This past weekend, I led a coalition of over 60 pro-life organizations in a series of over 220 #DefundPP rallies, calling for Congress and President Trump to fulfill their promise to defund Planned Parenthood. These rallies have sparked a national conversation about Planned Parenthood and whether they deserve the $430 million of federal funding they receive from taxpayers each year.
To advance that conversation, I would offer four key reasons why Planned Parenthood should be stripped of their federal subsidy, and those funds redirected to other health centers that provide a wider range of services and a higher standard of care, without being involved in abortion.
- Planned Parenthood is the nation’s largest abortion chain.
Americans do not want their tax dollars going to abortion or abortion providers. Planned Parenthood is the nation’s largest abortion provider, responsible for over 320,000 abortions a year—a whopping 34% of all U.S. abortions. Planned Parenthood tries to downplay their role in abortion, but the reality is that one out of every eight women visiting Planned Parenthood each year will get an abortion there. They take in an estimated $191 million on abortion alone every year, accounting for three fifths of their clinic income.
But Planned Parenthood doesn’t just provide abortion. They aggressively market abortion to their clients. Former staffers have revealed that their bosses set abortion quotas, with perks for employees who hit their targets. And it’s working. Even as abortion rates have declined in recent years, Planned Parenthood’s abortion numbers have continued to rise. Planned Parenthood is cornering the market on abortion.
- Planned Parenthood exaggerates their role in women’s healthcare.
Planned Parenthood pretends that American women depend on them for basic healthcare, but consider they actually provide less than 2% of manual breast exams, less than 1% of pap tests, and exactly zero mammograms annually. Compare this to their 34% share of annual abortions noted above. What’s more, Planned Parenthood’s annual reports reveal that year by year they see fewer and fewer clients for such services as breast cancer screenings and STD testing—again, even as their abortion numbers rise.
Only one out of every five women will ever visit a Planned Parenthood facility. And of those who do, fewer are low income than Planned Parenthood claims. For example, they count some full time students as “low income,” without regard to their family’s actual economic status.
A woman cannot go to Planned Parenthood for such basic healthcare needs as treatment for back pain, colds and flus, bodily injury, and mental health issues. Planned Parenthood officials and apologists like to highlight their prenatal care—which you would expect to be a priority for an organization with “parenthood” in its name—but in fact, Planned Parenthood offers only token prenatal care at a mere handful of facilities, amounting to less than 0.2% of total annual services. They offer no pediatric care, a major concern of millions of women, and even instruct women not to bring children with them to their centers.
- Defunding Planned Parenthood would not reduce funding for women’s health.
Planned Parenthood is pretending that the effort to deprive them of taxpayer funding is driven by a desire to limit women’s access to health care. This is simply false. We’ve already seen how minimal Planned Parenthood’s role in healthcare really is, but every dollar taken from them would be redirected to Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) that don’t provide abortions.
Nationwide, there are 15 times more FQHC sites than Planned Parenthood centers, serving ten times more clients. FQHCs offer women and families a far wider range of services and a higher standard of care than Planned Parenthood. So contrary to Planned Parenthood’s claims, redirecting federal funding to these health centers would actually advance women’s health in the U.S.—and give taxpayers a far better return on their investment.
- Planned Parenthood is a corrupt organization.
If the foregoing arguments were not enough to make the case that FQHCs are more deserving of federal funding than Planned Parenthood, their well-documented history of corruption is enough to disqualify them from receiving taxpayers’ money.
Planned Parenthood has been caught shielding child predators by coaching minor girls how to avoid triggering mandated reporting laws when they come for their abortions. They’ve been caught lying about what services they provide, deceiving government officials, defying state and federal laws, and submitting fraudulent Medicaid claims. Perhaps most shockingly, an undercover investigation recently exposed top Planned Parenthood officials scheming how to derive the greatest economic benefit from body parts harvested from the children they are aborting.
The more the American people learn about Planned Parenthood, the louder become their calls for the organization to be defunded.
One final note: Planned Parenthood and their allies have tried to characterize the defunding effort as part of a wider “War on Women” supposedly being waged by conservatives. And yet, women headed up more than two thirds of last weekend’s #DefundPP rallies. They know that Planned Parenthood does not serve the best interests of American women and families. It’s time that Congress and President Trump hear their voices and defund Planned Parenthood.
Eric Scheidler is the executive director of the Pro-Life Action League, a national pro-life education and activism organization based in Chicago.