Planned Parenthood veto should stand

Several  lawmakers have spent the entire summer criticizing Governor Christie for vetoing  $7.5 million for Planned Parenthood and family planning clinics.   These lawmakers have convinced their leadership to schedule a vote on Monday in the Senate to try to override the Governor’s veto.   Using age-old rhetoric and over-used and abused slogans and clichés, Planned Parenthood and their supporters have made outrageous gender discrimination accusations and, in some cases, even resorted to vicious name calling.  These tactics are strangely reminiscent of those used by candidates in last year’s Gubernatorial campaign.  Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that some of the same cast are now leading the charge to defy a newly elected Governor and restore taxpayer funds to one of their core constituencies?

 Let’s look at the facts.  For far too long and without voter approval, Planned Parenthood had been living high on the taxpayer’s tab.  Planned Parenthood claims their services will save the state money and actually prevent abortions, but the most recent abortion statistics tell quite a different story.  The reality is, as funds increased into their coffers over the years from state and federal governments, abortions also increased.   In 2005, which is the most recent year for which statistics are available, half of teenage pregnancies ended in abortion in our state. Besides having the notable distinction of being the state with the second highest rate of teen abortions in the nation, Sexually Transmitted Diseases continue to rise steadily in NJ as well.   This should come as no surprise to anyone who has taken a look at Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s  most recent Annual Report and reviewed the disproportionate ratio of abortions versus prenatal care services they provide. 

 The numbers are staggering and prove that Planned Parenthood is indeed all about abortion and admittedly the largest provider of abortions in the nation.  In 2008, Planned Parenthood reported performing 324,008 abortions versus 2,405 adoption referrals and 9,433 prenatal care services.  In 2007, they reported performing 305, 310 abortions versus 4, 912 adoption referrals and 10,914 prenatal clients.  If you do the math, you will find that abortions went up 6%, adoption referrals went down 51% and prenatal care services went down 14%. 

Remarkably, lawmakers pushing for the funds have the audacity to question how anyone dare override the will of the legislature.  They claim that women who don’t have insurance will be shut out if the $7.5 million is not restored to Planned Parenthood.   However, these are the same lawmakers who received endorsements from Planned Parenthood’s political arm and in turn promised they would allocate taxpayer funds to support Planned Parenthood’s operations and agenda.   

 The truth of the matter is that Primary Health Care Facilites and/or  FQHCs  located throughout the state of NJ are available to provide comprehensive health care for women including those without the ability to pay.  In addition, access to routine cancer screenings through the NJ CEED program will be available as well as hospital services through the Charity Care Program if needed.

 Planned Parenthood supporters claim that none of the money will be used for abortion, but every single family planning clinic counsels and refers for abortion and some perform abortion.  Everyone knows that all money is fungible; providing funding to Planned Parenthood effectively underwrites its abortion business.   A recent former director of a Texas Planned Parenthood, Abby Johnson, explained it very clearly when she told interviewers, “Abortion is the most lucrative part of Planned Parenthood’s operations.  Even though they’re two separate corporations, all of the money goes into one pot.”

 It is highly irresponsible and unethical for lawmakers to continue to push for taxpayer funding of this group, especially after several news reports confirmed that the U.S. Inspector General audits specifically named NJ Planned Parenthood affiliates for improper billing of family planning for all outpatient services at the 90% enhanced rate which resulted in the state having to refund millions in taxpayer dollars to the federal government in 2007 and 2008.    Apparently, these practices are not limited to New Jersey.  Two current federal lawsuits in California against Planned Parenthood affiliates allege millions in fraudulent overbilling to state and federal governments and reports have surfaced that the IRS is investigating the improper ties between Planned Parenthood and its political arm.  Government audits of Planned Parenthood affiliates in Washington have also uncovered similar billing discrepancies.

 Supporters of the funding recently asserted that this is not a partisan issue.  This is belied by the fact that the Democratic State Committee allowed their offices in Trenton to run phone banks on September 14 to call Senators to urge them to override the Governor’s veto.

 Bottom line –  this isn’t about health care, it’s about advancing a political agenda and rewarding “friends” and a radical special interest group with our tax dollars.   The link below provides evidence of this.

 Governor Christie eliminated waste, fraud and abuse by cutting these funds.  The veto should stand.

 Marie Tasy is the Executive Director of New Jersey Right to Life
Planned Parenthood veto should stand