California legislators vote to honor Planned Parenthood

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JANUARY 20, 2016

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BY LORI ARNOLD, RESEARCH ANALYST

On the eve of the 43rd anniversary of legalized abortion in the United States, the California Assembly passed a new resolution praising abortion rights and the landmark Roe v. Wade decision. Former Assembly speaker Toni Atkins introduced House Resolution (HR) 32 earlier this month, which reads in part:

“Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, that the Assembly urges the President of the United States and the United States Congress to express their support for a woman’s fundamental right to control her own reproductive decisions, as well as their support for access to comprehensive reproductive health care, including the services provided by Planned Parenthood …”

On Tuesday, the resolution passed the Assembly by a vote of 53-22, with four Members not recording a vote. During the floor debate before the vote, Assembly Members Shannon Grove, Jim Patterson, Marie Waldron and James Gallagher each gave spirited interventions in opposition to the resolution. Republicans Catharine Baker, Ling Ling Chang, and Brian Maienschein broke with their party to vote in favor of the proposal, while three Republicans had no votes recorded (Travis Allen, Kristin Olsen and David Hadley). Not a single Democrat opposed the resolution.

John Gerardi, Legal Counsel and Communications Director for California Family Council, was present for the floor debate and vote. He stated the following:

“This vote was a triumph of will and power over reason, justice and love. While it is encouraging to see so many more Assembly members directly opposing this annual resolution, it is still tragically sad to see the California Legislature honoring a judicial decision that even liberal scholars regarded as a sham of legal reasoning. No state legislature should honor this tyrannical act of federal judicial lawmaking, which overturned the abortion laws of all 50 states on incredibly flimsy grounds. Assembly Member Grove was particularly correct in opposing the language of the resolution honoring Planned Parenthood, an organization that has actively participated in the trafficking of the body parts of unborn children. As Assembly Members Gallagher, Waldron, and Patterson stated in their powerful remarks during the floor debate, our government should be celebrating life and adoption, not the “right” of the powerful to end the lives of the weak.”

In addition to HR 32, a California state Senator has resurrected her own legislation extolling the “virtues” of Planned Parenthood. The resolution, originally titled “Relative to Planned Parenthood,” was introduced last August by Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara). Jackson recently amended it using the more innocuous phrase “women’s reproductive health” in place of “Planned Parenthood.”

Largely symbolic, the resolution asks the President and the Congress to support access to “comprehensive reproductive health care, including the services provided by Planned Parenthood, and to oppose efforts to eliminate federal funding for Planned Parenthood.”

Jackson amended her resolution on Jan. 6, the same day the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Senate’s budget reconciliation bill. The funding bill would have suspended federal money for Planned Parenthood and instead redirecting the money to other comprehensive community health care providers.

Predictably, President Barak Obama vetoed the bill on Jan. 8.

“The president has chosen to continue funding for the abortion giant that helped get him elected rather than expand health care choices for women,” said Casey Mattox, senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). “All he has done is kill an historic bill that would have redirected existing funding from the scandal-plagued Planned Parenthood to thousands of better, low-cost community health care providers that serve women and families far more comprehensively. It is past time to end the government’s immoral partnership with Planned Parenthood that has been forced upon the American people.”

The Republican-controlled House and Senate supported the funding cuts after persistent reports of unethical behavior at Planned Parenthood, including last summer’s release of stunning undercover videos showing that the nation’s largest abortion provider was trafficking the body parts of aborted babies. Long the golden child of liberals, Planned Parenthood has also been accused of fraudulent billing practices and failing to report the sexual abuse of girls, some of them victims of human trafficking.

According to ADF, American taxpayers have subsidized Planned Parenthood to the tune of $4 billion over the past decade while enjoying nearly $1 billion in profits.

Even though federal funding continues to pour into Planned Parenthood’s coffers, the organization’s 2014–2015 annual report shows that the number of services it provided dropped 11 percent from 2013 to 2014, even as government grants and reimbursements increased 4.9 percent, according to American Life League. The 2.5 million patients served by Planned Parenthood is the fewest since 1998.

The annual report was quietly released just before New Year’s.

“It is absolutely incredible that Planned Parenthood continues to get more and more taxpayer dollars while its customer base and services provided plummets,” said Jim Sedlak, vice president of American Life League (ALL). “An 11 percent decrease in services and a record low number of clients are very significant …”

Interestingly, ALL reported that while government funding for Planned Parenthood increased by $25.3 million, private contributions to the organization decreased by $38.3 million.

“Apparently,” he said, “private individuals are more aware of the horrors perpetrated by Planned Parenthood and are taking action to reduce their gifts to the organization.”
The number of reported abortions also dropped by more than 3,600, a small but significant decrease.

“Although this may seem to be a small drop, it continues a trend of Planned Parenthood’s decreasing abortion business,” Sedlak said. “This year’s number is the lowest number of annual abortions at Planned Parenthood since 2007.”

Although Planned Parenthood appears to be losing its luster nationally, California’s liberal legislative caucus continues to dig in their heels, obstinately pushing forward their agenda to provide abortions at any cost. Consider these actions over the past few years:

  • Pregnancy Care Clinics have been ordered to promote abortion in their lobbies, literature or websites.
  • Medi-Cal reimbursement rates for abortions were increased by 40 percent while all other reimbursements for medical providers and hospitals were cut by 10 percent.
  • Safety standards for women have been compromised after certain classes of nurses across the state were given the green light to perform surgical abortions.
  • Access to abortion has increased after building regulations for abortion clinics have been eliminated.

With the 2016 legislative session just underway, it’s too early to see what other pro-abortion laws may be looming on the horizon. But, as in the past, California Family Alliance and our sister organization, California Family Council, are committed to protecting life.

Will you join us?

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