by Christina Leigh
Clash Daily Contributor
I have been ardently against Planned Parenthood’s practices for years. And of course the recent surfacing of a series of videos showcasing Planned Parenthood executives cavalierly discussing the harvesting of baby parts for profits only increased my contempt for this organization. Having said that, I am not on a crusade to shut them down. I just think that they should be immediately cut off from the $500 million+ that they receive annually in federal funding. Imagine my discomfort when I suddenly found myself roped into attending a discussion panel which included a Planned Parenthood representative as a panelist.
I use the words “roped in” because I was recruited via text with about ten minutes notice. Ironically I received the “unwelcome text” not fifteen minutes after catching footage of Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards’s testimony to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. While I am certainly not afraid to speak my conscience, it would have been virtually impossible to decline without creating an awkward conversation with someone I highly respect. I also wasn’t 100% positive that Planned Parenthood was a seminar panelist. Perhaps I had the speakers and dates mixed up, I told myself. Apparently, I was recruited because five minutes before the panel was to start, the room was virtually empty. I thought to myself, finally people are waking up and boycotting Planned Parenthood. Sadly I was wrong. I arrived to a packed room. These people weren’t disgusted by Planned Parenthood’s selling of fetal tissue, they were just stuck in traffic.
Holding my nose I entered the room and proceeded to listen for an hour and a half while a local area Planned Parenthood fundraising consultant along with a panelist from another local area nonprofit discussed various fundraising and marketing strategies. The Planned Parenthood consultant was extremely articulate and certainly knew his subject matter. But my skin was crawling as I watched the enraptured group listen to his presentation. The “Cecile Richards” hearing received a brief passing mention with the fundraising consultant talking about how badly the tribunal treated her. Interestingly enough, not a single person in the room asked if fundraising support had fallen off in the wake of the Planned Parenthood videos.
After the panel was over, I asked my friend if she had heard about the videos. All she appeared to know was that the videos were “undercover” and that made them inherently suspect. “Have you watched them?” I asked. She looked at me quizzically and said “Why would you watch them?” Bear in mind, my friend is a highly educated, compassionate individual. Furthermore, the seminar room was filled with highly educated compassionate people. Oh, and by the way, about 75% of them were women.
Apparently the seminar participants like the other liberals across the country have bought into Planned Parenthood’s lie. While liberals have heard of the videos, few have actually watched them. Yet without having watched them, they are certain that the videos produced by the Center for Medical Progress were doctored. And these individuals are in good company. Even House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is certain the videos were doctored yet admits to not having seen them. This myth continues despite a recent forensic analysis of the videos by Coalfire Systems which “revealed that the videos were not manipulated and the only missing footage was of “non-pertinent” events like meals and bathroom breaks”.
Planned Parenthood repeatedly claims that abortions only represent 3% of the services they offer and that the $500 million they receive in federal funding does not go to abortion. However when Cecile Richards was recently asked to divide the number of patients Planned Parenthood sees by the number of abortions performed, abortion represents 12% of the organization’s services. Furthermore, when you extract the aforementioned federal funding from Planned Parenthood’s revenue, 86% of the revenue comes from abortion. In addition, recent reports have shown that while Planned Parenthood’s delivery of abortions has been on the rise for the last few years, its delivery of cancer screenings and breast exams have respectively fallen 53% and 42%. Planned Parenthood has also stated that they provide mammograms. However, none of the 650-700 Planned Parenthood centers provide mammograms. They don’t even have the equipment. During her testimony to the House week Richards admitted this.
Planned Parenthood has also sold the nation a bill of goods about its financing. The organization which is a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization has also established a 501(c) (4). A 501 (c) (4) differs from a 501 (c) (3) in that it is able to accept political donations. What this means is that Planned Parenthood has found a legal way to take in charitable donations from deep pocket Democratic lobbyists. According to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman, Jason Chaffetz of Utah, Planned Parenthood has transferred $22 million from its 501 (c ) (3 ) to its 501 (c ) (4) over the last five years.
Furthermore, for a non-profit, Planned Parenthood appears to have a lot of cash on their books. They currently reportedly have a $127 million profit on revenues of $1.3 billion.
And let’s not forget that the organization has handed out large salaries to its executives. In fact, between 2009 and 2013 Richards’s total compensation went from $353,000 to $590.000. Planned Parenthood also has spent lavishly on travel and entertainment to the tune of $13,000 a day. While there are some that argue that Richards’s compensation is in keeping with that of hospital executives and chief executives of other non-profits with comparable revenue, the organization’s surplus clearly shows that they do not need the federal funding. Yet, Cecile Richards told the House Committee that if Planned Parenthood’s government funds were reduced by $60 million, the organization would not be able to provide all of its services.
However, the biggest lie of all about Planned Parenthood is that it exists to provide much needed medical services to economically disadvantaged women especially those from minority groups. How can this be true when community health centers, which offer mammograms and other services, outnumber Planned Parenthood Centers 10-1? Yet, the reality is that Planned Parenthood was founded based on eugenics. Planned Parenthood’s founder Margaret Sanger established Planned Parenthood to create a race of “thoroughbreds”. It was her plan to eradicate imperfection and in the mind of Margaret Sanger imperfections included not only Down syndrome babies but also minorities. If you look at a Planned Parenthood heat map, 79% of the centers are located in minority neighborhoods. Why is it that the genesis of Planned Parenthood is so rarely told? No one likes to stare in the face of evil. But if we shield ourselves from the truth, we are also guilty.