House Speaker John Boehner said Thursday that he wants to put "facts first" before using the appropriations process to end federal funding to Planned Parenthood. The most recent reports of harvesting and selling body parts from aborted unborn babies have renewed the call to end the more than half a billion dollars that the organization receives in government funding each year. Here are just a few more facts that Boehner (and all of Congress) should consider before continuing to send the hard-earned dollars of American taxpayers to the nation's largest abortion provider: Fact #1: Planned Parenthood Has Become a Billion-Dollar Organization on the Backs of Taxpayers Planned Parenthood has ridden the waves of taxpayer funding to millions of dollars in annual surpluses. During its last reporting year, like many before it, the organization reported revenues over expenses exceeding $127 million and net assets of more than $1.4 billion. During that same year, Planned Parenthood received over $528 million in taxpayer-funded grants and reimbursements from federal and state coffers – 41 percent of the organization's total revenue. As a Government Accountability Office reportreleased this past March demonstrates, a large portion of that taxpayer money comes from a variety of federal sources, including Title X and Medicaid. Fact #2: Planned Parenthood Performs 1 in 3 Abortions in the U.S. In the 2013-2014 reporting year alone, Planned Parenthood reported performing 327,653 abortions- and nearly 1 million abortions over the pastthree years. There have even been allegations from former employees of mandatory "abortion quotas" that affiliates must meet and the national organization recently announced that all affiliates would have to begin providing abortion services. Fact #3: Planned Parenthood has Decreased Preventive Care, While Increasing Abortions While, according to the organization's most recent report, Planned Parenthood affiliates performed 327,653 abortions during the last reporting year, they made only 1,880 adoption referrals and provided just 18,684 prenatal services. Indeed, abortion accounted for 94 percent of the organization's pregnancy-related services (abortion, adoption referral, prenatal services). According toanalysis by Americans United for Life, even cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood have decreased 50 percent since 2004, while the number of abortion procedures has increased by about 70,000 each year during the same time period. And despite some supporters' statements to the contrary, Planned Parenthood does not and cannot provide mammograms. Fact #4: Planned Parenthood Has Been Accused of Financial Fraud with Taxpayer Dollars Planned Parenthood affiliates have been accused of potential fraud when it comes to government reimbursements for services. In 2013, Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast agreed to pay an over $4 million settlement for Medicaid fraud according to the Texas Attorney General. Summaries of state audits of family planning programs have indicated similar abuse and fraudulent practices by Planned Parenthood affiliates to the tune of over $8 million across 9 states. Fact #5: Planned Parenthood Fights Commonsense Laws that Protect Women and Children Along with its many challenges to commonsense state laws regulating abortion doctors and clinics and fighting a bill in Congress to limit dangerous and gruesome late-term abortions, Planned Parenthood has even opposed legislation that would protect infants born alive after failed abortions. More recently, Planned Parenthood was involved in attempts to derail an anti-human trafficking bill in Congress because the legislation included a longstanding and widely-supported policy against taxpayer funding of abortion. Fact #6: Planned Parenthood Stands Accused of Jeopardizing the Safety and Health of Women and Girls While claiming to support the interests of women, Planned Parenthood has also been accused by pro-life advocacy groups of abetting the sex trafficking of minor girls and at least four affiliates in Delaware, Virginia, Colorado and Illinois have been similarly accused of neglecting the health and safety of patients. Fact #7: Women Can Receive Wider Range of Care at Other Centers Health care services are already being provided for those who need them without unethical practices or entanglement in abortion. More than 2,000 pregnancy centers provide medical testing, prenatal care, ultrasounds and child-birth classes, among other services to women facing unplanned pregnancies, empowering them with life-affirming options. In addition to those resources specifically for pregnant women, the federal government funds roughly 1,200 federally qualified health clinics across the country that served 21 million people in 2012 alone and often provide birth control options, cancer screenings and women's health exams, not to mention a wide-range of primary health services for women, children and men. Fact #8: Planned Parenthood Advances a Culture that Devalues Life Planned Parenthood is the leader of a gruesome and ruthless industry, which daily adds to the 56 million unborn children and countless women harmed by abortion. The videos released over the last week have merely shown the nation where the logic of abortion-on-demand inevitably leads: to where tiny livers and lungs are useful for harvesting, but the nameless baby they come from is too small, dependent, disabled, or simply too inconvenient to be allowed to continue living. The value of a life within Planned Parenthood's walls is measured by its utility and convenience – rather than the inherent dignity of every human being. Congress Must Stop Funding Planned Parenthood Regardless of the outcome of the very necessary congressional inquiry, there is no reason to continue entangling federal money with an organization nearly allof whose pregnancy-related services are abortion procedures. There is nothing stopping individuals, organizations and businesses from continuing to fund Planned Parenthood with private dollars (although, requests by Coca-Cola, Ford and Xerox to remove their names from Planned Parenthood's corporate donors list may be indication that even the private sector isn't too happy with the latest, horrific revelations about the non-profit). Policymakers looking to put limited taxpayer funds to more efficient and effective use should redirect those dollars to centers and clinics that can provide more comprehensive care for women. All women – but especially those facing difficult circumstances – deserve better care for their health and more options than the cold doors of an abortion facility. No society that is truly committed to protecting basic human rights can continue funding an industry that harms women, takes the lives of the most vulnerable children and cheapens our respect for life – especially when its leader allegedly harvests and sells tiny organs for profit. Those should be all the facts Congress needs to end funding of Planned Parenthood. Reprinted from The Daily Signal.
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