Battle Over PPFA Funding Continues to Heats Up

By Dave Andrusko

A “deluge” of petitions and emails and phone calls is making its way into congressional offices, either defending the Pence Amendment, which cut off  federal funds to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) and 102 named PPFA affiliates, or insisting that the money be restored to the nation’s largest abortion provider.

At the same time PPFA has produced a bogus survey, to try to win a reprieve in the Democratically-controlled Senate. (See “The Empire Strikes Back” at http://www.nrlc.org/News_and_Views/March11/nv030311.html)

The lobbying battle over the amendment, which is part of an appropriations bill to fund the entire federal government for the rest of the current federal fiscal year, is a continuation of the fierce fight that began when Rep. Mike Pence introduced his language on February 14 and which resulted in a 240-185 victory four days later.

If the Senate rejects the House-passed bill or passes a different measure, any differences – which are likely to include the pro-life issues – will become subjects for negotiations between the two houses, and with the White House. Hence the intense effort by the abortion industry, led by PPFA and NARAL, to flood the capitol with communications.

NRLC aptly described  PPFA as “a hyper-political, under-regulated, out-of-control mega-marketer of abortion as a method of birth control.” A huge corporation with a $1.1 billion budget, Planned Parenthood receives about a third from governments at various levels–and at least $88.7 million from the federal government (2008 ).

The figures are staggering—both the number of abortions Planned Parenthood has performed and the government money PPFA has received.

From 1998 to 2009, PPFA performed  3,005,021 abortions. During the same exact time period, PPFA received $3,118,800,000 in government grants and contracts. More than three million abortions, more than three billion dollars in governmental largesse.

Not to be forgotten is that there were other pro-life victories that preceded the nearly-three hour debate that culminated in victory for the Pence Amendment. As explained in a page one story in the February issue of National Right to Life News, when H.R. 1 reached the House floor, the bill already contained several important pro-life provisions sought by the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), including language to restore the “Mexico City Policy,” which was a ban on giving foreign aid funds to private organizations that promote abortion overseas, overturned by President Obama in 2009; language to restore a ban on government-funded abortion in the District of Columbia, which was repealed by Congress and Obama in 2009; and a cutoff of U.S. funding to the pro-abortion United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

While PPFA President Cecile Richards would never agree to it, it is very interesting that former Planned Parenthood clinic director turned pro-life activist Abby Johnson has challenged Richards to “a public debate, through a mutually agreed upon media forum, on the issue of whether or not Congress should continue to provide taxpayers’ dollars to Planned Parenthood.” 

In a letter to Richards dated March 1, Johnson wrote, “For many years I was part of the deception that taxpayer funds don’t finance abortions at Planned Parenthood clinics, the deception that Planned Parenthood wants to reduce the number of abortions, and the deception that Planned Parenthood’s highest priority is women’s health and safety.  You continue to repeatedly perpetuate these deceptions and the public deserves to know the truth.”  

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