By Jim Sedlak
As we move further and further into 2017, Planned Parenthood Federation of America and its various affiliates across the country have started to lose a great deal of support.
Since the election of Bill Clinton in 1992, Planned Parenthood has become used to winning. Even though the signs of unrest were visible at the local and state levels, PP continued to win at the federal level. It felt invincible.
After Clinton, PP escaped relatively unscathed during the “W” administration. Then came Obama and all was well in Planned Parenthood’s world. Even though there were uprisings in the House and Senate and several successful votes to take away its federal money, Barack always had its back. Planned Parenthood felt no reason to panic. After all, when Barack left office, Hillary would take over and it would flourish for at least another eight years. By then, as Mark Crutcher pointed out, PP felt it would be considered an integral part of the US government and would feed on the taxpayer teat forever.
Planned Parenthood suffered a major wound in July 2015 when the Center for Medical Progress began releasing its undercover videos of PP selling baby body parts. It spent millions trying to convince everyone the videos were false. It felt that, as long as it could get to the 2016 election, it would have time and federal support to recover.
We all know that Planned Parenthood suffered a second major wound last November when Hillary lost the election. PP’s president, Cecile Richards, communicated the next morning how devastated Planned Parenthood was. Richards knew the organization was in trouble.
Next came the reports of both the House and Senate investigating committees on the baby body parts business. It was another wound for Planned Parenthood. Both the House and Senate committees referred various Planned Parenthood affiliates to the US Justice Department for criminal prosecution.
Spurred on by the videos, the committees found evidence that Planned Parenthood and others were breaking the law.
During the first three months of the Trump administration, Planned Parenthood has suffered four more wounds in rapid succession:
• President Trump got Planned Parenthood to admit the importance of its abortion business when PP insisted it would rather lose all $500 million of its government funding rather than stop doing abortions.
• The House and Senate passed, and President Trump signed, a bill allowing states to take Title X money away from Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers. Planned Parenthood tried to get senators to vote against this bill, but failed as the bill passed on a 51-50 vote.
• President Trump nominated, and the US Senate confirmed, Judge Neil Gorsuch to the US Supreme Court. This was a nomination Planned Parenthood fought vehemently against. The Senate was even willing to change its rules to get Judge Gorsuch confirmed.
• The 2016 reconciliation bill making its way through Congress contains a section that shuts off all federal Medicaid money to Planned Parenthood for a full year from the date of its implementation. PP gets about $400 million a year from this one program. Although the bill is being delayed, PP finds it unbelievable that it is other areas of the bill—not the cutting of PP funds—that is the reason for delay.
So, how is Planned Parenthood reacting to all these wounds?
Like any wounded animal, it is thrashing about trying to cause harm to its attackers in an effort to survive. We continually receive reports from across the country of Planned Parenthood’s reaction. Planned Parenthood is taking to the streets with sometimes violent protests (e.g., the Women’s March) demanding it be allowed to continue with “business as usual.” Furthermore, it appears that PP is looking for any public demonstrations intended to protest the Trump administration and wrongly claiming they are demonstrations to show support for Planned Parenthood.
On college campuses, and in a number of communities, pro-lifers are reporting an increase of violence as cross displays and information signs are destroyed. Many of these events seemed to be stirred up by college professors loyal to Planned Parenthood.
As the peaceful, legal, and political attacks on Planned Parenthood continue to have success, Planned Parenthood supporters appear to be getting more frustrated and turning to violent outbursts against pro-life material and individuals. It’s as if Satan himself were under attack and he was running out of options.
You can be assured that the pro-life movement will continue to respond to Planned Parenthood’s desperation with peaceful prayers and actions as we once again build a culture of life in the United States of America.
Jim Sedlak is executive director of American Life League and founder of STOPP International. He has been fighting Planned Parenthood since 1985.
As anyone concerned about taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood surely knows, last week President Donald Trump signed a bill into law that will further polarize this debate.
Both houses of the United States Congress passed legislation over the last two months allowing states to withhold Title X money from Planned Parenthood or any other organization that commits abortion. That legislation is now the law of the land. Two things about this need explanation.
