I was a Planned Parenthood affiliate chief executive, supervising a network of clinics in New York state, during the early days of this terrible recession. We ran deficits, cut hours, closed centers and laid off staff members. In a recession, things get very difficult — more and more people are in need, while government funds lag and donations dwindle. But still we did not turn patients away, even if they could not pay. At the same time, we had to fight political battles to preserve women’s rights to basic care and information about their sexual health. Those battles continue: Thursday, the House voted to defund Planned Parenthood permanently; the Senate opposed that measure. Amid the debate, let’s address some of the misperceptions about this nearly 100-year-old health-care organization.
1. Planned Parenthood’s federal funding frees up other money to pay for abortions.
Opponents of Planned Parenthood insist that giving the organization federal dollars allows it to spend other money in its budget to provide abortions. That is not possible — there is no other money.