Right-wing media have used the ongoing budget standoff to falsely suggest that Republicans want to end funding to Planned Parenthood because the federal funding is used to "provide abortions." However, these reports have failed to note that Planned Parenthood does not and cannot use federal funds to pay for its clinics' abortion services.
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Right-Wing Media Suggest Planned Parenthood Uses Federal Funds For Abortion
Doocy: "Republicans Say, Do We Really Want To Fund, With Federal Money, Planned Parenthood, An Organization That Provides Abortions?" On the April 8 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, while talking about the ongoing budget negotiations, co-host Steve Doocy stated:
However, we do understand [the budget negotiators are] close on money. And it's probably 36 to 33 to $36 billion worth of new cuts, but it sounds like the sticking point is funding for Planned Parenthood, because the Republicans say, do we really want to fund, with federal money, Planned Parenthood, an organization that provides abortions? [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 4/8/11]
Erickson: Is Obama Hiding That "He Is Willing To Shut Down The Government To Protect Not Just Killing Children, But Funding The Murder?" In an April 7 post on the blog Red State, right-wing commentator and CNN contributor Erick Erickson falsely claimed that federal funds are used to pay for abortions at Planned Parenthood. From the post:
The leftwing partisans are in full spin mode now after weeks of privately hoping for a government shutdown (though I have wanted one too). For a taste of the spin, go to Talking Points Memo.
According to Talking Points Memo, Barack Obama and the Democrats are willing to shut down the government to protect killing kids and killing businesses. Yep.
The Democrats, according to Talking Points Memo, have decided that they will shutdown (sic) the government in order to prevent Republicans from defunding Planned Parenthood, restricting abortions in D.C., and stopping the EPA from enacting job killing carbon regulations. Harry Reid says much the same, but he is lying. The continuing resolution contains riders he is perfectly fine with.
Fourth, here is Barack Obama's own veto statement. In it, the administration says nothing about the riders Talking Points Memo alleges are the source of the problem. Nothing. In fact, Speaker Boehner notes, "In its veto threat, the White House didn't cite a single policy objection. No policy reason not to pass this troop funding bill."
Is the President being diplomatic? If so, is it because he does not want the American people to know he is willing to shut down the government to protect not just killing children, but funding the murder? [Red State, 4/7/11, emphasis in original]
Hot Air's Morrissey: "The Federal Government Needs To Get Out Of The Industrial-Abortion Business." In an April 5 post on HotAir.com, Ed Morrissey promoted an op-ed by former Planned Parenthood clinic manager Abby Johnson, which he claimed showed "the deceptions behind Planned Parenthood claims that their mission is focused on women's health, and that government money doesn't fund abortions." Morrissey concluded by saying:
All of this would be bad enough even without taxpayers subsidizing Planned Parenthood operations. The federal government needs to get out of the industrial-abortion business, except to enforce existing regulations with which PP seems unwilling to comply. Be sure to read all of Johnson's essay. [Hot Air, 4/5/11]
But Law Prohibits Federal Money From Being Used To Fund Planned Parenthood's Abortions
NYT: "Congress Has Long Barred The Use Of Federal Money For Abortion." From a New York Times article about the GOP's budget proposals to defund Planned Parenthood:
With a total budget of some $1.1 billion, more than a third of which comes from the federal, state and local governments, Planned Parenthood offers family planning, H.I.V. counseling, treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, cancer screening and other services as well as abortions, mainly to low-income women. Congress has long barred the use of federal money for abortion, but it provides more than $75 million a year to Planned Parenthood affiliates to support family planning for low-income women. Millions more in federal dollars are provided for sex education and, indirectly, through Medicaid and other programs. [The New York Times, 2/17/11]
WaPo: "Planned Parenthood Receives Federal Funding, But Those Federal Dollars Must By Law Go Toward Family Planning, Not Abortion Services." In a post about moderate Republicans' potential opposition to cutting funding to Planned Parenthood, The Washington Post's Congressional blog 2Chambers noted that "Planned Parenthood receives federal funding, but those federal dollars must by law go toward family planning, not abortion services." [The Washington Post, 3/22/11]