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Planned Parenthood Federation of America president Cecile Richards called 2011 "the most difficult year in our history." With yesterday's announcement that the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation is ending its grants to the organization, 2012 isn't looking too good for the organization, either.
Komen had provided more than $600,000 to Planned Parenthood last year for breast exams and breast-cancer education. And while pro-life groups are cheering the move, they have their sights set on a much bigger target: the hundreds of millions of dollars Planned Parenthood receives in government funding. Building on successful defunding efforts in 2011, pro-life groups aim to keep more taxpayer dollars out of the hands of the nation's largest abortion provider.
The $1 billion-a-year organization said in its most recent annual report that it performed 329,445 abortions in 2010. $487 million, 46 percent of its revenue, came from government health service grants and reimbursements. The organization cannot legally use taxpayer dollars for an abortion. But, pro-life activists allege, the agency does not segregate funds as it should, effectively resulting in taxpayer support for abortion.
Employee scandals, government deficits, and budget-cutting lawmakers have provided a rare opportunity for pro-life groups to advocate for defunding Planned Parenthood. This year, pro-life leaders believe the House of Representatives will vote as it did last year to remove federal funding. (The measure failed in the Senate in 2011.) At the state level, Planned Parenthood has lost about $80 million in government funds in the past year, triggering budget cuts and clinic closures.
"The unprecedented attack on women's health care access," Wisconsin affiliate president Teri Huyck wrote in an opinion piece, "has been unlike anything I have ever seen in my lifetime."
Even Planned Parenthood insiders are joining the critics. Seven former Planned Parenthood ...