It seems that the $60 million of taxpayer funding in question comes out of some sort of “discretionary fund.” I still have to learn more about how Planned Parenthood acquires that money. As I listen to Cecile Richards respond to questions I wonder how she came to be this person testifying before Congress and if her responses are simply the strategy her lawyer gave her (limit the narrative and direct the representatives to documentation already provided, so you don’t have to give a real answer). Ms. Richards isn’t simply glued to the Planned Parenthood PR story, she embodies it.
A Continuation of the Questions of the (yester) Day
with a few excerpts from Cecile Richards’ responses
You say that abortion services is 3 percent of your total services, but yet you can’t say or give this committee the total amount of money that you make or receive for abortions, is that correct? — Rep. Mark Meadows, R-NC
- It’s because the national office does not provide health care services — 59 affiliates provide.
But your affiliates gather that information, so you would have access to it? — Rep. Mark Meadows, R-NC
- Cecile Richards deflects.
(Referring to a tax return of an affiliate) Could you read line 2 for me? The dollar amount next to pregnancy termination is how much? — Rep. Mark Meadows, R-NC
- Pregnancy termination. I’ve never seen this before, and I’m simply reading what you are asking me to read. 1,424.275 (total revenue column)
Wouldn’t you have tax returns for all your affiliates where we could get this information? — Rep. Mark Meadows, R-NC
Here is my concern: if you take that number and divide it into the total revenue, that indicates revenues of almost 28 percent for abortions. — Rep. Mark Meadows, R-NC
- Cecile Richards: I think you are mixing services with revenue.
Wouldn’t you think that the 3 percent is misleading?
- Instead of answering the question, Cecile Richards deflects to her PR narrative and says “I would say we are the most highly regulated organization in this country.”
Will you provide this same kind of documentation for all your affiliates to this committee? — Rep. Mark Meadows, R-NC
Are you saying you don’t keep track of it? — Rep. Mark Meadows, R-NC
- I don’t know what “it” is.
Meadows clarified that he wants to know revenues from abortions for all affiliates.
Ms. Richards, if a child survives an abortion attempt, should it be given nourishment and medical care? — Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-FL
- I’ve never heard of such a circumstance happening?
Really? — Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-FL
- Yes. …At Planned Parenthood we don’t provide abortions after viability. …I want to be responsible for what we do.
Have you watched all the videos released by the Center for Medical Progress? — Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-FL
- I haven’t watched all the videos, but I have read through all the written transcripts.
Referring to Holly O’Donnell’s description of harvesting a baby’ brain, Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-FL asked if Ms. Richards can categorically testify that nothing like that has ever happened at Planned Parenthood?
- That woman does not work for Planned Parenthood. …I am not responsible for her.
Do you admit that Planned Parenthood or its affiliates harvests and sells fetal body parts for profit? — Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-FL
- We have a very clear policy on fetal tissue donation. It is done with the full consent of the patients.
Referring the video of Dr Gatter negotiating: if there is no profit, why would you be negotiating over how much the parts are going to be sold for.
- With respect, I completely disagree with your characterization of that, and that is why I read all of the transcripts.
Do you deny that Planned Parenthood and/or its affiliates will alter abortion procedures in order to better harvest fetal body parts? — Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-FL
- We have a very clear policy, which I am happy to read to you.
Since the release of the videos, have you or the PPF issued any updated guidance to the companies to whom you provide fetal tissue regarding the sale of fetal body parts for profit and/or the manipulation of abortion procedures? — Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-FL
- There is no way to answer that because I disagree with your formulation.
Have you issued any new guidance in the last three months?
According to NY Health Dept statistics, there are more African American babies that are aborted than are born alive. Are you aware of that statistic? — Rep. Mark Warlker, R-NC
- I am not aware of that statistic.
If that is correct, would that concern you? — Rep. Mark Warlker, R-NC
- Cecile Richards deflects the questioning and talks about lack of access to health care.
Regarding the $32 million sent overseas, Does Planned Parenthood send any funds to the Democratic Republic of Congo? — Rep. Mark Warlker, R-NC
- I would have to get back to you on that.
Walker added that we have laws that prohibit us from sending money to places where we have sanctions on.
Of the $500 million of the taxpayer dollars that goes to your organization, how much of that is set aside to go to counseling for women still struggling with that issue. — Rep. Mark Warlker, R-NC
- This is hard to explain…reimbursements… I would love if we would fund comprehensive counseling services for women. We do counseling every day.
If there is proven to be criminal activity through an investigation, would you have any problem redirecting the $500 million or the $60 million (20 percent which is not Medicaid) to other women’s health care organizations that offer genuine health care? — Rep. Mark Walker, R-NC
- I am not going to answer to a hypothetical. And again, we follow all the laws.
Which is more important to you, Ms. Richards, providing actual women’s health services or lobbying? — Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-SC
- I think these two things go hand in hand.
You spent $21 million on lobbying last year and zero dollars on mammograms, why is that? — Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-SC
- We’ve discussed mammograms repeatedly and how that works.
You said earlier that you don’t make money, any profit off of federal funds. Is that correct?
- Cecile Richards talks about the national office and a clinical trial.
Is it your testimony that none of those (affiliates) make any profits off of federal funds? — Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-SC
- There all reimbursed for services they provide. …We are nonprofit. We don’t make money.
You don’t make money but you had revenues of $127 million in excess of your expenses last year. Where does that money go? — Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-SC
- Like any organization of our size and scale, a lot of our resources are in what is a board-designated endowment or reserve. ..I hope they are in the bank and not laying around. …expanding health care services and building new clinics.
One of the proposals here is to defund Planned Parenthood. If we took $60 million away from you, you could still perform every single service that you gave last year, can’t you? — Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-SC
- I can’t say that.
Is Medicaid a sub-standard insurance? — Rep. Jody Hice, R-GA
How many PP clinics have closed over the last 10 years? — Rep. Jody Hice, R-GA
- Many of our Planned Parenthood centers have merged to be more efficient.
(There has been over 100.)
Why is it on the taxpayers hook to provide for your investments in expansion when you are declining your services and clinics are closing?
- The federal government isn’t investing in our expansion. …None of that is federal dollars.
- I’m not holding the taxpayers responsible for our expansion.
But I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love and we remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts. Jesus gave even His life to love us. So, the mother who is thinking of abortion, should be helped to love, that is, to give until it hurts her plans, or her free time, to respect the life of her child. The father of that child, whoever he is, must also give until it hurts.
By abortion, the mother does not learn to love, but kills even her own child to solve her problems. And, by abortion, that father is told that he does not have to take any responsibility at all for the child he has brought into the world. The father is likely to put other women into the same trouble. So abortion just leads to more abortion. Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. This is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion.
— Mother Teresa, National Prayer Breakfast, February 1994