Ex-Im and Planned Parenthood: Where are Our Priorities?

Ex-Im and Planned Parenthood: Where are Our Priorities?

Boeing donates to Planned Parenthood, and is the primary beneficiary of Ex-Im. The Senate has voted to continue funding both.

Last weekend the Senate blocked a vote on an amendment offered by Senator Mike Lee to stop federal taxpayer dollars from going to America’s largest abortionist, Planned Parenthood. Even in the middle of an ongoing release of a series of videos showing senior Planned Parenthood officials negotiating over the price of the hearts, lungs, and livers of the unborn children they’ve destroyed, seemingly in violation of federal law, it was evidently too much to expect that we would stop taxpayer dollars from going to Planned Parenthood.

The disappointment for many was heightened by seeing the Senate place other priorities, like the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank, above holding Planned Parenthood accountable. The Senate voted to restore Ex-Im’s funding, but not to end Planned Parenthood’s.

The Senate promises to vote to defund Planned Parenthood before its August recess. But as the Heritage Foundation’s Jim DeMint explains, when Senate leadership could allow an amendment to must-pass legislation (the highway bill) in order to give it the best chance of being enacted into law, it refused. It chose to permit an amendment to restore funding for what some are calling a corporate welfare program that directs tens of billions of dollars to large corporations while simultaneously refusing to even consider stopping the half billion in taxpayer funds that flow annually to Planned Parenthood. This is revealing and profoundly disappointing.

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21. One need not be a Christian to agree with the wisdom of that statement. We put our money into things we care about. Where is America’s treasure? Where are our priorities?

Planned Parenthood is a billion-dollar corporation that receives almost half its revenue from taxpayers. Last year it had “excess revenue” – what most people would call profit – of $127 million. It looks like a business, and it thinks like a business. As Planned Parenthood’s Senior Director of Medical Services Dr. Deborah Nucatola points out to her prospective baby parts buyer over wine and salad, “We have 40 percent of the [abortion] market in the whole country.”

Planned Parenthood also engages politicians like a corporation concerned about its bottom line. In 2012, it spent roughly $12 million (at least) to elect the politicians it could trust to keep the taxpayer cash flowing. Thus it is no surprise that Minority Leader Harry Reid would tweet yesterday, “To Republicans who are trying to defund Planned Parenthood: Good luck with that.” This is what cronyism looks like. Planned Parenthood profits off American taxpayers, and it spends millions to protect its protectors in D.C.

Corporations are also funding Planned Parenthood. And unlike taxpayer funding, there is typically not even a fig leaf of pretending to restrict funds to uses other than abortions. The Daily Signal has compiled a list of companies that gave to Planned Parenthood, observing that roughly one quarter of Planned Parenthood’s funding comes from private donations, including corporate contributions. But there are others that are now scrubbed from Planned Parenthood’s website. For example, according to a screenshot of Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette’s website, Boeing was one of its corporate donors through matching gifts.

And this returns us to last weekend’s action in the Senate. The primary beneficiary of the Ex-Im Bank is Boeing. It receives billions in loan guarantees and direct loans, purportedly to keep it competitive with foreign companies. Yet Boeing donates an unknown amount of funds to Planned Parenthood. Taxpayers are funding Boeing, and Boeing is funding Planned Parenthood. The United States Senate voted to keep funding streams open to both Boeing and Planned Parenthood. It’s fair to ask if Boeing needs our money, but it’s even more fair to ask if Planned Parenthood deserves it.

It’s time to take our treasure out of Planned Parenthood. Anyone can call his or her member of Congress and demand that they end Planned Parenthood funding. And anyone can call Boeing or any of the companies that gave to Planned Parenthood and ask why they are continuing to fund an organization that is selling the hearts, lungs, and livers of unborn children.

Casey Mattox is a constitutional lawyer who has represented students across the country and now serves as senior fellow at the Charles Koch Institute.
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