02 February 2012

The Row Over Removing Pink Ribbon from Planned Parenthood

The Susan G. Komen Foundation, the nation’s largest breast cancer organization,  has decided to withdraw its $690,000 in charity to Planned Parenthood.  The Komen Foundation claims that it made the move not for political reasons but to follow its governing policy not to give to groups that are under investigation.

As Chairman of the House Commerce and  Energy Oversight Subcommittee, Representative Cliff Stearns (R-FL 6th) has begun a first-ever audit of Planned Parenthood to investigate its use of federal funding and its compliance with federal restrictions about funding abortions.  This Congressional oversight action comes in the wake of ugly investigative reports from pro-life policy watchdogs.

There have been hysterical claims that the Komen financial withdrawal will endanger womens’ lives.  But after this Komen decision was publicized, Planned Parenthood boasts that it received $650,000 in donations in just 24 hours.  So there effectively will be no loss in funding to Planned Parenthood.  But the dirty little secret is that Planned Parenthood never offered any mammographies anyways.

When Congress was considering an amendment sponsored by Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN 6th) to cut off federal funding to Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards, the organization’s CEO, took to the Joy Behar Show to decry draconian cuts in womens’ health services, including mammographies.

Live Action conducted a survey of 30 Planned Parenthood clinics in 27 states.  None of these clinics provided mammographies.  In fact, when one Arizona Planned Parenthood clinic was pressed to give a mammography referral to another Planned Parenthood clinic, she was told:  "Well, it would be at a different agency altogether because we don’t provide those services whatsoever.”  In response, Planned Parenthood declared:  Every Planned Parenthood, without exception, tells her she will have to go elsewhere for a mammogram, and many clinics admit that no Planned Parenthood clinics provide this breast cancer screening procedure.”

Planned Parenthood loves to give the impression that 97% of their business is for preventive women’s health care.  But that depends upon how one counts the services. Mark Twain observed that “There are lies, damn lies and statistics”  Using some bureaucratic legerdemain, Planned Parenthood can bundle some services whereas other more innocuous services are expanded to make the figures work.   For example Planned Parenthood could claim that 3% of their services were abortion related if they performed three abortions and gave away 97 condoms.

Looking at it another way, Planned Parenthood’s books shows that their clinics generates 38.4% of their income from abortion services.  The bottom line shows that Planned Parenthood is predominantly driven by providing profitable abortion services.

Planned Parenthood receives $317 million in federal funding for FY2010 which is double the amount in 1998.  Governmental funding account for 1/3rd of Planned Parenthood’s  budget.   Supposedly, there is no federal funding of abortions due to the Hyde Amendment.  Planned Parenthood proponents insist that there is a wall of separation between the women’s health and reproductive services and its abortion affiliates and that the funds are segregated.  But according to Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood clinic,  the reality is that all of the funds get thrown into one kitty and are completely fungible.

For years the Hyde Amendment has precluded Planned Parenthood from receiving HHS funding for abortion services.  But thanks to the feckless stand of  former Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI 1st) over abortion in Obamacare, even this gossamer restriction will become ineffective.  Consider how the Obama Administration aborted of religious liberty, which will force almost all qualifying health plans by employers to include no cost contraceptive services, including abortifacients (IUDs and the “morning after” pill) as well as sterilizations.  Curious minds want to know who will profit from administering these “family planning” aspects of Obamacare?  After all, Planned Parenthood only has a 28% share of the abortion industry today. But think about the reimbursements from the qualifying health plan administrators.  After all, health care isn’t free, unless you are the recipient of no cost contraceptive services.

Planned Parenthood is now running a targeted media campaign in eight select media markets (all in battleground states)  to thank President Obama and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and to urge them to: “[K]eep protecting the birth control that women count on."

This is the second time which Planned Parenthood has experienced a spike in private contributions after threats of public defunding. After the Pence Amendment passed the House of Representatives in February 2011 by a 240-187 margin, Planned Parenthood bragged that online contributions went up by 500%.  So why did the Democrats threaten to close down the government if Planned Parenthood’s Title X Federal funding was  cut?  After all, Democrats only received $1 million in campaign contributions from Planned Parenthood. In the end, Senate Democrats followed the lead of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to refuse to pass a real budget with the Pence Amendment, which partially explains why Senate Democrats have not lived up the the duties of their office and passed a budget resolution in over 1,000 days.

The  Komen Foundation rescinding their pink ribbon cover to Planned Parenthood may draw undesired attention to unflattering allegations about the organization, like commingling funds, doctoring services reports (e.g. claiming that post abortion check ups are family planning visits), ignoring parental notification statues, not reporting abortions from statutory rapes and providing safe havens to child sex trafficking.  Some states have already been rescinding their funding to Planned Parenthood.  No wonder why Planned Parenthood can not wait for Obamacare to arrive.

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