Vitals Reporting on the pro-life movement

A $1.6 billion abortion industry boondoggle

Abortion | New government report details three years of funding and spending at taxpayers’ expense
by Samantha Gobba
Posted 3/12/18, 03:26 pm

Abortion providers spent more than $1.6 billion in U.S. tax dollars over a three-year period, according to a report released last week by the Government Accountability Office.

The report, requested in 2016 by more than 120 members of Congress, details the funding and expenditures of federally qualified health centers and abortion groups, which include Marie Stopes International (MSI), the International Planned Parenthood Federation, and the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA). It covers fiscal years 2013 to 2015.

Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., who led the request for the GAO report, called the amount of money sent to the abortion industry “sickening,” adding, “Abortion is not family planning. Abortion is family destruction. The American people deserve better.”

The funds came through Medicare, Medicaid, and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) reimbursements, as well as from the Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and other federal agencies.

Of the abortion providers, PPFA and its affiliates got the lion’s share, receiving $289 million from federal agencies and $1.2 billion in Medicaid, Medicare, and CHIP reimbursements—slightly more than they received from 2010 to 2012. Those reimbursements enriched Planned Parenthood abortion centers across the country by anywhere from a few hundred thousand dollars to upward of $200 million.

In 2016, the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives referred four of the top five PPFA recipients for investigation for profiting from the sale of aborted baby parts and other violations of federal law. According to the GAO report, Planned Parenthood Mar Monte received $229 million, Planned Parenthood Los Angeles $106 million, Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest $105 million, and Planned Parenthood Northern California $104 million.

Kelly Marcum with the Family Research Council told me the report offers yet another motivator to strip Planned Parenthood of its subsidies. 

“As long as federal dollars are funneled to Planned Parenthood, then the U.S. government continues to condone the idea that abortion is healthcare, which it certainly is not,” she said. “Women need access to a broad array of healthcare services which can be accomplished by funding the over 13,000 community health centers in our country, not by subsidizing the nation’s largest abortion organization implicated in criminal violations.”

Federally qualified health centers offer treatment regardless of a patient’s ability to pay, and provide primary medical care, family planning, prenatal care, postpartum care, and even transportation or translation services. They reported spending about $11.2 billion in tax dollars over the same three-year period, seeing more than 25 million people in 2015 alone. Clients are most often women, and most visits are for the health of an infant or child, immunizations, or flu shots.

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, urged Congress to use the report to take money from Planned Parenthood and give it to centers that actually provide healthcare: “Community healthcare alternatives outnumber Planned Parenthood facilities more than 20-to-1 nationwide and could make infinitely better use of those funds to provide comprehensive healthcare for women and families.”

Associated Press/Photo by Niall Carson/PA Associated Press/Photo by Niall Carson/PA Pro-abortion supporters march in Dublin on Thursday.

Ireland mulls ending abortion ban

Ireland’s almost total ban on abortion could be overturned later this spring. Lawmakers approved and introduced a bill last week that initiates a process to repeal the Eighth Amendment to the nation’s constitution, which blocks abortion except in cases of danger to the mother’s life. The bill will allow the Irish Parliament to make new laws regarding abortion.

Irish voters will decide the fate of the bill in a May 25 referendum, and both pro-life and pro-abortion campaigners are working hard to sway public opinion. Pro-abortion marchers hit the streets of Dublin on Thursday in recognition of International Women’s Day, where they demanded a repeal of the Eighth Amendment. Leading abortion activist Ailbhe Smyth called the bill “a historic and momentous day for Ireland, and for the women of Ireland in particular.”

Thousands of Irish women travel to the United Kingdom for abortions each year, and under a new rule, the U.K.’s National Health Service pays for them. Perhaps a harbinger of shifting attitudes in Ireland, the Irish Supreme Court ruled earlier this month that apart from a right to life, unborn babies don’t have any constitutional rights.

But pro-life support in Ireland remains strong. More than 15,000 pro-lifers marched in Dublin on Saturday to voice support for the Eighth Amendment.

“For the next 11 weeks, our message will be focused on ensuring that the Irish people vote no to this extreme abortion referendum,” organizer Niamh Uí Bhriain said. —S.G.

Associated Press/Photo by Rogelio V. Solis Associated Press/Photo by Rogelio V. Solis A pro-life activist stands outside Jackson Women’s Health Organization, an abortion center in Jackson, Miss.

Mississippi passes 15-week abortion ban

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant is poised to sign a ban on abortion after 15-weeks gestation, a bill the state legislature passed by wide margins last week. It rolls back the legal abortion ban from the state’s existing 20-week limit.

The state Senate approved the bill 35-14 on Tuesday, and the House approved amendments and passed it 75-35 on Thursday. Bryant reiterated his approval of the bill in a statement: “I want Mississippi to be the safest place in America for an unborn child. House Bill 1510 will help us achieve that goal, and I look forward to signing it.”

But the new law may be short-lived. The Center for Reproductive Rights vowed to challenge it in court as unconstitutional, calling it “the latest in the state’s string of cruel and unnecessary assaults on reproductive rights.”

While 20-week abortion bans have withstood court challenges, earlier bans have had less success due to the Supreme Court’s viability precedent. —S.G.

Alfie Evans’ parents plan another appeal

Parents of British toddler Alfie Evans plan to appeal to the country’s Supreme Court to allow their son to remain on life support.

Tom Evans called the appeal “a glimmer of hope from the legal point of view.” Evans and the baby’s mother, Kate James, lost an earlier appeal when judges sided with doctors at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool, which wants to disconnect Alfie’s ventilator.

Alfie has a degenerative neurological condition and remains in a coma, but his parents aren’t willing to give up on him. “We want to keep giving him chances,” Evans said. —S.G.

Fertility clinic disaster

Unexplained temperature increases at a fertility clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, may have compromised the viability of more than 2,000 eggs and embryos kept frozen as part of ongoing fertility treatment for more than 500 patients. Administrators at University Hospitals Fertility Center don’t yet know what caused the problem but are contacting patients to alert them to the possible death of their embryos. On Sunday, one couple filed suit over the loss of their two embryos. “It’s heartbreaking, just heartbreaking,” Amber Ash told WEWS-TV in Cleveland. “The medical community calls it tissue. I like to think of it as my children.” —S.G.

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Samantha Gobba

Samantha is a freelancer for WORLD Digital. She is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute, and she holds a bechelor degree in English from Hillsdale College and a multiple subject teaching credential from California State University. Samantha resides in Chico, Calif., with her husband and their two sons.

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  • SL
    Posted: Fri, 03/16/2018 05:54 pm

    Praying for the end of ALL abortion at ANY age!  For those w/ fertility issues look up & watch the Automimmune disorder docuseries by Bible Health Secrets.

  • SL
    Posted: Fri, 03/16/2018 05:54 pm

    Praying for the end of ALL abortion at ANY age!  For those w/ fertility issues look up & watch the Automimmune disorder docuseries by Bible Health Secrets.

  • TWH
    Posted: Sat, 03/17/2018 09:45 pm

    "tragedy" would be a better word choice in the headline than "boondoggle."