Back in April, the Indiana state legislature voted to deny federal funding, including Medicaid, to Planned Parenthood, which has 28 clinics in the state. Governor Mitch Daniels signed the bill in May. Wisconsin and Texas have been considering similar measures, while Kansas and North Carolina have already passed legislation to defund Planned Parenthood.
Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in the state, performing more than half of Indiana’s abortions, according to their own statistics. Long-standing laws prohibit the use of federal funding for abortion, but Planned Parenthood gets around that by offering other health services as well, allowing all that fluid federal cash to sluice into the buckets that aren’t marked “abortion,” even though all the money ends up being poured into the same well.
When Governor Daniels signed the bill, he pointed out that “any organization affected by this provision can resume receiving taxpayer dollars immediately, by ceasing or separating its operations that perform abortions.”
Planned Parenthood responded with the charge that anyone who would tamper with their millions in federal funding “would rather play politics with women’s health than show leadership and fiscal responsibility,” to quote president Cecile Richards.
The organization has long maintained that they are the only practical source of various health services, other than abortion, for poor women. A press release from Richards put it this way: “It’s outrageous that Governor Mitch Daniels has signed a dangerous bill that would have a devastating impact on women’s health and take away health care from thousands of women in Indiana, leaving them at greater risk for undetected cancers, untreated infections and unintended pregnancies.”
She also warned ominously that the bill “will ultimately cost the state millions in federal funding” – a reference to President Obama’s threat to deny federal funding to the state, unless the Planned Parenthood money spigot is switched back on. Somehow that’s not playing politics with women’s health.
For the pure distillation of this talking point, consider DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s contention that cutting federal funding to Planned Parenthood is a “war on women,” or Rep. Louise Slaughter’s (D-NY) assertion that Republicans are “here to kill women.”
Live Action, the activist group that famously caught Planned Parenthood personnel on tape offering contraceptive services, and advice on evading the law, to people they thought were pimps with underage prostitutes, decided to make some phone calls to Indiana Planned Parenthood clinics, and ask the staffers if there were readily available alternative providers that could still accept Medicaid patients for women. Without exception, all 16 locations they contacted admitted that Medicaid patients still had access to these services.
One Planned Parenthood staffer advised the Live Action caller to contact her primary care physician for a Well Woman examination, while another conceded that the local community health center has “the same services we have.”
If the staffers had answered otherwise, they would have faced significant jeopardy for lying. Too bad that isn’t true for their national spokespersons and Democrat Party mouthpieces. It’s amazing how much truth you can squeeze out of Planned Parenthood by ignoring the press office and talking to the local employees.
Live Action president Lila Rose declared, “Indiana has become Ground Zero in the national battle to defund Planned Parenthood, the biggest abortion business in America. As more and more states, most recently Wisconsin and Texas, continue to defund the abortion giant of millions of dollars, Planned Parenthood wants us to believe they are the only game in town when it comes to providing care for Medicaid patients. In reality, their own staff admit that they aren’t the only option for women in need.”
So much for the “playing politics with women’s health” talking point. If you want to help Live Action finish the job of erasing it, they have launched an “I Stand With Indiana” online petition. With the propaganda cleared away, perhaps a rational discussion can resume.