Gov. Henry McMaster was right to defund Planned Parenthood

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) made a courageous decision to do what is best for women’s health and defund Planned Parenthood by directing state agencies to cease providing funds, whether via grant, contract, state-administered federal funds or “any other form,” to abortion providers.

Gov. McMaster also asked the state Department of Health and Human Services to seek waivers from the federal government allowing it to exclude abortion clinics from the state’s Medicaid provider network.

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Planned Parenthood has invested millions in marketing to convince the public that policies such as this executive order are a loss for women’s health. Yet, is that factual?  What will happen if Planned Parenthood is defunded?

 

For starters, in the most recent annual report (2015-2016) the nonprofit has a budget of 1.276 billion annually, including making 77.5 million in profit. And while government funding makes up 41 percent of its budget totaling $554.6 million, private contributions are a close second, making up 33 percent of budget at $257.9 million.

Top private donors include the Susan Buffett Foundation ($330 million since 2002); William and Flora Hewlett Foundation ($65.95 million since 2000); Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation ($60.2 million since 2000); and a number of other ones, too. These organizations alone have poured a total of over $632 million into Planned Parenthood.

Additionally, Planned Parenthood has the support of ExxonMobil, Nike, American Express, General Electric,Starbucks, Unilever and Microsoft. In total, there are over a hundred major companies that give money to the abortion giant, not to mention a major Hollywood contingent. Clearly, there is no need for the 61 percent of Americans who oppose taxpayer funding of abortion to be forced to financially support Planned Parenthood, our nation’s largest abortion provider.

According to their most recent annual report, Planned Parenthood performed over 328,000 abortions in 2015, which makes up approximately 35 percent of the total number of abortions nationwide. In other words, not only are they the largest abortion provider but they also have a market share in the industry.

Planned Parenthood attempts to downplay to significance of abortion to their organization, inaccurately citing that it makes up only 3 percent of the services they provide; a stat that even the Washington Post gave “3 Pinnochios.”

Yet, when asked to stop performing abortions to keep their funding, Cecile Richards called abortion “a necessary service that’s as vital to our mission as birth control or cancer screenings.” Former planned parenthood workers have even described pressure to increase the number of abortions performed because it was lucrative.

Abortion is not healthcare and what Americans, and women in particular, do need are real, comprehensive health care options, not abortion.

With federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) outnumbering Planned Parenthoods 20 to 1, these facilities are the ones we should be investing in. In fact, in South Carolina, there are 134 FQHCs for every one Planned Parenthood clinics.

The women of South Carolina and every state in the U.S. deserve better than abortion. Thank you Governor Henry McMaster for setting a new, higher standard for women’s healthcare, affirming that abortion is not healthcare and that taxpayer dollars have no business funding it.

Jeanne Mancini is the President of the March for Life, a pro-life organization.


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