The Susan B. Anthony List has come up with an innovative way to keep track of how many taxpayers' dollars are being freed up by taking the money away from Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the country: a state-by-state scoreboard that will be updated as state governments continue to act.
Since defunding Planned Parenthood has so far failed to pass at the federal level, cash-strapped states have been taking matters into their own hands. As of now, 8 states have taken away -- or have it on their schedule or have passed legislation to do so -- enough Planned Parenthood funding to total $60,399,000.
The numbers, however, have the potential to change daily, says Susan B. Anthony List communications director Ciara Matthews, and the scoreboard is a way to keep track of that.
The defunding is at various stages in each state, and the information under the scoreboard breaks down the specific steps taken in each state, since, due to varying government structures, the process is different. In Texas, for example, the legislature has passed a bill that will take $47 million of taxpayer funds away from Planned Parenthood, and the legislation received Gov. Rick Perry's signature. In New Hampshire, the executive council has refused a $1.8 million contract with Planned Parenthood.
Gov. Scott Walker, in addition to taking on the unions, has also cut $1 million in Planned Parenthood funding. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has cut $7.5 million.
Matthews points to two reasons why there's been such a strong trend recently to defund Planned Parenthood at the state level. One is the availability of information with social media. Planned Parenthood, she said, used to hide behind not telling the whole story when it comes to an unborn baby.
"I think it's really beginning to hit home to people that [this] isn't just a blob of cells," Matthews said.
The other reason is the poor economy. With the "massive financial crisis," Matthews points out, there are overwhelming demands to rein in spending, and many Americans are uncomfortable with taxpayer dollars going to fund abortions.