Latest tax filing shows billionaire investor gives staggering amount of money to abortion industry and abortion advocacy
By Randall K. O’Bannon, Ph.D., NRL Director of Education & Research
Planned Parenthood’s latest audited financial report mentioned this surprising statistic: “At June 30, 2018 and 2017, the amounts receivable from three donors represent approximately 21% and 24%, respectively, of the gross contributions and grants receivable.”
What that means is between one quarter to one fifth of Planned Parenthood’s contributions come from just three people! You can bet your bottom million dollars that billionaire financier Warren Buffett, a long-time abortion supporter, is one of them.
Forbes identifies Warren Buffett is one of the world’s wealthiest men, with a net worth of $76.8 billion as of April 9, 2020. He heads Berkshire Hathaway, a multinational conglomerate holding company made up more than sixty companies, including Benjamin Moore, Fruit of the Loom, GEICO, Pampered Chef, and See’s Candies.
Through Berkshire, he also holds considerable portions of Apple, American Express, Coca-Cola, the Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Visa, Goldman Sachs, and Southwest, United, and Delta Airlines.
It is difficult to find a company or product to which Buffett is not in some way connected.
Most of his philanthropy is not through Berkshire Hathaway or any of the corporations he owns. Rather it through the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, the charitable foundation named for his late wife. It is here that Buffett has parked a considerable portion of his wealth and from which that he makes his yearly multimillion dollar gifts to his favorite groups and causes.
According to the Form 990 tax form filed by the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation for 2018, that foundation contributed $29,107,987 to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. That same year, it gave another $7,783, 540 to various Planned Parenthood state and regional affiliates. An additional $14,521,613 went to International Planned Parenthood or the Planned Parenthood Federation’s Worldwide office.
Combined that totals out at over $51 million.
Much more than Planned Parenthood
While Planned Parenthood may be Buffett’s most widely known recipient, they are not even close to being even the largest abortion performer or promoter his philanthropy underwrites.
The biggest recipient, when all gifts for the year are added together, is MSI-United States, which stands for the U.S. branch of Marie Stopes International. Marie Stopes has been Planned Parenthood’s counterpart in Britain and the United Kingdom but has a broad global reach performing abortions in countries all over the world.
In the U.S., they work with advocacy groups, researchers, the media, and policymakers to promote “access to contraception and safe abortion” for “vulnerable women and girls in 37 countries worldwide.”
Buffett’s contributions to MSI’s U.S. branch totaled $34,067,662 in 2018.
Next largest is IPAS, which received Buffett Foundation donations totaling $33,376,611. IPAS, which stands for International Projects Assistance Services, identifies itself as “the only international organization solely focused on expanding access to safe abortion and contraceptive care.” IPAS is the developer and promoter of the “manual vacuum aspiration” (MVA) suction syringe used for abortions in places without electricity. IPAS is also a vocal proponent of access to abortion pills without a prescription—so called Do-It-Yourself abortions.
Other organizations with similar agendas round out Buffet’s top recipients. Population Services International (PSI) received $31,538,771. Among the things PSI is proudest of is that “PSI has launched misoprostol and mifepristone-misoprostol combination-pack brands in nearly 20 countries and supported already existing commercial brands in more than 15 countries.” Mifepristone and misoprostol, as most NRL News Today readers know, are the two drugs that make up the RU-48 abortion technique, also known as “medication abortions.”
The Society of Family Planning received gifts or grants totaling $28,016,383. DKT International, named for DK Tyagi, an Indian family planning pioneer, received $26,175,396 from Buffett. Their work includes abortion provision, training, and equipment supply among its worldwide “family planning” products and services.
A troubling history
These are huge numbers, but it is important to remember that this is only a single year’s largesse. The same names show up as big recipients each and every year.
According to Hayden Ludwig of the Capital Research Institute, “From 2000 to 2018, the Buffett Foundation poured $4 billion into groups that advocate for abortion on demand, with almost no attention from the media. That includes $675 million to Planned Parenthood and $441 million to Marie Stopes International, which provides abortions in developing countries, and $112 million to the Guttmacher Institute” (Capital Research, Foundation Watch, 4/2/20).
