Do Our Tax Dollars Pay for Abortions at Planned Parenthood?

“Let me be clear—abortion is murder, and the federal government should not support it let alone PAY for it.”

Representative Ronny Jackson (Texas) tweeted this statement on January 27. He wrote it in response to the recent executive orders put into effect by President Biden, which reverse the pro-life efforts of former president Donald Trump.

ronny jackson hyde amendment abortion is murder

In office less than two weeks, Biden has already rescinded the Mexico City Policy. This prevents US tax dollars from funding foreign organizations that promote or perform abortions. He has also recommended to Congress that they repeal the Hyde Amendment, which keeps Medicaid monies from funding abortions.

With all this in mind, we wonder: Do taxpayers pay for abortions, including at clinics run by Planned Parenthood?

Yes. And no. First, let us examine how tax dollars support family planning services.

 

The Hyde Amendment

A few years after Roe v. Wade, Congress enacted the Hyde Amendment. The Hyde Amendment blocks federal funds—Medicaid—from being used to pay for most abortions. It can pay to terminate pregnancies that are a result of incest or rape. It will also pay for abortions if the life of the mother is endangered. However, this ban does not prevent states from using their own money to pay for abortions.

The Hyde Amendment is not a permanent law. Since its enactment, it has been attached as a permanent “rider” to the Department of Health and Human Service’s congressional appropriations bill. And it must be renewed annually. In addition, only Congress can repeal it, and Biden has asked Congress to look into doing so.

With a Biden presidency, it seems that federal funds may soon be available to pay for abortions. And we already know that Planned Parenthood is counting on Biden’s help. The organization spent $45 million to get him into office.

PP’s latest Annual Report (2018-2019) discloses that its total revenue for this time period was $1,638,600,000. Of that amount, government health services reimbursements and grants accounted for over $616 million. Non-government health services revenue totaled nearly $370 million. And private contributions were nearly $600 million. This is hardly an organization that needs our taxpayer money.

But Planned Parenthood covets that federal funding.

 

Title X

Title X is a federal program specifically aimed at family planning for low-income people. This program gives money to over 4,000 clinics nationwide.

Under the Trump administration, Title X funds could not support abortion. Thus, no Title X funds went to Planned Parenthood. Biden has rescinded that policy. In a White House memorandum last week, he stated his support for “reproductive rights.” Biden wrote: “It is the policy of my Administration to support women’s and girls’ sexual and reproductive health and rights in the United States, as well as globally.”

Further, he said that “women should have access to the healthcare they need.”

And by healthcare, he means abortion.

president joe biden swearing in ceremony

Yet we know that abortion is not healthcare. And it seems that the majority of Americans agree. Do Americans want federal or state funds to go to abortion? Not according to a recent Marist poll. According to LifeNews, 58% of Americans oppose the use of tax dollars to fund abortions in the US.

But things are about to change.

 

Federal and State Medicaid

According to Medicaid.gov, there were 70,587,631 individuals enrolled in Medicaid as of September 2020. In 2018, half of the women who fell below the federal poverty level were insured by Medicaid.

Medicaid is funded jointly by both state and federal governments. Because of this, states can decide to pay for abortions in instances other than rape, incest, and danger to the mother’s health. However, the states must use their own funds for this, not federal funds.

Currently, 16 states have policies that will allow their own Medicaid funds to pay for abortions beyond the Hyde restrictions. Nine of these states do so as a result of court order. Arizona, however, will not pay for abortions outside of the Hyde restrictions, even though a court order has directed it to do so. And South Dakota’s Medicaid program will not even pay for abortions in the exception cases.

The Kaiser Family Foundation has examined state Medicaid programs closely and found some fascinating results. Restrictions do make a difference. They save lives. The states that do not allow their funds to pay for abortions outside of the Hyde restrictions pay for significantly fewer abortions.

Thus, one fact is obvious. If the federal government allows more abortion coverage under Medicaid, more women will seek them. This means more dead babies.

 

How much do taxpayers pay for abortions?

It’s hard to pinpoint an exact amount. State taxes fund abortion, but so do many employee insurance programs. A 2015 Forbes article examined data and broke down numbers, concluding that taxpayers subsidize about 24% of all abortion costs in the US.  Federal taxpayers pay 6.6%. The remaining 17.4% is paid by state taxpayers. Forbes estimates that this is the equivalent of taxpayers paying for about 250,000 abortions a year.

While these numbers may be somewhat dated, the truth remains. Our tax dollars did—and still do—fund abortions. That’s thousands of babies killed each year. And with a Biden administration reversing pro-life policies, that number will only increase.

 

How Planned Parenthood Uses Money

Money is fungible. In other words, sources of income easily get mixed together.

