Last week Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, sent me (and many others on her electronic mailing list) an email telling me I could have a free sticker if I signed a pledge that said:
I ride with Planned Parenthood Action Fund because I know this election will decide the future of women’s health and rights in America. We have a long way to go in this fight, and I am committed to riding with Planned Parenthood Action Fund for as long as it takes, to Election Day and beyond.
Ms. Richards said, “We have to be brave, bold, and proud of what we stand for. We have to be loud, and we have to be visible. Are you with us?”
But as I processed the email mentally one word stuck out at me: Fund.
All the rhetoric employed is about supporting the action fund. A fund is defined as “a supply of money or pecuniary resources, as for some purpose: a fund for his education; a retirement fund.”
I’ll give Planned Parenthood this much: It is good with rhetoric. Somehow its campaign to raise money has managed to convince people across the nation they care about them not the almighty dollar, but the truth is in their own words: “I ride with Planned Parenthood Action FUND.”
With a classic and far-reaching Freudian slip, Planned Parenthood makes its heart known. It wants you to support its money-making efforts. Every sticker, every signature, every dollar–all of it adds to the support base which gives the number one American abortion provider leverage in politics and the economy.
The thing is, it’s got women and men across the nation supporting a fund. They call it women’s health but their campaign doesn’t say that because they are far more concerned with the dollars than the dignity. The purpose of all this fundraising is to improve its lobbying and action. According to its own site:
The Planned Parenthood® Action Fund, the host of www.plannedparenthoodaction.org, is a national not-for-profit organization with its main offices in New York City and Washington, DC. The Action Fund is the nonpartisan advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The Action Fund engages in educational and electoral activity, including legislative advocacy, voter education, and grassroots organizing to promote the Planned Parenthood mission.
(The claim to be non-partisan is a whole other topic but I do find it amusing since the majority of emails I get say “the Republicans” followed by a negative statement.)
Meanwhile, the pretty little sticker the public gets for the car bumper is really saying “I support helping the abortion provider raise money for political lobbying to keep killing babies.” It’s not going to even the non-controversial services it provides; it’s going to lobby and be sure abortion stays legal. The Action Fund is a money-raising account to afford all the lobbying and political involvement the organization. Just take a look at what is reported as part of the activities from the fund on its 2011 Form 990 tax return.
Additionally, you can see Planned Parenthood is asking for money from the public not really for women’s health but to keep its fundraisers employed. Here’s a look of its reported expenses from a couple of sections—you can see what its used for.
And let’s not forget the employee compensation:
Finally, when I look at the reported income of the Action Fund, it’s easy to see why Planned Parenthood can afford to send everyone stickers that look like its Pepto-Bismol bus.
Oozing with dollars, Planned Parenthood can afford to give you a sticker because it will take far more: first your money then your dignity. All in the name of women’s health of course.