BLOGHow to Make Planned Parenthood Throw a Fit

By Denise Burke Posted on: | August 01, 2018

Planned Parenthood displays a remarkable enthusiasm for two things: abortion and taxpayer dollars.

If you want to draw the immediate ire of Planned Parenthood and its supporters, threaten to eliminate or limit its access to taxpayer dollars.

On June 1, 2018, the Trump Administration announced that it had revised regulations governing who may receive Title X family planning funding and was seeking public comment on the proposed changes.

Not surprisingly, Planned Parenthood—the nation’s largest abortion provider and largest recipient of Title X funding—threw a fit.

Why? Because the revised regulations will directly impact Planned Parenthood’s continuing eligibility for Title X funding and may even threaten its robust financial bottom-line.

Planned Parenthood receives about $60 million in Title X funding annually, and 474 of Planned Parenthood’s nearly 650 facilities are Title X grant recipients.

Revealing its true allegiance, Planned Parenthood remarked that the proposed changes “infringe[] on women’s right to safe, legal abortion.” Seemingly lost on the abortion giant was the fact that, since the inception of the Title X program in 1970, Congress has consistently prohibited programs that promote abortion as a method of family planning from receiving Title X funding.

So what are these regulatory changes that have Planned Parenthood in such a panic? Among other things, the proposed regulations:

  • Require a strict physical and financial separation between Title X activities and activities in which abortion is presented or provided as a method of family planning;
  • Mandate documented compliance with state laws requiring reporting of crimes against children, including child sexual abuse and human trafficking; and
  • Eliminate the requirement that Title X recipients provide abortion referrals and counseling.

Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) submitted written comments in support of the proposed changes – changes that are legally supported by Supreme Court case law, not to mention the laws of an increasing number of states which mandate that federal and state family planning funding must be kept separate and distinct from a recipient’s abortion-related activities. Abortion and family planning are two very different things, after all.

This means that there can be no joint office space, no shared staff, no financial overlap, and absolutely no commingling of family planning and abortion services. If, as expected, Planned Parenthood continues to perform more than 300,000 abortions each year, it will be increasingly costly for it to maintain and staff the separate offices required to participate in Title X family planning programs. (Seeing as the abortion giant reported a $98.5 million income surplus in 2017, however, it can likely afford the additional costs.)

As for the requirement to report crimes against children, we point out in our comments that Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers have repeatedly failed to report crimes against children, despite clear and longstanding expectations that they do so.

A May 2018 report from Live Action documents Planned Parenthood’s repeated failures to comply with state laws on the reporting of child sexual abuse. Over the last decade, Planned Parenthood facilities in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Ohio, and Washington failed to report suspected cases of child sexual abuse.

A study by the Loyola University Chicago’s Beazley Institute for Health Law and Policy also documents how frequently Planned Parenthood clinics come into contact with victims of human trafficking, often committing abortions on these victims but failing to report these criminally abusive situations or seek to help its victims.

In fact, Planned Parenthood clinics were the second-most-visited facilities for trafficking victims, exceeded only by hospital emergency rooms. When asked why victims and their abusers went to Planned Parenthood clinics, one trafficking survivor said, “because [Planned Parenthood] didn’t ask any questions.”

And finally, the proposed regulation eliminating the requirement that Title X family planning providers counsel and refer for abortion is also in line with dozens of federal and state laws. These laws ensure that healthcare providers – such as Title X family planning grantees – are not forced to participate in abortion, including through mandated abortion counseling and referrals.

It’s hard to imagine that anyone would be against providing legitimate family planning care for women, protecting victims of sexual abuse and trafficking, and defending the conscience rights of healthcare professionals – which is exactly what these proposed regulations do.

Yet, Planned Parenthood seems to be preoccupied with holding onto its tax dollars, revealing its true motivations: Profit. No matter what.

Denise Burke

Senior Counsel

Denise Burke serves as senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, where she is a member of the Center for Legislative Advocacy.

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