I like whistleblowers. I like anyone who risks their own hide to expose corruption. I particularly like the two young people who posed as a pimp and a prostitute and exposed the community organizing group, ACORN, (which received tons of federal dollars) after its employees encouraged them to lie to the IRS and provided them guidance on how to claim underage girls from South America as dependents.
So, I was very interested to read about the recent revelations made by two former Planned Parenthood employees-turned-whistleblowers.
First of all, I’d be curious to know how many people actually know how Planned Parenthood got its start. Its beginning can be traced back to 1916 when Margaret Sanger opened the first birth control clinic in Brooklyn, NY. It started out as the American Birth Control League and was later reorganized as Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc.
Sanger aligned herself with the eugenicists of the early 20th century. They espoused racial supremacy and “purity,” particularly of the “Aryan” race. They hoped to purify the bloodlines and improve the race by encouraging the “fit” to reproduce and the “unfit” to restrict their reproduction. They sought to contain the “inferior” races through segregation, sterilization, birth control and abortion. In 1939, she created the Negro Project, the aim of which was, to restrict – many believe exterminate – the black population under the pretense of “better health” and “family planning” according to Tanya Green, in her article, “The Negro Project: Margaret Sanger’s Eugenic Plan for Black Americans.”
Ms. Sanger wrote several books and numerous articles and papers and much has been written about her since she died in 1966. Whether she was truly a racist or wanted to restrict the “unfit” from having children, is debatable, but I think it’s interesting to expose Planned Parenthood’s dubious beginning.
Putting aside its connection to Margaret Sanger, I don’t like Planned Parenthood for a number of other reasons – all very much in the here and now.
Not only has it been the target of a few sting operations which have exposed a darker side of the organization, it opposes restrictions on abortions including laws requiring parental consent or notification for girls under the age of 18; it objects to laws requiring an ultrasound before abortion; and it objects to laws requiring a waiting period. It also opposes “conscience clauses” allowing pharmacists to refuse to dispense contraceptives if doing so would conflict with their personal beliefs.
Because of the Hyde Amendment, passed in 1976, which bars the use of federal funds for abortions, I wasn’t aware that Planned Parenthood received any federal funds. According to an American Life League review of PP’s annual reports, the organization received more than $2 billion in federal grants and contracts between 2002 and 2008. Recent figures show PP receiving $349.6 million in government grants and contracts for fiscal year 2008 alone.
In 2009, an effort to withhold U.S. family planning funds under Title X from Planned Parenthood of America failed in the House of Representatives. While Title X of the Public Health Services Act provides federal grants to programs that provide comprehensive family planning and related preventive health care services, Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., proponent of the amendment said, “But there’s no question that money that Planned Parenthood receives for its operational expenses from the federal government frees up resources that can be used to provide and promote abortions through its abortion clinics.”
Now, in 2010, we have former employee, Victor Gonzalez, alleging, in a federal lawsuit, the mishandling of federal monies by PP. According to Gonzalez, he saw millions in fraudulent overbilling to state and federal governments when he worked as CFO for PP of Los Angeles. When he reported the problems, he was fired. During his employment, audits uncovered more than $5.2 million in overbilling at a single office of PP in San Diego. His lawsuit outlines several transactions which he alleges show illegal activity. In one year, PP paid $225,695.65 for Ortho Tri-Cyclen birth control pills, yet billed the government $918,084.00. Although PP tried to have the case dismissed on a technicality, the federal court recently denied its motion.
Another whistleblower alleges improper ties between PP and its political arm which has launched an investigation by the IRS which refused to comment on whether an investigation is actually in progress. Planned Parenthood Federation of America announced it was disassociating itself from the clinics linked to the second whistleblower.
I know I probably sound like a broken record, but why are our tax dollars being sent to Planned Parenthood? Where in the Constitution is Congress authorized to do this?
It’s reminiscent of my experience with PBS back in the 90s. I used to contribute to PBS because I liked Masterpiece Theatre and Mystery! It then came to my attention that Newt Gingrich, then-House Speaker, was attempting to defund the Corporation for Public Broadcasting which, in turn, funded PBS. I had no idea our tax dollars funded PBS. After that revelation, every time I received an envelope for my annual pledge, I’d send it back with a note saying, “when the feds stop funding you with my tax dollars, let me know.”
If any private person wants to contribute to Planned Parenthood, PBS, ACORN or the National Endowment for the Arts, that’s fine with me. It’s their money; they can do with it as they please – I just don’t get where Congress is authorized to make these expenditures out of our tax dollars.
Don’t you agree that our tax dollars should go for more important things to help Americans like the $823,200 (which is part of a $12 million study by UCLA) of the President’s 2009 economic stimulus funds used to teach uncircumcised African men how to wash their genitals after having sex? Now that sounds like something that’s going to stimulate our economy.
There’s no question our federal government is hemorrhaging money and there’s no end in sight. I’m happy to see there are whistleblowers out there who bring this never-ending waste of tax dollars to our attention – even if my head wants to explode every time I read about them.
I don’t get all this funding, and if you do, God bless you.