Milwaukie, OR, USA - Planned Parenthood sign - who pays for abortions at planned parenthood

For instance, let’s say that the government gives $500 million to PP. But since the government says this money can’t be used for abortion, PP puts the money into a different “pot.” PP now has an “extra” $500 million. That money frees up its other resources to cover other needs (like abortion). Then the organization can use these federal funds for other services, such as birth control, sex education, or any number of things. But in reality, these governmental funds help PP do what makes the most money. And that is abortion.

Related Read: Planned Parenthood Abortion Statistics

Further, contraceptives and sex ed programs both directly and indirectly increase the abortion rate. One of the ways that contraceptives work is to thin the lining of the uterus. If the uterine lining is too thin, the baby cannot implant. This causes his death. It’s an early abortion.

And PP’s sex ed programs actually harm children. A July 2020 Family Leader article reported on federal studies, stating that PP’s sex education programs do not reduce teenage pregnancy. Furthermore, in five states where students were subjected to PP’s sex ed, pregnancy rates increased.

After all, Planned Parenthood’s sex education programs do not advocate abstinence. They do not teach morality. They do not teach respect for your own body. PP’s brand of sex education is quite the opposite: it teaches that pleasure rules and that we should do whatever we want. It hooks kids in with images, and it glorifies sex. It encourages them to seek birth control. And when that fails, it sells abortion.

What might happen if we take all federal funding from Planned Parenthood?

We would have fewer abortions. And maybe even fewer unintended pregnancies.

But removing federal funding allows the states to pick up the slack. And we have seen this exact thing happen.

Last year, several states began giving taxpayer money to PP for family planning services. These states include Illinois, Hawaii, Maryland, Vermont, Oregon, Washington, California, Massachusetts, and New York. They did so because Trump mandated that Title X money could not pay for abortions, and as PP refused to stop doing abortions, it was not allowed to receive Title X money.

  • Hawaii budgeted $750,000 to help cover the loss of Title X money.
  • New Jersey’s governor signed legislation to give $9.5 million for family planning to Planned Parenthood.
  • The governor of Massachusetts authorized up to $8 million.
  • California’s Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors voted to cover the expected loss for six local Planned Parenthood clinics, amounting to nearly half a million dollars.
  • Pennsylvania proposed budgeting $3 million for its Planned Parenthood clinics.

But do we really need Planned Parenthood clinics? The US has nearly 1,400 federally qualified health centers and 12,409 federally qualified health center service sites. All do the same things PP does—except abortions. Meanwhile, PP has about 575 clinics.

People don’t need Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood needs people.

planned parenthood vs federally qualified health centers

Yet PP doesn’t just make its money killing babies: it sometimes makes its money fraudulently.

 

Medicaid Fraud

In 2017, the Charlotte Lozier Institute found that there were 51 external audits or reviews of PP’s practices and financial records. These took place in California, Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Ohio, Wisconsin, Nebraska, New York, Texas, Washington, and Oklahoma. According to the Institute, almost all of the audits found overbilling. It further stated that the audits found “numerous improper practices” for family planning and reproductive health services claims, and that this overbilling “amounted to more than $123.8 million.”

Texas has gone a step further. At the end of 2020, a Texas court declared that Planned Parenthood was not a “qualified” Medicaid provider. The Texas attorney general cited as evidence the undercover videos by the Center for Medical Progress. These videos showed “Planned Parenthood admitting to morally bankrupt and unlawful conduct.” Texas booted PP out of its state Medicaid program.

The court ruling covered Louisiana as well.

This is not an isolated incident. Several whistleblowers have come forward over the past 20 years to tell of fraudulent billing practices in Planned Parenthood offices around the country. For example:

  • A lawsuit against Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast alleged that between 2003 and 2009, PP billed and was paid by government programs for services that were not medically necessary. Some of these services were not even actually provided to women. PP settled for 4.3 million, yet it admitted no wrongdoing.
  • Patricia Carroll worked in accounts receiving at Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast from 2007-2012. She stated that while working there, she discovered a fraudulent Medicaid scheme. Carroll alleged that she saw evidence of PP incorrectly coding certain visits in order to maximize Medicaid reimbursements.
  • Sue Thayer also worked at PP, in an Iowa clinic. Her suit alleged that PP committed Medicaid fraud between 2002 and 2009. She said PP improperly sought reimbursements for “products and services not legally reimbursable,” alleging that this PP affiliate filed almost 500,000 false Medicaid claims and nearly 28 million for these claims.

 

Final Thoughts

Fraudulent billing practices. Dead babies. Harmful sex education. And more. Planned Parenthood should not receive our tax dollars. Americans should not pay for abortions.

