Late last month, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels promised to sign legislation barring Planned Parenthood from receiving any federal funds in his state. This measure is long overdue: Planned Parenthood does not deserve one dime of taxpayer money. Not only is Planned Parenthood the biggest abortion chain in the country, but its Indiana affiliate has been caught on camera giving medical misinformation to women and covering up the sexual abuse of vulnerable underage girls with secret abortions.
Planned Parenthood has called the potential end to its taxpayer subsidy an “assault against women.” The abortion provider has even prepared to challenge the defunding in court - as if Planned Parenthood is entitled to Hoosiers’ money. But the real assault against women takes place inside Planned Parenthood clinics as a consequence of Planned Parenthood’s dangerous abortion-first mentality.
In 2008, Live Action conducted the Mona Lisa Project, in which our team of young people conducted undercover investigations of Planned Parenthood clinics across the country for their compliance with mandatory reporting laws for suspected sexual abuse of minors.
The results we discovered in Indiana were particularly shocking. I posed as a 13-year-old girl impregnated by my 31-year-old “boyfriend” and seeking a secret abortion so no one would find out about the abusive relationship. Faced with this clear case of sexual exploitation of a minor, Planned Parenthood’s Bloomington clinic nurse told me, “I didn’t hear the age, OK? I don’t know the age” and coached me to tell anyone who asked about my “boyfriend,” “He’s 14 and in your grade, or whatever.” On the same day, the Planned Parenthood counselor in the Indianapolis abortion clinic told me, “I don’t care how old he is” and coached me on how to keep the sexual relationship with the 31-year-old a secret from my parents. Both clinics advised going to abortion centers out of state to skirt Indiana’s parental consent law.
In 2009, Live Action also released undercover footage of Planned Parenthood in Indiana offering grossly inaccurate medical misinformation to pressure women into choosing abortion. Most recently, in February, we released videos of Planned Parenthood clinics in multiple states aiding and abetting the purported sex traffickers of girls as young as 14 and 15.
Planned Parenthood has never publicly acknowledged guilt for these egregious violations of state law and young women’s safety, instead opting to scapegoat individual workers and treat their violations as isolated incidents.
Amid these scandals, Planned Parenthood of Indiana performed 5,580 abortions last year (the actual number may be as many as three times higher, based on what Planned Parenthood’s Indianapolis abortion clinic told our investigators) representing revenue of about $2.5 million for its $15.6 million budget. Planned Parenthood of Indiana managed to increase its abortion numbers by 12 percent from 2008 to 2010. Unfortunately, with “product growth” like that, it may have no problem making up for its loss of government subsidies.
Meanwhile, as Planned Parenthood of Indiana increases its abortion numbers, nearly 80 federally qualified health centers across the state provide a full range of comprehensive health care services to women, men and children and serve patients regardless of their ability to pay. Compare that to just 28 Planned Parenthood clinics in Indiana, which offer a limited range of “family planning” services and do not treat patients for free.
The case against Planned Parenthood of Indiana is overwhelming. It ought to have lost its taxpayer subsidies years ago, and many welcome Mr. Daniels‘ decision to end the nearly $3 million in public subsidies Planned Parenthood of Indiana receives each year. Now is the time for all Americans and our representatives to demand an end to Planned Parenthood’s government funding. The defunding of this lawless and dangerous organization would be a victory for women, young girls and unborn children everywhere.
Lila Rose is president of Live Action (LiveAction.org).