The crisis facing Planned Parenthood continues to grow. Since July, an undercover video investigation has shown top officials at Planned Parenthood—and close business partners—admitting their collusion in the trafficking of fetal organs, tissues, and bodies.
Tomorrow, the first public Congressional hearings on the issue get underway. Across America, conservative governors and grassroots leaders have launched efforts to investigate and defund Planned Parenthood.
Nearly 80,000 Americans recently protested in front of Planned Parenthood clinics nationwide (Photo via ProtestPP.com)
A growing mountain of evidence shows the cold, calloused way with which Planned Parenthood conducts business. As an OB/GYN who manages a private medical practice focused on women’s health, this particularly concerns me.
Our medical office regularly sees women who have received less-than-stellar treatment from Nashville’s two abortion facilities—one of which is a Planned Parenthood clinic. One patient who went first to Planned Parenthood gave me permission to share her story.
She opted for a medical abortion. The first pill, RU-486, was successful in poisoning the baby; her seven-week baby had no heartbeat by the time she saw me as a patient. The second pill, misoprostol provided to cause cramps that would force the baby to pass, did not have its intended effect.
Photo: Stefan Pasch / Flickr
Given a second dose when she went back, it also didn’t work. When she returned a third time, they insisted she try again with a third course of medication instead of performing the D&C that she requested. Yet after doing her own research, she was not comfortable with more abortion medication. Planned Parenthood refused the patient’s request.
She tried a doctor’s office, who wouldn’t even see her. Then she scheduled an appointment with me and I saw her. Her baby was already dead, and she was heartbroken about her choice. I spent a long time with her and her mother.
I hugged her when the appointment was over—so she would know someone who wears a white coat actually cares about her.
Dr. Boles and his colleague speak outside an abortion center, exposing the horrors within (Photo Courtesy of Brent Boles, MD)
This situation is by no means uncommon. In the past month alone, my practice has seen three women who had complications following procedures from local abortion centers.
Because I’ve seen firsthand what sort of “health care” that Planned Parenthood delivers, I have sought out the facts on this group… and discovered a tangled web of misdeeds. While Planned Parenthood consistently states that taxpayer funds do not go toward abortions, nothing could be further from the truth.
One must understand the economics of a medical facility in order to know their statements are false and misleading. The two largest costs for any medical facility are those associated with the building and property (rent/lease, remodeling and maintenance costs) and the employee costs (salary and benefits). I know this from experience, having run a medical practice for over a decade.
In a recent analysis of Planned Parenthood revenues, government subsidies made up approximately 40 percent of Planned Parenthood’s revenue. Only about 15 percent of their revenue comes from providing medical services that are not abortion-related.
Planned Parenthood currently receives over $500 million in taxpayer funding every year (Photo: Wikimedia)
Planned Parenthood would have total operating costs that would be far lower if their facilities did not have to maintain rooms for surgical procedures and additional employees required to maintain a busy surgical practice in so many of its facilities. That is where the highest costs come in. It is far less expensive to maintain a medical office capable of doing nothing more than examinations, cancer screenings and contraceptive prescriptions than it is to maintain surgical facilities.
Planned Parenthood could not possibly maintain surgical facilities in the manner in which they currently exist without subsidies from the government. Their largest costs of operation are abortion-related. Their insistence that no government funds support abortion simply is not credible.
The importance of government funding to their abortion business is precisely why Planned Parenthood is steeped in political advocacy. Looking at the complexities of their structure, both non-profit and political arms within Planned Parenthood, reveals how the group plays an enormously profitable shell game with their finances.
With non-profit status as a 501(c)3, Planned Parenthood Federation of America oversees 59 local affiliates and almost 700 individual facilities. Then the Planned Parenthood Action Fund is a 501(c)4 political entity. As a PAC, it donates millions annually to political candidates that support abortion rights. While promoting itself as nonpartisan, the Action Fund gives nearly all its donations to ensure Democratic Party electoral wins.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America and its affiliates are the beneficiary of over $500,000,000 annually from the federal government. While Planned Parenthood would have us believe these funds are only used to provide health care services for women, and that none of the funds are used to support abortion—the facts do not align with their ad campaigns.
Cecile Richards hosts President Barack Obama at a Planned Parenthood fundraiser event (Photo: NAFPP / Flickr)
Planned Parenthood routinely transfers funds to its PAC. Their most recently filed IRS form 990 shows that Planned Parenthood Federation of America transferred $4.5 million to the Action Fund. These funds are then used to support the political races of pro-abortion candidates, and to oppose pro-life candidates.
Pro-life state legislator Bette Grande recently revealed how Planned Parenthood attack ads played a role in losing her seat serving North Dakota. During the 2012 election, Planned Parenthood spent $15 million to ensure President Obama and his allies were re-elected.
Planned Parenthood uses funds at least partially derived from U.S. taxpayers for political purposes. They use our money to promote, protect and advance their radical abortion agenda. Can you imagine the public outrage if the National Rifle Association was the beneficiary of taxpayers—using public funds to elect individuals who would promote gun rights, and oppose candidates who favor gun control?
To defends itself against efforts to defund the organization, Planned Parenthood uses two lines of reasoning. First, they say no tax dollars are used for abortions. Clearly this is not a believable argument. The second defense is that defunding Planned Parenthood would limit access to needed services for many women.
In a recent interview, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards stated: “Half of our health centers are located in underserved areas, like Lancaster, Pennsylvania.” The problem with her statement is that Lancaster is not an underserved area. In fact, there are ten public health facilities in Lancaster. This is the case all across the country.
My home state of Tennessee has four Planned Parenthood locations… who compete for clients with 267 other federally qualified health centers in Tennessee, including local health departments.
These other locations are perfectly capable of providing pap smears, breast exams, STD screenings, etc.—the limited, legitimate services offered by Planned Parenthood.
There are two differences between Planned Parenthood and the multitude of other facilities: health departments and public health centers do not provide abortions, as does Planned Parenthood; and the others provide extensive other primary care services.
Planned Parenthood does not provide comprehensive health care. This begs the question—what would the effect of defunding Planned Parenthood be?
Lozier Institute research compares the number of health clinics to Planned Parenthood locations (Source: ADF)
No one who argues for defunding Planned Parenthood intends for women’s health care to be compromised, nor for women to have difficulty accessing necessary services. Ideally, these funds would be provided to centers that provide real women’s health care and did not perform abortions.
Because at least a portion of the public funds used for Planned Parenthood support the infrastructure of the abortion industry, it follows to reason that if all the funds currently given to Planned Parenthood were devoted to women’s care and none were used for abortion—then a greater amount of services could be provided to women. If local centers had additional funding, they could expand services locally.
To finish the story at the beginning: it was already too late for that woman’s precious baby. Her tragic experience has been repeated over and over. I am only one of several dozen OB/GYNs in Middle Tennessee, yet I’ve seen three women betrayed by Planned Parenthood just in the past month.
Photo: Etienne Poisson / Flickr
Now the focus needed to be on meeting her needs and letting her know someone cares about her. I provided her with contact information for a local pro-life ministry that conducts post-abortive counseling for women, free of charge.
What if that local group had the ability to expand its health services to help more women?
When one considers these facts, the effort to defund Planned Parenthood and transfer those funds to other health centers becomes clear. Other facilities are better able to serve the real needs of women, improving access to health care across the country.