Just looking back a couple of years, Marie Stopes got nearly $48 million from the Buffett Foundation in 2017 and more than $42 million in 2016. PSI received more than $34 million from Buffett in 2017 and more than $35 million in 2016. Entities of the National Abortion Federation (the abortion industry’s trade association) scored more than $34 million in 2016 and again in 2017. IPAS got nearly $26 million in 2016 and nearly $29 million in 2017.
DKT International took in more than $25 million each of those years. The Society of Family Planning appears to have more gradually gotten into Buffett’s giving graces, receiving just $8.5 million in both 2016 and 2017.
The Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the organization that runs the country’s largest abortion chain, received $29.1 million in 2017 but more than $62 million in 2016, in what would have been an election year. This is, of course, in addition to the millions Buffett gave to individual Planned Parenthood affiliates and to IPPF both years.
Backing the abortion industry
These are the largest recipients of Buffett’s funding, but nowhere near all. The tax forms for 2016, 2017, and 2018 read like a Who’s Who of the abortion industry and abortion advocacy groups.
Hundreds of thousands of dollars, millions more are going to the Abortion Care Network, Advocates for Youth, California Latinas for Reproductive Justice, Catholics for Choice (and their Mexican counterpart, Catolicas por el Derecho a Decidir), the Center for Reproductive Rights, the Feminist Majority, Medical Students for Choice, the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association, the National Network of Abortion Funds, Nursing Students for Choice, Pathfinder International, Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, and the Tides Foundation.
Other abortion clinics and chains on the list of Buffett recipients include Whole Women’s Health, Preterm Cleveland, the Philadelphia Women’s Center, the Memphis Center for Reproductive Health, and the Feminist Women’s Health Center.
Funding abortion advocacy
There are a few names that are familiar but whose abortion advocacy may be unknown to some. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), who should be advocates for both mother and child, made their bias known years ago when they defended even partial-birth abortion. They reiterated their undivided support for abortion as recently as a couple of weeks ago. They penned a much-quoted letter, calling abortion services “essential”
n even in a time of worldwide pandemic. They have regularly been on the receiving end of hundreds of thousands from Buffett, as has their British counterpart, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
The World Health Association (WHO), which has branded abortion pills as “essential” medicines and pushed legalization of abortion as the way to address maternal mortality, has also received Buffett money. WHO has reliably stayed on course.
Prior to the 2016 election, the slush fund known as the Clinton Foundation was a popular place for wealthy foreign and domestic donors to make their contributions. Buffett, who actively supported Hillary Clinton in that election, continued to make significant contributions to the Clinton Health Access Initiative (more than $17.5 million in 2018) in the years that followed.
Media Matters, which seeks to dig up and publicize dirt on conservative (pro-life) journalists and politicians, is funded by Buffett, as is Rewire, the daily online news outlet that publishes stories reflecting the views of abortion’s most radical activists.
Innocent facade hides more abortion support
There are other Buffett recipients that sound innocuous but are not. The New Venture Fund claims to be a “public charity” which “supports innovative and effective public interest projects.” It received more than 7.8 million from Buffett in 2018, $15 million in 2017, and another $8.9 million in 2016.
So, what are the “innovative and effective public interest projects” it supports? Here’s a sampling: The Abortion Care Network, NARAL, Planned Parenthood affiliates in Florida and Delaware, the Guttmacher Institute, New Orleans and New York Abortion Funds.
It also gave $732,925 to America Votes, which is “the coordination hub of the progressive community, working with over 400 state and national partner organizations to advance progressive policies, win elections, and protect every American’s right to vote.” In case you weren’t clear about their political leanings, Cecile Richards, who led Planned Parenthood for more than a decade, was their founding president.
Another group to which New Venture contributed was the Hopewell Fund, which already shows up on Buffett’s tax form as a major recipient (more than $22.6 million in 2018). Similar to New Venture, Hopewell claims to be a “public charity that specializes in helping donors, social entrepreneurs, and other changemakers quickly launch new, innovative social change projects.”
These “new innovative social change projects” include many abortion clinics.
