The Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI) and Americans United for Life (AUL) recently filed an amicus brief in a major lawsuit over the late-term abortion videotapes collected by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP). This lawsuit involves a vital public policy question: Can an association of abortion providers like the National Abortion Federation (NAF) successfully block the release of videos that show members of their organization potentially engaged in encouraging, supporting or facilitating the acquisition and/or sale of body parts from the unborn during the abortion process?
The Minnesota Department of Health publishes an extensive and organized annual abortion report that presents important public health information, including demographic statistics, while protecting the anonymity of women. Additionally, Minnesota reports the volume of abortions performed at each facility in the state.
Minnesota’s abortion trends provide a glimpse of what is happening to the abortion market on a national scale. Similar to national trends, the total number of abortions in Minnesota has decreased, one abortion facility has closed, several have merged, and Planned Parenthood increasingly dominates the market.
To view as PDF, see Fact Sheet: Government Funding Sources for Planned Parenthood
Thanks to a data point in Planned Parenthood’s annual report for 2013-2014, it’s public knowledge that the organization received $528.4 million in funds from all levels of government in that fiscal year. These funds are largely from the U.S. government and primarily from the Medicaid program, which is the primary federal-state program paying for direct medical services to the poor, defined for most purposes as individuals and families with incomes at or below 133% of the federal poverty line (FPL).
Ever since the summer of 2015 Congress has engaged in sustained debate over federal funds distributed to clinics affiliated with the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. In January of this year, Congress passed and sent to President Obama a budget reconciliation bill that would have had the effect of eliminating Medicaid reimbursements to Planned Parenthood that range into the hundreds of millions of dollars. These funds are part of annual government payments to the organization from a variety of programs (see the fact sheet here) that totaled nearly half a billion dollars each year from 2010-2012, and $553.7 million according to Planned Parenthood’s 2014-2015 annual report.
President Obama vetoed the reconciliation measure on January 8, which also would have affected major parts of the Affordable Care Act, and Congress failed to override the veto on February 2, 2016, voting 241-186 in favor of the override, well short of the two-thirds vote necessary to overcome the President’s objection.
Of all the Planned Parenthood data being looked at today as a result of release of the agency’s annual report, one of the more significant is the continued decline in its client total for reversible contraceptive methods (excluding services like sterilization and emergency contraceptive kits). This number is distinct from its contraceptive services total, where discrete services provided to a single individual are separately tallied, leading to a higher overall figure for services and a reduction in the apparent significance of a single “service” like abortion. The reversible contraceptive client total simply refers to the number of women coming to Planned Parenthood to obtain reversible contraception like oral contraceptives, barrier methods and IUDs, and this number continued to drop in 2014 – by more than 122,000 women, or more than 5.7 percent of those clients.
An editorial in Nature, one of the world’s leading scientific journals, recently covered the political debate surrounding fetal tissue harvesting and the editors’ perceived threat to this form of research with the defunding of abortion giant, Planned Parenthood. The article, “Fetal tissue research under threat,” was published on December 7th but was corrected soon after on December 8th.
Nature issued a correction in an area where there is a significant amount of uncertainty. The correction states, “An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that six clinics recovered legally allowed costs for fetal tissue. In fact, we are unable to determine the exact number of clinics. Also uncertain is the number of remaining clinics that still supply the tissue. The text has been updated to reflect these uncertainties.”
By an overwhelming margin, American women and men report more favorable opinions of life-affirming pregnancy centers offering abortion alternatives, as compared to organizations providing abortions such as Planned Parenthood, according to a 2014 national poll commissioned by the Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI).
One thousand American women aged 18-44 years and 300 men of the same age range were surveyed about questions related to health behaviors, specifically geared towards unexpected pregnancy decisions and care. Overall opinions and impressions about experiences were measured to contrast views towards organizations which provide abortion alternatives at the community-based level and those which offer and refer for abortion. (In addition, the survey population was polled on four direct measures of attitudes on the life issue including general pro-life and pro-choice sentiment as well as opinions on time limits and exceptions with respect to abortion laws. These results comported with a nationally representative sample within the margin of error.)
