- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 23, 2016

Nothing irritates pro-life Republicans more than having Planned Parenthood officials insist they need federal funding to keep clinics open even as the organization’s campaign arm raises and spends millions to elect pro-choice Democrats.

The Planned Parenthood Action Fund recently launched ads on Craig’s List in Cleveland offering to pay up to $720 per week for door-to-door canvassers on behalf of Democratic candidates, with those hired earning between $15 to $18 per hour for up to 40 hours per week, LifeNews reported.

“One of the candidates certainly will be pro-abortion Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton,” who was endorsed by Planned Parenthood Action in January, LifeNews said.

Planned Parenthood Federation of America received $553.7 million in government grants and reimbursements in Fiscal Year 2015, about half its annual $1.1 billion budget, over the continued objections of pro-life advocates who argue that the funding violates federal prohibitions on funding abortion.

Planned Parenthood has countered that the federal dollars do not fund abortions except in circumstances allowed by law. The 100-year-old organization is the nation’s largest abortion provider.

“Without Planned Parenthood, many patients would not have timely access to basic reproductive health care,” PPFA president Cecile Richards said in a Sept. 29 letter to Congress.

PPFA is a 501c3 nonprofit, while Planned Parenthood Action is a 501c4 advocacy group.

The last year was a particularly tough one for Planned Parenthood. In January, President Obama vetoed a Republican-backed bill that would have defunded the organization in the aftermath of hidden-camera videos raising questions about the harvesting and sale of fetal tissue for medical research.

A dozen states have taken steps to defund local affiliates since the pro-life Center for Medical Progress began releasing the videos in July. Some Planned Parenthood affiliates are fighting the defunding efforts, while PPFA has filed a racketeering lawsuit against the center.

Planned Parenthood’s most recently released budget figures show its federal funding increased in one year by 4.8 percent even though its patient visits have dropped from 3 million to 2.5 million, the lowest total since 1998.

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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