Gov. Scott and Legislature Were Right To Defund Planned Parenthood
by Joe Gruters
Cara Jennings’ 15 minutes of fame came when she cussed out Gov. Rick Scott in a Gainesville Starbucks. Jennings, a self-proclaimed anarchist and frequent protester, verbally accosted the Governor for signing a bill to protect unborn babies by defunding Planned Parenthood, and protect pregnant mothers by increasing requirements on abortion providers.
“Shame on you, Rick Scott!” she yelled in typical protester fashion.
Seeing an opportunity to score political points, Barbara Zdravecky, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida, wrote a guest column in Saturday’s Herald-Tribune. Zdravecky claimed that the actions of Scott and the Legislature were based on a “smear campaign” against Planned Parenthood by the Center for Medical Progress.
It was no smear, but more of a new journalism project using undercover investigative work to capture Planned Parenthood leaders explain in their own words how they harvested and sold baby parts. The videos displayed for the world to see that Planned Parenthood is a cold, calculating business. And that business is abortion.
The numbers bear this out.
Despite getting $528 million in taxpayer funding, Planned Parenthood tries very hard to hide the size of its abortion business. For instance, Planned Parenthood constantly says only 3 percent of its services are abortions. But that is because of the meaningless way it counts services.
Don’t take my word for it. Take the Washington Post’s.
An August 2015 Post Fact Checker article called the 3 percent figure “misleading,” saying: “The organization treats each service — pregnancy test, STD test, abortion, birth control — equally. Yet there are obvious differences between a surgical (or even medical) abortion, and offering a urine test (or even blood) test.”
Even the editor of the left-wing Slate magazine, said the 3 percent figure “is meaningless—to the point of being downright silly— for several reasons. Not the least of which being that Planned Parenthood “unbundles” all of its services so that a pack of pills, an STD test and an exam are three separate services.”
Many organizations have tried to figure the more important number for Planned Parenthood — how much of its money comes from abortions. But even in a Congressional hearing, Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards claimed she couldn’t give a ballpark of how much her organization gets from abortions. Literally unbelievable.
The Washington Post reviewed several attempts to do that and put the organization abortion revenues somewhere between 15 percent and 37 percent.
Planned Parenthood is not some benevolent organization. It is a huge business whose primary source of non-taxpayer revenue is abortions. The fact that it tries to deceive Congress, newspapers and the public at large is telling.
Planned Parenthood went from doing 289,750 abortions in 2006, to doing more than 327,000 abortions for each of the last five years. Further, it has been reducing many services — cancer screening and prevention have fallen by more than half since 2006 — while abortions continued climbing. All this while the organization’s client list dwindles.
Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood reported $127 million in excess revenue last year and $1.4 billion in net assets.
Younger people, not steeped in decades of scorched earth abortion politics, are increasingly uncomfortable with abortion. They are aware of the scientific advances that show us clearly that it is indeed a human baby in the woman. The idea of wrapped it up in feminism is increasingly anathema to them.
Again, let’s look at the numbers.
A 2010 Gallup poll found that support for making abortion illegal was growing fastest among young adults — “a sharp change from the late 1970s.” Support for the leading organization in ending unborn lives will be shrinking going forward and elected representatives are simply reflecting that.
There are almost ten times as many community health centers as Planned Parenthood affiliates. And if those were not starved for money while the politically powerful Planned Parenthood sucks in more than half a billion tax dollars annually, they would do a better job without the ugly baggage.
Even Democrats for Life of America are urging governments to shift money from Planned Parenthood to community health centers to provide women with care without the abortion divisiveness.
Planned Parenthood is a cash cow with huge assets; there are plenty of less controversial community health options and it is divisive. The Florida Legislature and Gov. Scott represented their constituents rightly in defunding Planned Parenthood.
Joe Gruters is Chairman of the Republican Party of Sarasota and Vice Chairman of the Republican Party of Florida