On November 17, the Ohio House Committee on Community and Family Advancement held a hearing on proposed legislation to defund Planned Parenthood and reallocate over $1 million yearly in government funding to other Ohio medical health centers. Following the hearing, the Committee recommended and the Ohio House passed H.B. 294 by a vote of 62-33.
Thomas M. Messner, J.D., Senior Fellow in Legal Policy for the Charlotte Lozier Institute, submitted the following written testimony in support of the bill. To view in PDF format, please see HERE.
In response to the Planned Parenthood scandal involving late-term abortions and harvesting fetal tissue from aborted babies, some are clinging to the claim that women, especially low-income women living in medically underserved areas, rely on the organization as their only healthcare provider. Further scrutiny has revealed that low-cost, publicly-funded health centers outnumber Planned Parenthood facilities 20 to one nationwide, care for 23 million Americans, and even provide more health services.
Aside from the sheer number of the combined sum of 13,000+ Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) service sites and Rural Health Clinics (RHCs), two aspects of these centers distinguish them and their mission: transportation assistance and accessible locations.
In a radio interview on the Diane Rehm Show on July 30, Terry O’Neill of the National Organization for Women (NOW) made a series of claims regarding Planned Parenthood that deserve a much closer look. O’Neill asserted that, “The claim that we can somehow replace Planned Parenthood overnight – you shut down all the Planned Parenthood’s [sic] clinics and that they could be replaced overnight, is silly and specious.”
It is indeed silly and specious because none of the proposals pending in Congress would shut down Planned Parenthood clinics and replace them, overnight or anytime. Instead, the discussion is about shifting the $528.4 million of total government funds away from Planned Parenthood and to the thousands of existing community health centers and other providers. As the following points make clear, Planned Parenthood can absorb the cut considering its relationship with private donors and its excess revenue, while on the other hand, community health centers have the capacity to acquire and serve new patients. Proposals in Congress to “defund” Planned Parenthood, therefore, merely reallocate women’s health expenditures to agencies that offer women a full menu of primary care.
This map and state chart depict the number of federally-funded health clinics that serve low-income, medically under-served populations in the United States in comparison to the number of Planned Parenthood centers. If Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, were to be defunded from receiving over $500 million in taxpayer funds per year, there already exist over 13,000 non-abortion providing Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) service sites and Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) that could receive this sum instead and continue to provide comprehensive primary and preventive healthcare.
Update: 9/30/2015: To view the locations and contact information for community health centers near you, please visit wwww.GetYourCare.org, a new interactive resource website launched by pro-life and pro-women organizations including the Charlotte Lozier Institute.
Late last week, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) rose to the defense of the embattled Planned Parenthood organization, which is currently caught up in a fetal tissue and organ harvesting scandal following an undercover investigation by the Center for Medical Progress.
In a letter addressed to Senators Joni Ernst and Roy Blunt, HHS insisted that they know of no breach of the law in the actions taken by Planned Parenthood in its selling of fetal remains. In the letter, Jim Esquea, the HHS’s assistant secretary for legislation, wrote, “We have confirmed that HHS researchers working with fetal tissue obtained the tissue from non-profit organizations that provided assurances to us that they are in compliance with all applicable legal requirements.” Additionally, Mr. Esquea went on to assert, “The use of fetal tissue in medical research has been an instrumental component of our attempts to understand, treat, and cure a number of conditions and diseases that affect millions of Americans.” The letter continues, “In addition, research using cell lines derived from fetal tissue has also played an essential role in the field of vaccine development.”
Over the past few weeks you have most likely seen – unless you work at the White House – the undercover videos released by David Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress, which show various Planned Parenthood employees discussing the harvesting and sale of fetal organs and body parts. The negotiations caught on camera suggest that these transactions are not at all unusual for the organization nor are they limited to these few incidents but are, in fact, systemic throughout the organization. This suggests that Planned Parenthood, which performs about 330,000 abortions a year in the United States, has found a way to make abortion even more profitable.
