Getting taxpayers out of the abortion business

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Americans should be shocked by Live Action’s recent release of undercover videos showing potential criminal activity at Planned Parenthood clinics. The videos show Planned Parenthood employees aiding and abetting underage sex trafficking. This is an outrage.

Planned Parenthood of America is the largest abortion provider in the United States. It is also the largest recipient of federal funding under Title X of the Public Health Service Act. Title X is the only federal grant program dedicated solely to family planning and related health services, and by law, priority must be given to low-income individuals. There are many organizations—such as hospitals, university health centers and faith-based organizations—that provide valuable services like breast cancer screening, HIV prevention education, counseling and pregnancy diagnosis under the banner of Title X.

While the law states that federal funds may not be used directly for abortions, there is no question that the taxpayer dollars Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers receive under Title X are used to cover allowed expenses such as overhead and operational costs, thus freeing up other money to promote and provide abortions. In numerous cases, Planned Parenthood clinics funded by Title X are only steps away from their abortion clinics, many times even in the same building. Most disturbing, as the video from this week showed, there is now evidence that taxpayers may be subsidizing illegal activity as well.

From 2002-2008, Planned Parenthood received more than $342 million in federal taxpayer money through Title X funding alone. In its 2008-2009 annual report, Planned Parenthood revealed that it received $363.2 million in various federal, state, and local government grants and contracts for that fiscal year, a significant increase from the prior year. During that same time period, they performed an unprecedented 324,008 abortions, which equates to 888 abortions each and every day.

If the number of abortions performed alone doesn’t convince you of Planned Parenthood’s agenda, just compare that number with other services the organization provides to pregnant women. In 2008, their number of adoption referrals dropped a staggering 51 percent from the prior year to a meager 2,405. Additionally, the number of prenatal clients they served was less than 0.09 percent of the total services provided by Planned Parenthood in 2008. Pregnant women seeking help from Planned Parenthood were 27 times more likely to receive an abortion than to receive prenatal care or be referred for adoption. That is an appalling and heartbreaking statistic.

The largest abortion provider in America should not also be the largest recipient of federal funding under Title X, especially when illegal activity is involved. The Pence bill (Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act) would prevent funds provided under Title X from subsidizing entities that perform or provide funds to another entity that performs abortions.

Planned Parenthood is not the only abortion provider that receives Title X funds, but it is certainly the largest. The Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act would close the loophole that has forced millions of pro-life Americans to subsidize the nation’s leading abortion provider, sustaining and underwriting the destruction of innocent human life that has been carried out on a massive scale by Planned Parenthood. It is long past time for taxpayers to get out of the abortion business.

Congressman Mike Pence represents Indiana’s 6th District. Tony Perkins is president of the Family Research Council and a former Louisiana legislator.