This article first appeared online at The American Independent on July 12, 2011.
In defunding battle, SBA takes credit for giving Planned Parenthood ‘black eye’
By Sofia Resnick
So far, 8 states have removed $60M in funding from Planned Parenthood (pending court challenges)
The Susan B. Anthony List is among the anti-abortion rights groups taking credit for the trend of states cutting federal funding for reproductive services in the name of defunding Planned Parenthood. But, this Washington, D.C.-based group is actually keeping score.
On its website, the SBA List is keeping a “State by State Scoreboard” showing that to date, approximately $60,399,000 in federal and state funding has been stripped from Planned Parenthood affiliates in eight states. SBA breaks down that total amount by how much Planned Parenthood has been “defunded” in each state:
- Indiana: $2 million
- Kansas: $330,000
- New Hampshire: $1.8 million
- New Jersey: $7.5 million
- North Carolina: $434,000
- Tennessee: $335,000
- Texas: $47 million
- Wisconsin: $1 million
The SBA List has essentially declared war on the “abortion giant.” On its website, SBA notes that: “Our efforts during the federal budget fight gave Planned Parenthood a black eye.” The group recently garnered much attention surrounding a presidential pledge to support only judicial nominees and cabinet members opposed to abortion rights in most cases, to defund Planned Parenthood and to support a national “fetal pain” bill that would ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Americans United for Life (AUL) has similarly taken credit for the state-by-state defunding trend. Last week, the group released a report accusing Planned Parenthood of financial and criminal wrongdoing and distributed copies of this report on Capitol Hill. As The Florida Independent reported, Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.), who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, has suggested he might look at the report and launch an investigation of Planned Parenthood, telling POLITICO PULSE:
“I believe my Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee should review the findings of this report and possibly hold a hearing on why taxpayers are funding Planned Parenthood with its record of abuse and violations of state laws. The American people deserve a concrete reason for funding Planned Parenthood; a reason I do not believe exists.”
In the past, Stearns has identified himself as a friend to the anti-abortion rights movement and several times has introduced legislation to give federal funding to so-called “crisis pregnancy centers,” but his proposed legislation has never moved. Back in February, Stearns promised anti-abortion rights groups that he would call a hearing to investigate Planned Parenthood, but it hasn’t happened yet.
Since Planned Parenthood released a rebuttal, fact-checking AUL’s report, the anti-abortion rights groups has renewed its call for a congressional investigation and has released its own rebuttal (PDF) to Planned Parenthood’s rebuttal. On Tuesday, Kellie Fiedorek, staff counsel for AUL, is scheduled to discuss her organization’s allegations against Planned Parenthood at a Bloggers Briefing sponsored by the Heritage Foundation.