The list of those receiving money from Hopewell’s 2017 Form 990 includes: Memphis Center for Reproductive Health, Women’s Health Services of Brookline, MA, Women’s Health Center of West Virginia, Preterm Cleveland, Women’s Health Specialists (Sacramento), Women’s Health Center of Duluth (MN), Allegheny Reproductive Health Center, Mabel Wadsworth Women’s Health Center (Bangor, ME), the Blue Mountain Clinic (Missoula, MT) , Joan G. Lovering Health Center (Greenland, NH), Feminist Women’s Health Center (Atlanta, GA), Cedar River Clinics (Yakima, WA), Red River Women’s Clinic (Fargo, ND), the Robbinsdale Clinic (St. Paul MN), Access Health Center (Downers Grove, IL), Family Planning Specialists (Oakland, CA) A Capital Women’s Health Clinic (Henrico, VA), Emma Goldman Clinic (Iowa City, IA), Family Reproductive Health (Charlotte, NC), A Woman’s World Medical Center (Fort Pierce, FL), Boulder Valley Women’s Health Center (CO), Desert Star Family Planning (Phoenix, AZ).
That’s not even including the various “voter education” and “civil rights, social action, advocacy” projects that Hopewell also funds.
Oh, and of course, a certain amount of money ($2.6 million) flows back from Hopewell to New Venture.
Connecting the dollars
There is a real interlocking nature to many of Buffett’s grantees. Planned Parenthood affiliates may get money directly from Buffett and then more again from one of the other funds he supports. Independent abortion clinics also double dip.
The Hopewell Fund and New Venture Fund are both managed by Arabella Advisors, a Washington, DC consulting firm set up in 2005 by Eric Kessler, a Clinton administration alumnus. Arabella also manages the Sixteen Thirty Fund, which Politico described as a “little-known,” “massive ‘dark money’ group [that] boosted Democrats” in the 2018 midterm elections with $140 million. The biggest single donation came from an anonymous donor ponied up $51.7 million (Politico, 11/19/19).
The amount of money that the Buffett Foundation gives to the abortion industry and to abortion advocacy, year after year, is staggering. But so is the level of coordination and strategy involved in that giving.
Buffett doesn’t only fund the abortion clinics directly, keeping the clinics open during a business downturn and ensuring that abortionists are able to maintain the status and lifestyle to which they are accustomed. He also supports the country’s entire abortion corporate infrastructure and bankrolls its research and development side.
As seen above, Buffett’s support for national abortion advocates like Planned Parenthood and NARAL is considerable and unabashed. Buffet also funds other organizations representing and furthering the interests of the abortion industry, like the National Abortion Federation and the Abortion Care Network.
Buffett helped fund the testing and promotion of mifepristone, the abortion pill, in America in the early 1990s, resulting in its receiving marketing approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in September of 2000. His money now supports both research and political efforts to scale back FDA distribution regulations on the drug so that it can be ordered online and shipped to women’s homes without a visit to the doctor.
Bankrolling abortion education
Buffett keeps the academic side of the movement well-funded as well. He not only bankrolls groups like Medical Students for Choice and Nursing Students for Choice, but also funds major abortion research institutions such as the University of California – San Francisco (UCSF), long known as America’s Abortion Training Academy.
Abortion training at UCSF is only a part of it. Buffett also backs the Kenneth J. Ryan Residency Training Program the Family Planning Fellowships, administered through UCSF’s Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health. Those fellowships have funded abortion training at medical schools throughout the country – 58 campuses in the U. S. and Canada, the New York Times reported on 7/18/10.
Buffet’s funding of academics to support the abortion agenda has continued. Liberal pro-abortion stalwart Mother Jones confirmed that “Buffett Foundation money underwrote the Texas Policy Evaluation Project,” a think tank from the University of Texas -Austin that conducted and published research to undermine the state abortion clinic regulations which were gutted by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2016 in its Whole Woman’s Health. (Mother Jones, 7/14/16).
Advocacy bought and paid for
Buffett essentially keeps medical societies that promote the abortion agenda like the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), and the World Health Organization on retainer, providing them with gifts of millions of dollars each year. They can then be reliably expected to support whatever policy the abortion industry desires, such as being considered an “essential” medical service in the time of global pandemic (ACOG, Joint Statement, 3/18/20) or branding abortion pills as “essential” medications (WHO Model List of Essential Medicines, 2019).
Whether their abortion advocacy is the cause or consequence of Buffett’s support, the point is that these groups’ voices are amplified, and their projects are kept alive or expanded as a result of it.
Buffett’s enormous wealth and willingness to funnel enormous amounts of money into the abortion industry and abortion advocacy is a primary reason abortions are still legal and still championed by the media, the academy, and the socially elite.