps Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers in business.

This week, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a comprehensive report revealing that Planned Parenthood and five other abortion-advocacy organizations received hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars from 2010 through 2012.

GAO found that Planned Parenthood and its affiliates alone received $344.5 million in federal funding, and a whopping $1.5 billion in taxpayer money overall when state funds received through Medicaid are included. With a majority of Americans opposing taxpayer funding of abortion, the GAO report highlights the pressing need to defund Big Abortion — if not out of respect for the unborn, then at the very least out of respect for the wishes of the taxpayer.

The GAO report was requested in 2013 by Representative Diane Black (R., Tenn.) and more than 60 other members of Congress, who called for greater transparency of federal funding regarding abortion.

According to the study,

The six organizations reported expending over $482 million in federal funding from fiscal year 2010 though fiscal year 2012. The six organizations reported expending funding they received directly and indirectly from federal agencies, including HHS and USAID, as well as the Departments of Agriculture, Defense, Housing and Urban Development, and Justice.

[Emphasis added.]

The groups under review by the GAO were Planned Parenthood Federation of America, International Planned Parenthood Federation, the Guttmacher Institute, the Population Council, Advocates for Youth, and the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS). Among these six, Planned Parenthood Federation of America affiliates received the greatest amount of federal funds.

The report also noted that Planned Parenthood’s largest source of funding was Medicaid, with $1.2 billion, followed by the Title X family-planning program, which awarded the abortion provider $201 million.

A look at Planned Parenthood’s latest annual report, from 2014, certainly puts things in perspective. Taxpayer funding accounted for 41 percent of its overall revenue. Planned Parenthood has cut health services — e.g., cancer prevention — by 17 percent in just one year, while the number of abortions it’s performed has increased. In addition, from 2011 through 2013, Planned Parenthood has performed nearly one million abortions. And the zinger: It reported more than $127 million in excess revenue in 2014.

On the flip side, GAO also examined federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) that serve the uninsured and underserved but do not perform abortions. It found that various federal agencies awarded more than $19 billion to over 1,000 centers. In 2012 alone, nearly 2,000 centers served over 21 million people.

In response to GAO’s findings, Representatives Black, Pete Olson (R., Texas), and Chris Smith (R., N.J.) and Senator David Vitter (R., La.) issued a stinging joint press release.

Representative Black said:

This report confirms what we suspected all along: hard-earned taxpayer dollars continue to be used to promote abortions. . . . As a nurse for more than 40 years, I know that abortion is not health care. . . . By exposing the facts and shining a light on this egregious misuse of federal dollars, I believe we can successfully mobilize the support needed to defund the big abortion industry once and for all.

Representative Smith:

Planned Parenthood — Child Abuse International — is responsible for killing more than 6 million unborn children, and it is unconscionable that this organization continues to be subsidized by the American taxpayer.

Senator Vitter:

Taxpayer funding should in no way support abortions. . . . We can’t let this federal support come at the expense of millions of unborn children.

And Representative Olson stressed the lack of transparency, saying:

It shouldn’t take a GAO request from Congress for the American public to know where their tax dollars are being spent. Yet, since I’ve been in Congress, this is the only way we get answers.

Indeed, it was only through a formal request to GAO from Republican leadership in 2014 that Americans were finally told which health-care plans on the Obamacare exchanges covered elective abortion and which didn’t.

While opinions on abortion itself may remain divisive, polls continue to show a unified opposition to taxpayer funding of abortion in the United States. For instance, a January 2015 poll by Marist/Knights of Columbus found that nearly 7 in 10 Americans oppose it, with millennials (aged 18 to 32) opposing it at a rate of 71 percent versus only 28 percent in favor.

If one thing is clear from the GAO report, it’s this: The abortion industry is running on taxpayer money. Not only does this unwanted business plan violate the consciences of millions of Americans — whether pro-life or “pro-choice” — it enables the destruction of millions of the most vulnerable human beings in the name of “health care” and should be stopped.

— Genevieve C. Plaster is a research assistant for the Charlotte Lozier Institute.

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