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If you ask someone a question, don’t you expect a truthful answer?
On Tuesday, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held a hearing into how Planned Parenthood spends your money. The only witness was Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards. Questions from committee members who sought the truth were sharp and to the point. Her answers were not.
The hearing was sparked by undercover videos that caught Planned Parenthood executives discussing prices for aborted baby parts and how to alter abortions to get desired organs. The first video showed Richards’ senior medical director, Deborah Nucatola, discussing the baby parts biz over wine and salad. Two days after its release, Richards put out a video of her own. “This is unacceptable,” she said, “and I personally apologize for the staff member’s tone and statements.” Since then, her mantra has been that the videos were “heavily edited.”
During the hearing, Rep. Jim Jordan used all his time trying to get answers to two simple questions:
“If the videos were selectively edited, heavily edited, if this was entrapment, if this was all untrue, then why did you apologize?” he asked. And, after reminding Richards of her own video, he asked, “Which statements were you apologizing for?”
Despite his best efforts, Rep. Jordan didn’t get an answer. Cecile Richards, her high-priced lawyers and slick consultants have taken a lie and deny approach to efforts of getting to the truth and demanding accountability.
Not all committee members wanted truth. Elijah Cummings wanted to know why the GOP wasn’t investigating banks instead of poor little Planned Parenthood. Some played Chicken Little, saying women wouldn’t have health care without Planned Parenthood’s 667 locations. Maybe they think women aren’t smart enough to find 13,000+ other publicly supported health centers, almost 2,000 pro-life pregnancy resource centers, or thousands of private providers who accept Medicaid.
Of course those pro-abortion cheerleaders were just earning their keep; nine of the members on the committee had raked in campaign contributions from Planned Parenthood.
And speaking of money, here’s a look at Planned Parenthood’s finances for 2013-14:
- Government funding (AKA your money) was 41 percent of its budget: $528 million.
- It had $1.4 billion (yes, with a B) in assets and $127 million in net income.
- Its executives got hefty paychecks: $590,928 to Richards, and $200,000 or more to over 40 executives from 2009 to 2013.
- Planned Parenthood—not including affiliates—spent more than $5 million on travel in 2013. That’s $14,000 a day. It also spent $622,706 on fancy parties. That abortion business sounds so glamorous.
That’s Planned Parenthood thumbing its nose at you. It’s also thumbing its nose at the very women it pretends to serve. The committee found:
- While Planned Parenthood claims abortion is only 3 percent of its services, its own figures show abortion accounts for at least 12 percent of its business and 28 percent of its revenue.
- From 2009 to 2013, the number of cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood declined by nearly 50 percent in every single screening category it offers.
Now let’s talk about the money game:
In the past five years, Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) gave $21.5 million to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund and another $1.1 million to other 501(c)4 groups. Why does that matter? PPFA is a 501(c)3 non-profit. As such, it has little freedom to lobby politicians. But a 501(c)4 like the Action Fund can be a lobbying machine.
So the government takes your money and gives it to Planned Parenthood, who gives it to pro-abortion groups and politicians, who lobby for and vote to protect abortion. You’d never give money to a pro-abortion group. You’d never support a pro-abortion candidate. But Planned Parenthood does it for you.
Richards has no medical training. As for economics, she’s had a few accounting courses. So why is she heading the nation’s largest chain of abortion mills? In a 2008 interview with the New York Times, Richards said her goal was to turn Planned Parenthood into “the largest kick-butt political organization.”
That’s the real answer. Planned Parenthood doesn’t care about women. It cares about money and power.
I was in Washington, DC, the day of the hearing. I spoke at a press conference that launched a new website, GetYourCare.org. The interactive site makes it easy to find those heath care sites I mentioned earlier. Life Issues Institute is proud to cosponsor this effort to let women—and men—know they have real choices that don’t involve killing and selling babies by the piece.
Please keep up your own efforts to spread the truth about Planned Parenthood. Read the committee’s complete report and share it with your friends. Pay attention to the upcoming caucuses and primaries and vote pro-life. Because Richards is wrong. The most powerful political organization is you.
President, Life Issues Institute
Life Issues Institute is dedicated to changing hearts and minds of millions of people through education. For 25 years, organizations and individuals around the world have depended upon Life Issues Institute to provide the latest information and effective tools to protect innocent human life from womb to tomb.