Tracing the State and Local Governmental Sources of Planned Parenthood’s Funding
By Randall K. O’Bannon, Ph.D.
We know from Planned Parenthood’s own annual reports that it received $363.2 million in “government grants and contracts” for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2009. But identifying where this money comes from, and what it goes to, can be exceedingly difficult. While a sizeable portion comes from the federal government, significant amounts also come from state and local governments as well.
Planned Parenthood performed 332,278 abortions in 2009, a lot of them paid for with taxpayer dollars. But even taxpayer dollars that don’t directly pay for abortions pays for salaries, rent, utilities, and helps to keep the clinic doors open. Perhaps most significantly, that money is a sign that the government considers the nation’s largest abortion chain a legitimate business and provider of services in the community.
In the October 2010 NRL News, we examined in detail how much money PPFA receives from the federal government. The bookkeeping procedures are so byzantine, figuring out the amount is a challenge, even for the federal government.
In this issue we turn our attention to state and local funding, which, while important, rarely gets discussed.
The Guttmacher Institute, once a special research affiliate of Planned Parenthood, says that 17 states and the District of Columbia pay for “all or most medically necessary abortions,” though this is interpreted very broadly, covering abortions for social reasons and not merely the “hard cases” of rape, incest, developmental abnormality, or when the mother’s life or health is in danger.
While the number of publicly funded abortions performed at Planned Parenthood facilities is unknown, we do know that according to Guttmacher, there were 177,404 publicly funded abortions in U.S. in 2006 out of the 1,242,200 abortions performed in the U.S.
The top ten states and their funded abortions and state expenditures are listed above.
Other states that fund include Montana, Vermont, and West Virginia, but these did not report numbers to Guttmacher.
As the nation’s largest abortion chain, it is certain that Planned Parenthood is the ultimate recipient of many of these state funds.
While federal and state sources first come to mind when people think of government funding of Planned Parenthood, local communities also collect and spend tax monies for these purposes. For this reason, news of local funding can easily go “under the radar” unless some enterprising reporter or vigilant activist tracks down and publicizes the story.
Local contracts with Planned Parenthood for “reproductive health care” are common—a $3,000 grant to Planned Parenthood from Monroe County, Indiana, in 2009 (Herald Times, 10/17/09); a contract for up to $8,000 from Crawford County, Ohio, announced in 2010 (Bucyrus Telegraph Forum, 7/16/10); and about $60,000 a year given to Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio by Montgomery County, Ohio (Dayton Daily News, 9/23, 24, 29/10)
There are even counties that directly fund abortion. Travis County, Texas, paid $251,180 for 621 abortions in its fiscal year ending September 30, 2009. One of the three entities receiving those funds was a Planned Parenthood clinic (Austin American Statesman, 12/11/09).
Local, State, and Federal Governments Working Together?
Tracing the flow of funds and responsibility from the federal down to the local level often is anything but straightforward.
Consider the case of a new Planned Parenthood mega-clinic planned for the Detroit area. In December 2010, the Auburn Hills City Council met to discuss state plans to direct $200,000 in federal funds to open a new 17,000-square-foot Planned Parenthood facility in their area (Detroit News, 12/9/10). This is hardly the sort of federal-state-local partnership that many people have in mind. The money comes from the federal government, but the states decide where to spend it, while the local government works out the details.
These sort of mixed deals are more common than many realize. In Missouri, in both 2009 and 2010, the Columbia City Council authorized agreement with Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid Missouri for federal Title X family planning services (Columbia Daily Tribune, 6/8/10).
Your Tax Dollars at Work
According to its own figures, Planned Parenthood receives nearly a third of its $1.1 billion in annual revenues from government sources. That means that money from taxpayers’ pockets supports Planned Parenthood’s agenda and activities.
This serves to promote the Planned Parenthood brand name, support Planned Parenthood’s business, and keep the Planned Parenthood bottom line solvent, so that the group has money left over to promote its political positions yet still have millions in “excess revenues over expenses” (see PPFA 2008–09 Annual Report).
This is the same organization that did a record 332,278 abortions in 2009, more than a quarter of all abortions performed in the U.S. Despite whatever accounting tricks keep (some of) the funds separate, the truth is that your money, my money, keeps the abortion clinic doors at Planned Parenthood open.
It’s bad enough that Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion promoter and performer, is legally tolerated, but worse that the organization is funded with our tax dollars. At a minimum, its commitment to killing the unborn should disqualify it from the receipt of any government money, and from polite society altogether.