Three of the largest labor unions in the country have contributed nearly a half million in 2014 alone to Planned Parenthood — a group now in the spotlight over questionable abortion activities.
Planned Parenthood has been the subject of increased scrutiny after videos were released showing how the group harvests fetal organs. Since the videos began surfacing July 14, labor unions were among the first to defend the organization.
“Planned Parenthood provides comprehensive healthcare services to women across the country,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka declared in a statement. “Calls to defund it based on doctored undercover recordings are politically motivated and wrong. We support its core mission of offering safe healthcare services to women in need.”
According to recent disclosure reports, obtained by The Washington Free Beacon, the largest unions in the country have contributed a combined $435,000 to Planned Parenthood in 2014. Those unions include the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), and Service Employees International Union (SEIU). Each of the unions operates in states with mandatory union dues.
“I’d say a lot of people want liver,” Dr. Deborah Nucatola, a senior director for Planned Parenthood, says in the first video. “And for that reason, most providers will do this case under ultrasound guidance, so they’ll know where they’re putting their forceps.”
The footage was released by the Center for Medical Progress as part of a three-year investigative effort. After the videos were released, Planned Parenthood was hit with a national backlash. Some have even called to end federal funding to the group.
“We’ve been very good at getting lung, heart, liver,” Nucatola added. “I’m going to basically crush below, I’m going to crush above and I’’ going to see if I can get it all intact.”
In half of all states, workers are required to pay dues or fees if their workplace has a union. The states that don’t require dues as a condition of employment are known as right-to-work. Even in mandatory dues states, workers can request to pay a fee which can only be spent on union activities as opposed to politics.
The problem is that the process to get the “fair-share” fee can be burdensome for workers. Often it requires workers to write a letter expressing their intent to stop paying full dues. Each union, however, has their own requirements. As pointed out by Watchdog, unions have been known to sometimes just ignore requests.
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