By Cameron Spencer
In the run-up to the 2016 presidential election when abortion was a much-discussed topic, there were 654 demonstrations held at 374 Planned Parenthood abortion businesses across the United States to protest taxpayer funding.
Tens of thousands of people participated.
But now the protesters are setting an agenda to go big.
Planned Parenthood, after all, has been in the news much of late. An undercover video investigation by the Center for Medical Progress in 2015 exposed the organization’s heartless and illegal profiting from the sale of the body parts of babies.
“A lot of people want intact hearts these days because they’re looking for specific nodes,” said Deborah Nucatolah, a Planned Parenthood executive.
Another, arguing for higher prices, said, “I want a Lamborghini.”
The videos prompted Congress to establish a Select Investigative Panel, which then referred a number of investigation targets for possibly criminal prosecution.
Recently, Live Action activists have revealed through their own undercover videos that Planned Parenthood’s claim that it provides prenatal care and ultrasounds is largely false.
Planned Parenthood’s annual report for 2014 showed that it received $554 million in taxpayer funding, amounting to 43 percent of its total revenue, or $1.5 million a day.
Another 27 percent of revenue, Townhall Media found, comes from private contributions, including $330 million from the Susan Buffet Foundation, nearly $66 million William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, more than $60 million from Bill and Melinda Gates, $56 million from David and Lucille Packard and other sizeable amounts from Vanguard Charitable Endowment Program, Ford Foundation and George Soros’ Open Society Institute.
But groups in the #ProtestPP coalition plan to hold rallies and events outside more than 200 Planned Parenthood facilities in 44 states and in Washington on Saturday.
“There will also be overseas support with a demonstration at the London headquarters of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, which was recently defunded by executive order,” the coalition said.
“The federal government has been subsidizing Planned Parenthood to the tune of more than $430 million annually,” said Eric Scheidler, national organizer of #ProtestPP. “This, at the same time that the nation’s largest abortion provider holds $500 ticket fundraisers and charges a woman about $500 to abort her baby. On top of that, Planned Parenthood is trafficking baby body parts.
“Taxpayers are sickened to see their money spent in support of these atrocities.”
About 60 groups are part of the coalition, including 40 Days for Life, Alliance Defending Freedom, American Family Association, American Life League, Americans United for Life, Anglicans for Life, Ave Maria Radio, Black People Against Abortion, Californians for Life, Catholics Called to Witness, CEC for Life, Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, Center for Family & Human Rights, Cwentral Oregon Right to Life, Christian Defense Coaliation, Church on the Hill and Cincinnati Right to Life.
Monica Migliorino Miller of the Citizens for a Pro-Life Society said, “The defunding of Planned Parenthood is a matter of moral principle. Not a single cent of American tax dollars should go to an organization that kills innocent human life.”
Mark Harrington of Created Equal said: “We are closer than we’ve ever been to defunding Big Abortion – Planned Parenthood. Now is the time for a groundswell of grassroots efforts. We call on Congress and President Trump to reallocate those funds to health centers which help women without killing babies.”
Scheidler said: “This is a nationwide event, but at the same time it is a local community concern. As citizens gather to encourage Congress to quit sending money to an organization that specializes in killing children, they are also declaring that they do not want Planned Parenthood to continue operating in their neighborhoods.”
Marjorie Dannenfelser, head of the Susan B. Anthony List, said Americans “want to end taxpayer funding of abortion – that includes stopping taxpayer funding for the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, and ensuring any Obamacare replacement is pro-life, and does not allow tax dollars or tax credits to pay for health care plans that include abortion.”
“Planned Parenthood is a profit-driven, abortion-centered business that has performed more than 300,000 abortions in the last three years for which data are available,” Dannenfelser said. “They do not need or deserve taxpayer dollars, and redirecting their federal funding to rural and community health centers would be a victory for women’s health.”
President Trump already has issued an executive order reinstating the Mexico City Policy that eliminates federal funding for abortions by non-governmental organizations abroad.
The protests are being led by Citizens for a Pro-Life Society, Created Equal and the Pro-Life Action League.
The fact that 34 percent of US abortions performed by Planned Parenthood proves they are not a general healthcare service provider. Fraudulent Medicaid claims, fetal tissue harvesting, and documented health code violations show Planned Parenthood’s systemic disregard for accountability to taxpayers. Planned Parenthood exaggerates their role in women’s healthcare (e.g. they provide less than 2 percent of manual breast exams, 1 percent PAP test and zero mammograms annually). Moving Planned Parenthood’s funding to Federally Qualified Health Centers will offer women and families a wider range of healthcare services and a higher standard of care.
Planned Parenthood’s annual report for 2014-2015 shows the tax-subsidized business performed 9,455,582 individual services. About 45 percent went to STI/STD Testing and Treatment (4,219,149), 31 percent Contraception (2,945,059), 13 percent to Other Women’s Health Services (1,190,408), 7 percent to Cancer Screening and Prevention (682,208), 3 percent to Abortion (323,999) and 1 percent to other services (95,759).
New York Time columnist Ross Douthat explained the centrality of abortion to Planned Parenthood.
“Planned Parenthood likes to claim that abortion accounts for just 3 percent of its services, for instance, and this statistic has been endlessly recycled in the press. But the percentage of the group’s client who received an abortion is probably closer to 1 in 10, and Planned Parenthood’s critics have estimated, plausibly, that between 30 and 40 percent of its health center revenue is from abortion.”
Harrington described the events and groups’ mission as “protesting for both the rights of women and children.”
His organization recently took part in the annual March for Life in Washington and was met with opposition from the Woman’s March the week before. His group carried signs stating “Women and Children First.”
Harrington said he has never witnessed such “lewd and rude behavior.”
“Volunteers and staff were threatened, shouted-down, had their equipment stolen, and were spat in the face,” he said.
“Culture has coarsened,” he said. “When you jettison the Christian world view you unleash this mob like behavior.”
Another participant, Monica Miller, the director of Citizens for a Pro-Life Society, described a similar atmosphere where her peaceful group was met with “vulgarity and vitriol.”
Congress has discussed defunding Planned Parenthood, and it could come with the anticipated repeal of Obamacare.
Last Thursday, the Hill reported House Speaker Paul Ryan spoke of defunding the group by “cutting off federal funds” that will “be included in a reconciliation bill that also repeals the core of Obamacare.”
Scheidler challenged the mainstream’s false narratives that would demand taxpayers prop up Planned Parenthood.
He told WND that “no one is talking about taking away healthcare, just redirecting it to Federally Qualified Health Centers that provide more and better services.”