HomeoldFive Takeaways from House Oversight Committee hearing on PPFA’s governmental funding

Five Takeaways from House Oversight Committee hearing on PPFA’s governmental funding

Published on

In a hearing that lasted nearly five hours, Cecile Richards, the president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), engaged in a contentious exchange with critics on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. She also received praise from supporters. The following five points summarize the key takeaways from the hearing, which focused on the issue of taxpayer funding for the largest abortion provider in the United States. As was observed at the outset and throughout the proceedings, government funding represents 41% of PPFA’s $1.3 billion in revenues.

#1. The first item on the list is: Upon viewing the entirety of the footage, it becomes evident why Ms. Richards was remunerated a considerable sum of $590,928 in 2013. Irrespective of the manner in which a given question was initially posed and regardless of the number of subsequent variations, her responses were as comprehensive as she deemed appropriate. When Ms. Richards was repeatedly non-responsive, she would smile and inform the questioner that they must agree to disagree. This was clearly intended to convey that the questioner was incapable of understanding plain English.

#2. The second point to be considered is as follows: In response to a question from Representative Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Richards was asked about the video produced by the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) following the release of the first undercover video by the Center for Medical Progress. In their official rebuttal, Richards stated that

Our first priority is to provide compassionate care. In the video, one of our employees speaks in a way that does not reflect that compassion. This is unacceptable and I personally apologise for the employee’s tone and comments.

What statements had Dr. Deborah Nucatola made to the CMP investigators for which Richards felt the need to apologize? Richards simply declined to respond. Instead, she offered a revised account of the historical events in question.

The subject of the discussion was the impropriety of conducting a clinical discussion in a non-confidential setting in a non-clinical setting. (It is worth noting that this could have been said about a number of other Planned Parenthood officials as they negotiated the price of fetal tissue.) Despite repeated requests for clarification, Richards consistently avoided providing a direct answer, resorting to evasive tactics. Eventually, she reverted to a line from the video, stating that the incident did not reflect the compassionate care that PPFA provides.

#3. The third item on the agenda was: A plethora of figures emerged from the hearing that would have been highly disconcerting for a CEO lacking in confidence and self-assurance, particularly in the context of their political affiliations. In addition to the substantial remuneration of numerous PPFA executives (40 individuals received remuneration in excess of $200,000 over the period 2009-2013), the expenditure of $14,000 per day on travel by Planned Parenthood, and the $34.8 million spent on the purchase of corporate office space situated two blocks from Madison Square Garden, the following issues also require consideration: Richards remained undaunted.

Upon noting that PPFA had an endowment of over $100 million, Richards indicated that this would be utilized to construct new clinics or provide supplementary healthcare services to women. This evasion was of significant consequence. Committee members demonstrated that PPFA generates significantly more revenue than it spends annually, and that it could provide every health service to every woman without federal funding.

Richards reaffirmed the assertion that abortion represents merely 3% of the services provided by the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA). However, as Richards repeatedly stated, the PPFA serves approximately 2.7 million clients. If the number of abortions is approximately 327,000, it is difficult to accept Richards’ assertion that abortion constitutes 3% of the PPFA’s services. (In fact, the figure is closer to 12%.)

Richards proceeded to reiterate the conventional wisdom regarding the frequency of repeat visits. However, even the Washington Post Factchecker has identified the inconsistency in the argument.

One persistent query posed by Richards was the extent to which affiliates receive a majority of their revenue from abortion. This inquiry was accompanied by a call for transparency regarding the identities of these affiliates.

#4. The fourth item on the list is as follows: In response to a question from Representative Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.), Richards was asked to provide guidance on the appropriate course of action in the event that a baby survives an abortion. She paused and stated that she had never encountered such a situation, which, in the most diplomatic terms, is implausible. She then proceeded to add that she was unaware of any such cases at a PPFA facility. “We do not provide abortions after viability.”

This is another instance of evasion, given that live births can occur up to a month or more before the point at which the foetus is considered viable.

Furthermore, Richard’s assertion requires further examination. As Dr. Randall K. O’Bannon, director of education at the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), observed in 2013, Planned Parenthood clinics advertise and perform abortions well into the second trimester, even up to 24 weeks. Moreover, they claim that their services can be beneficial for women who are further along in their pregnancies.

It is noteworthy that a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed that 23% of infants survive at 22 weeks of pregnancy (20 weeks after fertilisation) with treatment.

#5. The fifth item on the list is as follows: It is important to acknowledge the contributions of pro-abortion Democrats on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. In their view, questioning Cecile Richards about her exact meaning and requesting that she provide certain information was “disgraceful,” indicative of misogyny, and constituted an unwarranted attack on a woman. They described the approach as “insensitive,” “offensive,” and “badgering.”

In the meantime, it is noteworthy that committee Democrats were not reticent in denouncing committee Republicans for aligning themselves with “radical extremists who manipulate the facts.” Furthermore, they were not reticent in asserting that the committee’s “integrity” had been compromised by the very act of convening this hearing. Furthermore, they echoed Richards’ assertion that the committee’s inquiry was not, in essence, about Planned Parenthood, but rather an attack on the 2.7 million women who receive “health care” from Planned Parenthood.

However, committee chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) concluded by enumerating the areas in which the committee still had unanswered questions. There were numerous outstanding issues.


Daniel Miller is responsible for nearly all of National Right to Life News' political writing.

With the election of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency, Daniel Miller developed a deep obsession with U.S. politics that has never let go of the political scientist. Whether it's the election of Joe Biden, the midterm elections in Congress, the abortion rights debate in the Supreme Court or the mudslinging in the primaries - Daniel Miller is happy to stay up late for you.

Daniel was born and raised in New York. After living in China, working for a news agency and another stint at a major news network, he now lives in Arizona with his two daughters.

Order Now!


Latest articles

The EU’s plans for the abolition of the secrecy of digital letters

Surveillance of private chats without suspicion could soon become mandatory in the EU. This...

Lloyd’s: Government behind Nord Stream sabotage

About a month ago, Zug-based Nord Stream AG filed a lawsuit against its insurers....

More like this

Biden urges hostage deal

US President Biden has called on Qatar and Egypt to do everything possible to...

Trump trial: ex-president rushes from court to campaign trail

Update, 11:00 a.m.: In the U.S., experts are surprised that Judge Juan Merchan has...

Donald Trump Ignores Court Gag Order

Trump can't talk about those involved in the New York trial. The ex-president can,...