1. Planned Parenthood Federation of America receives $550 million in taxpayer funding each year and approximately $20 million comes from Title X. Thus, this legislation addresses only a small part of Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer income. However, $20 million is a significant amount of money.
2. The new legislation does not say that states must withhold money from Planned Parenthood, only that the state can withhold the funds if it wants to.
It is not surprising that, in the two weeks since this received congressional approval, a number of states have chosen sides. State officials generally say their state has “defunded” Planned Parenthood by taking one or more of these steps:
• Stopped funding Planned Parenthood through state family planning programs
• Withheld federal Title X family planning grants from Planned Parenthood
• Terminated a Medicaid contract with the organization or barred it from participating in the Medicaid program
The recently passed bill allows all states to implement the second action on this list.
There are currently 19 states that have previously taken money away (or have tried to) from Planned Parenthood using one of the above techniques. Those states include Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin.
As the political climate heats up, a growing number of states have said they will ensure that Planned Parenthood will get normal funding in their state. Some will even take state money away from other programs to fund Planned Parenthood. So far, these states include California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, and New York.
As states, driven by Planned Parenthood’s political machine, scramble to replace federal money to the organization, pro-lifers should make sure that lawmakers know that Planned Parenthood makes millions of dollars in “income in excess of expenditures” (profits) every year. These profits usually are much more than the money PP receives from Title X funds. For example, in the 2014-2015 fiscal year, Planned Parenthood Federation of America reported a profit of $58.8 million. It received $20 million in Title X money that year. So losing Title X money just means lower profits, not an inability to serve customers.
As we follow all the discussions on Planned Parenthood funding in states across the country, one specific concern is always raised. If Planned Parenthood loses its government funding, what will the “poor people” who use Planned Parenthood do?
Planned Parenthood currently claims that 75 percent of its customers have incomes at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty level.
There is an image that many get when they picture “poor” Planned Parenthood clients. That image is usually a struggling single mom with several children needing healthcare. We are called on to prevent these poor people from being denied healthcare.
As Planned Parenthood states, a “poor person” is simply an individual or family who has an income that is less than 150 percent of the official federal poverty level. In 2017, that means that any single individual with an income of less than $17,820 a year is a “poor” person.
What most people don’t understand is that, when a high school or college student goes into Planned Parenthood for services, only their individual income is counted. It makes no difference what the students’ parents make. Even if their parents are millionaires, they are considered “poor people.”
Planned Parenthood says that 75 percent of its clients are at or below the federal poverty level. It also says that 20 percent are under the age of 20. It is estimated that another 40 percent are under the age of 25. Therefore, its primary customers are high school and college students.
The only services covered under Title X are family planning services. Thus, states that are scrambling to replace Title X federal funding at Planned Parenthood are fighting to support the sex lives of high school and college girls. Make sure your elected officials are aware of this fact when they say they need to fund Planned Parenthood.
American Life League and ALL’s STOPP International are cosponsors of a national effort known as #ProtestPP. On Friday, April 28, and Saturday, April 29, a host of different pro-life events will be held at Planned Parenthood facilities throughout the United States as part of the second annual National Day of Prayer and Protest against Planned Parenthood.
These events will include rallies, marches, pickets, and prayer vigils—all calling on Congress and President Trump to strip Planned Parenthood of all federal funding and reallocate those funds to health centers that help disadvantaged women without destroying human beings through abortion.
So far, leaders have stepped forward in 130 locations in 35 states. Sites will be added regularly in the coming weeks as leaders sign on, so check protestpp.com/locations/ frequently if you do not see an event in your area. You could also fill out the Leadership Sign-Up Form to organize a vigil, rally, or protest in your community.
As the increasingly successful efforts to defund Planned Parenthood spread across the country, it is imperative that we have a great turnout at these events. Please join us and let the entire country know it is time we STOPPed Planned Parenthood.
Join us April 28 and 29 as #ProtestPP marches forward!
#ProtestPP on April 28 and 29!