Note (9/4/2015): The author wishes to acknowledge an error in the originally published version of this article. Due to a mistake in interpretation the cost of patient care at a Community Health Center (CHC) was stated as $1.67 per patient per year rather than the obviously much-larger $1.67 per patient per day. The original article cited by CLI was comparing the much-lower per diem cost of CHCs relative to the cost of hospital inpatient care, emergency room visits, and other alternatives. The reallocation of the current Planned Parenthood funding of $528.4 million in annual spending from federal, state and local government sources would finance care for an additional 866,869 women if the $1.67 per diem cost claimed by CHCs is used. Other CHC documents suggest that full access to current fiscal year discretionary funds plus another $3.6 billion from the mandatory Health Center Fund could establish CHC capacity for another 11 million patients, a figure that suggests an even lower per diem cost than $1.67. Even at $1.67 per day, a full reallocation of the $528.4 million could serve a minimum of 31 percent of Planned Parenthood’s unique annual client base of 2.8 million individuals. A $528.4 million reallocation represents 41 percent of Planned Parenthood’s current budget. The calculation presumes that the annual cost per patient for women of childbearing age in a CHC is the same as the overall per patient average in a CHC, and that Planned Parenthood’s per diem per patient cost for the transferred services equals the full CHC per patient cost, which is unlikely given the much wider scope of CHC services. Mr. Donovan sincerely regrets the error.
In the wake of the spreading scandal over the sale of human organs extracted from unborn children, members of Congress are calling for the end of federal funding of Planned Parenthood. A first attempt in the U.S. Senate to do this failed on Monday of this week, but a dozen more Senators voted for the cut-off than did so the last time it was considered, in 2011. A cut-off would be condign punishment for an elite institution long given to dismissive responses to evidence of ethical misconduct, but the latest charges are hardly the only reason to wean this mega-wealthy nonprofit from the federal dole. In truth, the stand-alone Planned Parenthood facility is obsolete.
Pregnancy help centers (PHCs), also known as pregnancy resource or care centers and in the past as crisis pregnancy centers, are more likely to be welcomed than Planned Parenthood facilities into communities across the country, according to a 2014 poll commissioned by the Charlotte Lozier Institute.
Survey respondents were asked, in separate questions, whether as far as they knew there was either a Planned Parenthood facility or PHC currently in their community. To measure desirability, each set of respondents who said there was no such facility was then asked a follow-up question, “Would you like one?”
While Planned Parenthood is the nation’s largest abortion provider, having performed 327,653 abortions in 2013, federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), which operate in service sites in both rural and urban locations, offer low-income populations health services similar to those provided by Planned Parenthood, but do not perform abortions.
To view as PDF, please see “Abortion World Leaders.”
The United States is second in the world in number of abortions each year. If Planned Parenthood were included for comparison, it would rank sixth in the world in number of abortions carried out annually; and the International Planned Parenthood Federation would be fourth in the number of abortions carried out per year.
|England and Wales||189,800|
Annual abortion numbers for countries 2008, PP USA 2013, IPPF 2014
 Most recent verifiable data for international abortion numbers, 2008 from: Sedgh G et al., Legal Abortion Worldwide in 2008: Levels and Recent Trends, International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 37, 84, 2011; Sedgh G et al., Legal Abortion Worldwide in 2008: Levels and Recent Trends, Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 43, 188, 2011; PP USA 2013 information accessed at: https://www.sba-list.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/12.31.14fact_sheet_pp_2013_2014_annual_report.pdf; IPPF 2014 numbers from: Table 1 in http://www.ippf.org/sites/default/files/ippf_apr2014_15_web_4.pdf
Much has been claimed recently regarding the usage of fetal tissue for research. This brief overview provides the facts on the history of fetal tissue research and transplants.
Last Thursday Alaska Governor Bill Walker announced that he would use his executive authority to expand Alaska’s state Medicaid program under the federal Affordable Care Act. Walker’s proposal would extend Medicaid eligibility to all Alaskans earning less than 133 percent of the poverty line. Walker reported that he sent a letter to the Alaska legislature’s Budget and Audit Committee, giving legislators the required 45-day notice of his plan. The committee can make recommendations, but Walker said he has legal authority to move forward without the legislature’s approval.