Anti-abortion groups have banded together with an ambitious agenda: they want to strip Planned Parenthood of its federal funding. Their new site, Expose Planned Parenthood, launched on Tuesday, and will be yet another challenge to pro-choice activists, who have been focusing their energies on defeating H.R. 3, a piece of legislation proposed by Republican congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey which would restrict taxpayer dollars used for abortion in the case of rape, and in so doing significantly redefines what “rape” means.
The new campaign against Planned Parenthood is being led by Susan B. Anthony List and Live Action. “Contributing to a group willing to be a chief ally in the exploitation of women and girls is indeed too much,” said the president of the Susan B. Anthony List. “Taxpayer support of Planned Parenthood is just that.”
The activist efforts will be centered around the website, which will allow visitors to send emails to lobby their congressional representatives to defund Planned Parenthood, which is funded under the Title X family planning program. This is the only source of federal funds for reproductive health and family planning, and provides coverage for “contraceptives, pelvic exams, breast exams, safer-sex counseling, and basic infertility counseling.” None of these funds can be used for abortions. Planned Parenthood received $16.9 million from Title X in 2009.
The campaign is accompanied by a video, also released on Tuesday, that allegedly shows a Planned Parenthood employee advising minors to provide false information in order to obtain an abortion. The FBI launched an investigation last month after Planned Parenthood reported strange visits to their facilities in January.
“The edited tape that is being publicized today by Live Action, an organization that has vowed to ‘take down’ Planned Parenthood, was shot during a visit by Live Action activists with secret cameras at Planned Parenthood health centers in New Jersey on January 13,” Stuart Schear, Vice President for Communications for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, explained. They believe that the video is a hoax, and given that the filmmaker, Lila Rose, worked with the filmmaker who made a series of highly misleading videos about ACORN during the last presidential campaign, this seems very plausible.
Planned Parenthood’s funding often comes under attack, but the combination of this campaign and H.R. 3 shows that activists who care about reproductive health need to stay vigilant. Planned Parenthood provides crucial services with this federal funding, and defunding would be a disaster for low-income Americans, particularly women, who rely on Planned Parenthood for reproductive health and family planning.
Photo from Flickr.