Planned Parenthood’s Lawless Policies
Planned Parenthood must account for its disregard for the law if it wishes to retain state funding.
In Indiana, Kansas, North Carolina, Texas, and other states, legislators have passed or are considering passing funding restrictions that would bar Planned Parenthood from receiving state and federal healthcare funds. Within hours of Indiana’s Governor, Mitch Daniels, signing a funding restriction into law, Planned Parenthood filed suit and later received support from the Department of Justice for its cause.
On Friday, June 24, 2011, Planned Parenthood won a first-round victory in an Indiana federal district court, temporarily halting the implementation of the law. Indiana has appealed this decision, but more lawsuits, including one in Kansas, are already appearing. One important argument that Planned Parenthood is making in its defense centers around the claim that Planned Parenthood provides non-abortive healthcare. Thus Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards claimed that Indiana’s law would “take away health care from thousands of women in Indiana.” However, phone calls made by Live Action volunteers to sixteen Planned Parenthood clinics in Indiana revealed that all of the clinics admitted that women on Medicaid could receive healthcare elsewhere.
But why all the fuss from these state legislatures? Planned Parenthood defines itself as a protector of women’s health and “rights.” Furthermore, public perception of Planned Parenthood tends to be favorable; recent polls by CNN show that many Americans do not currently support defunding the organization.
In part, the abortion business of Planned Parenthood–the nation’s largest abortion provider–is what the “fuss” is about. States simply do not want to subsidize the abortion industry with taxpayer dollars. This is certainly true in Indiana, where the funding restriction does not target Planned Parenthood by name, but prohibits the state from contracting with abortion providers.
An in-depth investigation of Planned Parenthood by Americans United for Life, the nation’s first pro-life public-interest law and policy organization (where I serve as Senior Vice President and Senior Council), demonstrates that abortion is central to Planned Parenthood’s business. The AUL Report, however, uncovers much, much more than just the importance of abortion to Planned Parenthood operations. It reveals Planned Parenthood practices that are irresponsible, dangerous, and fly in the face of the organization’s claims of dedication to women in need of medical services.
AUL’s Report pulls together in one place, for the first time, a litany of scandals associated with Planned Parenthood, demonstrating the breadth and persistance of the organization’s abuses. The Report shows that the “fuss” about Planned Parenthood is currently, if anything, about far too little. What follows in this article are just a few examples of the many reasons, all documented by the Report, why state–and federal–legislatures are (and all Americans should be) rethinking their dedication to Planned Parenthood.
Planned Parenthood and its affiliates receive over $363 million dollars in government grants and contracts. Medicaid, a program administered by the states and jointly funded by the federal government, contributes a large portion of these funds, and audit reports reveal that Planned Parenthood affiliates have overbilled Medicaid in at least New Jersey, California, New York, and Washington. In California, for example, reports show that one Planned Parenthood affiliate in one fiscal year overbilled the government by over $5 million. In this time of fiscal crisis, Planned Parenthood’s failed stewardship of state and federal taxpayer dollars is appalling.