By Catherine Glenn Foster
In June 2011, New Hampshire elected to not award a Title X subgrant to Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, due, in part, to concerns that the affiliate was cooking the books and using taxpayer funds to subsidize its abortion business. Rather than accepting the state’s measured decision, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services decided to directly give Planned Parenthood a controversial sole-source, non-competitive Title X “family planning” replacement grant, without going through state approval or standard protocols.
In the interest of transparency, New Hampshire Right to Life sought documents concerning the grant under the Freedom of Information Act, but the Obama Administration stonewalled, arguing that releasing the requested grant documents would damage Planned Parenthood’s “competitive position” in relation to future commercial grant competitors. HHS further refused to provide documentation of its own scheme to sell its contentious, potentially illegal grant to taxpayers. A federal court, however, saw through the shroud of secrecy surrounding the Administration’s political support for Planned Parenthood and ordered HHS to produce most, though not all, of the requested information.
While the U.S. Supreme Court declined to consider this case back in November, Justice Clarence Thomas penned a strong dissent, joined by Justice Antonin Scalia: “The First Circuit’s decision warrants review. It perpetuates an unsupported interpretation of an important federal statute and further muddies an already amorphous test.”
Such political intrigues should not be surprising. The Obama Administration is deeply invested in Planned Parenthood, and vice versa. In fact, Planned Parenthood, through its PACs, super PACs, employees, and “dark money arm,” contributes millions of dollars to political campaigns, including at least $25 million since 2000, and over $6 million in just the 2014 election cycle. In the 2012 election, Pres. Barack Obama, with over $1 million, was the top recipient of Planned Parenthood’s $6.5 million in political largesse.
These contributions have “made and kept” Planned Parenthood’s friends and bought Planned Parenthood a seat at the table. Planned Parenthood officials have visited the Obama White House 151 times in the last six years. And the business played an architectural role in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, helping to “shape and pass” Obamacare and its abortion mandate.
The contributions have also bought Planned Parenthood taxpayer dollars, which have more than doubled from $203 million (30 percent of Planned Parenthood’s revenue) in fiscal year 2000-2001, to $528 million (41 percent of revenue) in fiscal year 2013-2014. In Pres. Obama’s first full year in office, he took the lead in increasing government funding to Planned Parenthood by more than 34 percent, the only double-digit increase in percent change in at least the last 14 years. Over the last ten years (fiscal years 2004-2005 through 2013-2014), Planned Parenthood affiliates received over $4.26 billion in taxpayer dollars.
And Planned Parenthood’s contributions have bought them a get out of jail free card when it comes to financial waste and abuse, corporate funding, failure to report child rape, and illegally selling and disposing of the body parts of the babies it aborts.
Planned Parenthood is in the catbird seat, collecting tributes from the government it helps to elect, from the corporations whose contraceptives it buys, and from the abortion apologist collective, as it stockpiles and fritters away our alms. And the vast majority of its business relates to preventing pregnancy—and ending pregnancy when it fails. Planned Parenthood has built a tidy little black market for itself, and the White House should stay far away.