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Planned Parenthood receives record amount of taxpayer support

 

Planned Parenthood reported receiving a record $542 million in taxpayer support in fiscal 2012, marking a steady increase in government funding despite Republican-led efforts at the state and federal levels to cut off that stream. 

The funding figures were included in the abortion provider's annual report released Monday. The numbers showed roughly 45 percent of Planned Parenthood's budget now comes from taxpayer dollars. 

Pro-life groups quickly seized on the report to renew their calls for Congress to "defund" Planned Parenthood. 

"Americans are sick and tired of underwriting the nation's largest abortion business," said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List. 

Republican Tennessee Rep. Diane Black said the report "underscores the pressing need to cut off all federal funding for Planned Parenthood." 

The Republican-controlled House voted in the last session to strip federal funding for the organization But the measure did not advance. 

Separate efforts at the state level to yank funding have been blocked by the courts. Mostly recently, a federal appeals court in October blocked Indiana from carrying out a law to cut Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood. 

According to the latest annual report, the $542 million in taxpayer support last year counted Medicaid money. The total represents a steady increase, up 11 percent from $487 million the year before; that amount was up 34 percent from $363 million the year before that. 

Planned Parenthood spokesman Eric Ferrero said in a statement that the latest report shows "that we remain one of the nation's leading providers of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people." 

Planned Parenthood also slammed a renewed effort in Congress by Black and others to strip certain federal funding to the group. 

"Some members of Congress just don't get it. Two years ago, the first order of business for Tea Party Republicans was blocking women's access to health care and defunding Planned Parenthood, and now they're at it again," president Cecile Richards said. "They apparently learned nothing from the results of the last election, when Americans said overwhelmingly that they do not want politicians dictating women's access to health care. This legislation would limit women's access to the wide range of preventive health care services that Planned Parenthood health centers provide, including cancer screenings, breast exams and birth control." 

The latest annual report also showed Planned Parenthood performed nearly 334,000 abortions in 2011, which The Susan B. Anthony List said was a record. Though federal funding is not supposed to go toward abortions, pro-life groups and lawmakers still suggested a connection between the increases. 

"Planned Parenthood has spent much of the last few years demanding that taxpayers add millions more to their coffers, citing their non-profit status and so-called focus on women's health. What have we received for our money? While government subsidies to Planned Parenthood have reached an all time high, so too has the number of lives ended by this profit-driven abortion business," Dannenfelser said. 

Planned Parenthood argues that it provides a range of services aside from abortions. The annual report showed the group provided STD treatment and testing for 4.5 million people. Planned Parenthood provided cancer screening and prevention services for 1.3 million people. 

The group also provides pregnancy tests and contraceptive services.