Obstetric Ultrasonography Ultrasound Echography of a baby

Campaign promises and the first two weeks are telling. A Biden presidency will result in more abortions. It will result in more taxpayer money going to Planned Parenthood. And it will result in a decrease in respect for life.

Our tax money is better spent on programs that help people, not harm them.

 

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6 Comments

  1. Edgar Matzinger on October 4, 2021 at 5:23 PM

    Nice article using appeals to emotions. You open the article with “Let me be clear—abortion is murder, and the federal government should not support it let alone PAY for it.” Shows your one sided view on the issue. It also shows you’re not pro-life. You’re pro-birth. Foetuses are NOT babies. Up to week 21 or 22, a foetus can NOT survive outside the womb.

    “A Biden presidency will result in more abortions. It will result in more taxpayer money going to Planned Parenthood.” Nice assumption. This entire article is just a baseless attack on Planned Parenthood. You may not like abortions (which is fine, of course) but sticking your head in the sand when abortions are banned, like in Texas, is just silly. As if abortions didn’t happen in the past or will happen again, and women died because of those makeshift abortions using knitting needles and metal coat hangers. But that’s OK, I presume.

    “Our tax money is better spent on programs that help people, not harm them.” Agree, and therefor proper abortions in hospitals are needed.

    BTW In Texas the situation is even worse; anyone can be a bounty hunter and collect $10,000 if they indict any one aiding a woman getting an abortion. See, even the train driver can be convicted of aiding in an abortion when a woman took a train to an abortion clinic. From my point of view, the US is going back to the 1800’s. Progress, indeed.

    And who do you know won’t be stopped getting an abortion? Congressman’s girl friends. They get a ticket to Europe to get an abortion. Or rich women. Who does an abortion hurt? Poor women and women of colour. But that’s the entire point I guess.

    Harmful sex education. Sex education is absent in US schools. And if, it’s only about abstinence. Again sticking your head in the sand. Teenagers and certainly christian teenagers marry early just to be able have sex. Abstinence doesn’t work. Never has, never will. “stating that PP’s sex education programs do not reduce teenage pregnancy.” Because when PP comes into view, sex education is most of the times too little, too late. To prevent teenage pregnancies, you have to provide real sex education. Abstinence and morals have nothing to do with sex education. It’s about not being prudish about sex. And don’t be a hypocrite. And being uptight about teenagers and young adults having sex, doesn’t help either. Quite the opposite even: it’s harmful. And contraception should be available to each and every teenager and (young) adults. And I mean the pill.

    • Ann K on October 10, 2021 at 9:54 PM

      Edgar, fetuses are babies. They are babies from the first moment of conception. You can choose to deny the science, but that doesn’t mean it itsn’t true. Read any embryology textbook. The author opened the article with a quote, so saying that she is not pro-life is unfounded. Of course a baby that young cannot survive outside the womb. But a newborn can’t survive without his mother’s nourishment. An elderly person in a home cannot survive without a caregiver. Saying a small unborn baby can’t survive doens’t make him any less human. That’s a stupid argument. And, yes, more taxpayer money has gone to planned parenthood. Its just the fact. Read the news. Of course at home abortions aren’t ok. No one wants that. But did you know those numbers were inflated to get abortion made legal? The rest of your response is tiring and I don’t have the energy to respond anymore. Babies are babies from the time the sperm fertilized the egg. maybe you should look and see what happens to a baby when he’s aborted.

