Five Things You Need to Know about Defunding Planned Parenthood
There are a lot of questions being asked right now about what needs to happen to defund Planned Parenthood. It’s the next big pro-life fight on Capitol Hill, now that President Trump has reinstated the Mexico City Policy protecting American taxpayers from being forced to fund and promote abortions internationally.
Here are the five things you need to know about defunding Planned Parenthood.
- Why We Must Defund Planned Parenthood
It’s fairly simple. Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in the United States. They take more than $553 million of your tax dollars each year while killing 323,999 innocent unborn babies.
They make less than 2,000 adoption referrals per year. They lie about abortion being their key service provided. They lie about the provision of prenatal services. The more developed the baby, the more money Planned Parenthood gets for killing that baby. They have been referred for criminal prosecution by both the House and Senate for selling aborted babies’ body parts to pad their bottom line.
It’s simple – our taxpayer money shouldn’t fund this tragic evil.
- How Planned Parenthood Gets Federal Taxpayer Money
Planned Parenthood gets taxpayer money from a myriad of governmental sources involving grants and reimbursements. Much of the money comes in the form of Title X (counseling and other services related to family planning) and Medicaid (any other services provided to lower-income patients) reimbursements. Some of the taxpayer money comes directly from the federal government while other money comes from state taxpayer funds, depending on the laws, regulations, and policies of that state.
A report released last year disclosed that, over a three-year period of time, Planned Parenthood received $1.2 billion from Medicaid and $344.5 million in other federal funds related to Title X family planning, Title XX social services block grants, and other smaller government programs.
In order to completely defund Planned Parenthood, it will take a myriad of both federal and state policy shifts and changes.
- The Myths about Defunding Planned Parenthood
Many abortion advocates claim that defunding Planned Parenthood is unnecessary because the Hyde Amendment and other legal regimes already ban taxpayer funds from directly funding abortions.
This argument completely ignores how money and finances are fungible. While Planned Parenthood’s income from taxpayers isn’t used directly for abortions, all the money goes into the same account to be used however they want – which is often to promote their abortion machine, fight common-sense laws intended to protect women and children, and push their extremist agenda to support abortion-on-demand at any point in the pregnancy and for any reason.
Another prominent myth is that lower-income women won’t be able to get basic health care services once Planned Parenthood is defunded. But this is an argument that belies the actual facts. In actuality, the majority of Planned Parenthood clinics provide no prenatal care, performs zero mammograms, and provides fewer health care services than federally qualified health centers. As we’ve previously written,
But Ms. Richards once again confirmed today that Planned Parenthood clinics provide significantly fewer services than federally qualified health centers, and those centers provide all of the same non-abortion services provided by Planned Parenthood, including birth control, manual breast exams, and STD testing.
Cecile Richards once again confirmed that Planned Parenthood does not provide emergency first responder care, well-child services, mammograms, immunizations, radiological services, nurse on staff, and more.
For every Planned Parenthood clinic, there are 20 community health centers ready to provide all the non-abortive services currently being given by Planned Parenthood. It is a blatant lie to claim these communities would be left unserved if Planned Parenthood loses its federal funding.
- How the Budget Reconciliation Process Works
Budget reconciliation is the process designed by Congress in the mid-1970s to help bring down the federal deficit by forcing committees to make changes in federal spending and revenues. Budget committees in the House and Senate send reconciliation instructions to various committees to force them to present budget legislation that meets certain goals, then present this legislation to the entire chamber for a vote.
The advantage of budget reconciliation for major legislation (such as the Clinton-era welfare reform or ObamaCare) is that it makes the legislation filibuster-proof and only requires 51 votes in the Senate. This is why President Obama used it to pass ObamaCare initially, which means that that the Trump Administration, Speaker Ryan, and Leader McConnell can use the same process to repeal ObamaCare.
This is important in the fight to defund Planned Parenthood because the budget reconciliation instructions to defund Planned Parenthood have been passed and sent to relevant committees. Our team on Capitol Hill is hearing that the language will be similar to what was sent to President Obama last year, when he vetoed it. It will make abortion providers of a certain size ineligible for Medicaid reimbursements for one year.
It’s vitally important that the House and Senate pass this reconciliation language and that President Trump signs it to defund Planned Parenthood for the next year. The lives of unborn babies depend on it.
It is key to note that this money is NOT being taken from poor and underserved communities; it is being taken away from Planned Parenthood and would then go to qualified community health centers whose primary mission is not abortion but the provision of health care to women, children, and underserved communities.
- What Comes After Defunding Planned Parenthood through Budget Reconciliation
Once Planned Parenthood is defunded through the budget reconciliation process, President Trump has an opportunity to implement the Reagan Rule in order to completely defund Planned Parenthood from receiving taxpayer money through Title X. The rule was challenged in federal court and upheld. Essentially, the 1988 regulation forbid any business receiving Title X funds “from engaging in counseling concerning, referrals for, and activities advocating abortion as a method of family planning, and require[d] such projects to maintain an objective integrity and independence from the prohibited abortion activities by the use of separate facilities, personnel, and accounting records.” This forces Planned Parenthood to choose whether they care more about providing non-abortion services or abortions – and history tells us they will side with abortions every single time.
In addition, we are calling on the Senate to pass and President Trump to sign HR 7 to ensure no taxpayer funding directly funds abortions. The House of Representatives just passed HR 7 which codifies the Hyde Amendment – a critical pro-life rider on appropriations bills that prevents Health and Human Services funding from paying for abortions. It would make the ban on using taxpayer funds to directly fund abortions permanent and government wide. As it has been attached to each of these appropriations bills for decades, it should be something that can receive bipartisan support in the Senate.
On Capitol Hill, we will continue fighting to defend the sanctity of every single human life. Sign our petition to join the fight.