Planned Parenthood routinely claims that abortion makes up only three percent of its services. But its actions say otherwise: abortion is 100 percent its focus. What’s more, it’s a focus that the 2020 Democrats are applauding.
On Monday, Planned Parenthood announced that it would rather refuse millions of dollars in federal family-planning funding than stop performing or referring abortions. The decision came after the Trump administration released new regulations prohibiting Title X funding from organizations connected to abortion.
According to a New York Times report, Planned Parenthood receives an estimated $60 million annually through Title X. But the nation’s largest abortion provider isn’t hurting for money.
“The abortion giant reported $245 million in excess revenue and more than $630 million in private contributions in its most recent annual report,” Melanie Israel, a research associate at The Heritage Foundation, noted in response to the news.
Americans wouldn’t know that from listening to Planned Parenthood. On Monday, the organization warned on Twitter that the “Trump admin is forcing us out of the Title X program” in a “direct attack.”
Its messaging found support in Democratic presidential candidates, who largely repeated Planned Parenthood’s talking points. According to them, President Trump was to blame for Planned Parenthood’s unwavering commitment to abortion.
Sen. Kamala Harris of California tweeted that the president’s “domestic gag rule is forcing Planned Parenthood out of Title X” which would affect “access to affordable birth control and critical reproductive care for millions of people.”
Like Planned Parenthood, she failed to mention that the Title X funding will now go to alternative centers and clinics not associated with abortion – rather than disappear.
For his part, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted that Planned Parenthood was “forced” into its decision while entrepreneur Andrew Yang also accused the Trump administration for “effectively forcing Planned Parenthood out of the Title X program.”
Several others insisted that the new rule meant cutting off health care for millions. This was President Trump’s fault, not Planned Parenthood’s, they said.
Former vice president Joe Biden called the move a “direct attack” on Planned Parenthood where “Access to health care could be taken away from millions of women.”
Former congressman Beto O’Rourke of Texas also criticized President Trump for “jeopardizing the health of more than a million people.” He directed his supporters to “Please donate to @PPFA today.”
South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg of Indiana likewise condemned the “attack on women” that he said promises to “cost millions of women—especially low-income women of color—access to safe, affordable care.”
From Minnesota, Sen. Amy Klobuchar argued that President Trump “is jeopardizing the health of millions of people.”
Congressman Seth Moulton of Massachusetts also worried about the “More than 1.5 million low-income women” who “could lose access to reproductive care” while Congressman Tim Ryan of Ohio accused the Trump administration of limiting “access to birth control & reproductive health care for the millions of people who need it most.”
To them, abortion was health care.
Washington Governor Jay Inslee complained about the “draconian, unethical gag rule” because “reproductive health care is health care.”
Like Insee, several other Democrats used Planned Parenthood’s language, calling the new rule a “gag” for keeping doctors quiet on abortion.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts blamed the Trump administration for the “gag rule” while Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont also criticized the president and Republicans for the “attack on women's rights” with the “gag rule.”
At the same time, Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey urged that “Congress must reverse this harmful gag rule.”
As they continued to use Planned Parenthood’s phrasing, none of them held back from pointing fingers at President Trump.
From New York, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand accused the Trump administration of “trying to hold health care providers hostage” while Democratic donor Tom Steyer tweeted that the rule “is just another Trump policy aimed at mollifying his base while punishing low-income citizens.”
A couple of candidates considered other messaging. Montana Governor Steve Bullock tweeted, “I #standwithPP,” while former congressman Joe Sestak of Pennsylvania tweeted multiple times that the rule “endangers freedom of speech.”
The Trump administration had a different take. On August 20, Vice President Mike Pence responded, “Planned Parenthood’s withdrawal from Title X shows it will always choose abortion over health care for vulnerable women.”
He concluded, “Taxpayer dollars should never go to an org that recklessly disregards the sanctity of life.”