    • ANDREW on September 22, 2022 at 12:13 AM

      dude teens need to be taught not to have sex until youre financially capable of raising a child. you need to understand the value of a child and that a child needs two parents and lots of love and support and care, and you need to have patience and self control and quality social construct and an engaging life, with goals and aspirations that are obtained before getting involved in risky life creating and destroying lifestyles and choices. sex isnt just a pleasure you feel…its a biological process that creates babies. its a reproductive system first and pleasure center second. there should be heavy regulations on media that promotes sex in teens and deep meaningful relationships with your parents, kids should feel compelled to listen to their parents and learn discipline from them and structure. young people should feel like building their professional life and reaching their ideal financial goals are the most important priorities. they should be terrified to risk their future over sex. they should understand the greatest pleasures of life besides sex, and self indulgence. instead of being programmed to think sex gives you value and makes you a woman and is a personal choice, that doesnt involve or affect anyone else, and is inevitable and everyones doing it. your body your choice teaches all women that being sexually active doesnt affect anyone and is a private matter. birth control, care related to being sexually active, pregnancy, post natal care, all that stuff that you need to be sexually active costs trillions of dollars from state level on up. the doctors and politicians and workers and scientists, nurses, everyone else involved in the entire program, are required to support the decision and consequences of becoming sexually active. healthcare, medicaid obamacare, too. all the protesting and demonstrating and media coverage and man hours in congress. its a trillion dollar corporation with millions of employees that work together to support womens sexual health care and pregnancy. and tax payers dollars. its not a private endeavor. it affects all of us. daycare, education, welfare..babies require an entire community and women need to understand that and quit being trained to think they are single mothers and do it all alone, and realize how much support single mothers require and how many people are affected. they need to value babies and human life and society enough to realize that they deserve the best care and most stable home and trained and practiced parents, and education and training far greater than public school and daycare can give, instead of assuming they are just born mothers and have a natural gift that makes them skilled and intuitive and capable and can just wing parenting alone.. babies need mature settled parents, not still developing adolescents or young adults…parents should be a their peak, mentally and physically. anything less than this is a danger to a child and causes major issues some of which will be for life, and predisposes your child to mental health issues and many disadvantages in life. and makes you and your child dependent on society and government funding. if you cant afford healthcare and food and shelter and furthering education and have to get handouts from companies and agencies then you shouldnt have a kid, and you shouldnt teach kids to gamble and risk it for five minutes of sexual pleasure. kids need to value relationships and partners and themselves and know the correct way to date safely and appropriately and the effects of dating too soon and too much and too risky and believe that committed relationships and patience and discipline and maturity and stability and waiting for sex, are better and more fulfilling than fleeting risky relations with essentially a bunch of random strangers..it needs to be cool..parents need to brag about the marriage and their partners and being a parent and make it seem important to kids, worth the time and energy, it needs to be seen that sex outside a mature committed long term relationship with security is a bad thing and comes with serious consequences. instead of grooming children into thinking marriage is bad, husbands will murder you, and single mothers are all children need and sex and pregnancy is a private affair that doesnt affect or involve anyone else. planning for a baby and building a life that supports it with a great partner and financial security, after you have matured and developed fully and have years of life experience and have taken couples counseling and pregnancy counseling and can truly maximize parental experience is a requirement, not a preference, and nothing is optional and unimportant. the consequences of getting pregnant and having a child can affect the child for life. if they dont get top notch care always every day from a whole community and a financially stable loving two parent home that displays the value of commitment and dedication and relationships, and specified mental and health development, with structure and values and guidance and honesty, and arent socialized correctly, and spend too much time influenced by media and negative influences or sitting in daycare or out with heathens every night running the streets, your child might develop and grow into a problem person with mental issues, relationship issues, depression, anxiety, insecurity, legal troubles, violence..especially if you bring them into a poverty situation with no father and rely on public school to teach them everything and let them roam free with cellphones and internet and no supervision and no understanding of the world and its truths and dangers, its harmful to them and others and will end up costing trillions of dollars to taxpayers and gov and states in funding every year, as well as risk destroying your life or setting you back, or causing you to live unhappy impoverished, unequipped and unable to control the outcome of your childs development and quality of life, and lose valuable years of your life that should have been used for development, growth, education, occupational training, home purchasing, debt consolidation, and following your dreams and experiencing as much of the world as you can, and preparation for dating and kids.

      • HLI Staff on September 22, 2022 at 9:34 AM

        To all this we might add one more thing that trumps everything else, namely, that the human person is made in the image of God, for God by God, for the sole purpose of returning to him; as well as the fact that sex outside of marriage is wrong, condemned by our Creator; marriage is a sacrament established by Christ for the purpose of collaboration with God in bringing more souls into the world that will know God, love God, serve God and be happy with him in this world and the next. Early sex outside of marriage is a societal evil, yes, Andrew, as you say and for all those reasons. But it is such because it destroys what God intended for the sanctity of the couple and the family, which is the domestic church. Because of THAT…early sex outside of marriage is secondarily and subsequently a societal evil.

  2. Rodrigo Alonso on October 24, 2021 at 7:26 PM

    … the article seems to also be against contraception… calling it early abortion.

  3. Dorothy on May 5, 2022 at 11:39 AM

    The amount of abortions will most certainly be limited if the following happens:

    1) USE CONTRACEPTIONS – both males and females
    2) Early, hard-core, detailed education on pregnancy avoidance is mandatory in all school systems in America
    2) Local, State, Federal tax dollars NO LONGER PAY FOR ABORTIONS, unless deemed medically necessary
    3) Free abortions by any medical or non-medical organization within the United States of America, are outlawed and prosecuted at the State level, with stiff penalties

    Of course this will never happen in America – because it makes sense, and lots of organizations are making tons of money killing babies. How very, very sad!

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