President Obama became the first sitting President to address Planned Parenthood this week, speaking to roughly a thousand supporters at the organization’s national conference in Washington, D.C.
The President lauded the organization’s efforts in helping pass Obamacare, particularly the preventative services mandate that is currently trampling on many employers’ fundamental freedom by forcing them to provide and pay for coverage of abortion-inducing drugs and contraception in their health plans.
Now, with that coercive mandate and countless other rules set to fully take effect over the next few months, President Obama requested Planned Parenthood’s assistance in implementing the new health care law.
“I’m here to also ask for your help, because we need to get the word out,” he told the room full of advocates and supporters. “We need you to tell your patients, your friends, your neighbors, your family members what the health care law means for them.… Make sure they know that there are plans out there right now that cover the cost of contraception and preventive care free of charge. We’ve got to spread the word.”
The President’s call for assistance comes after rumors that Planned Parenthood representatives could act as “navigators” under the new health care law. A proposed rule released by the Administration earlier this month outlined “navigators” role in informing individuals about their options under Obamacare and guiding consumers’ entry into state and federal insurance exchanges. The same proposal suggested these Obamacare “navigators” receive anywhere from $20 to $48 per hour in taxpayer-funded compensation.
Planned Parenthood and its representatives hardly need additional taxpayer dollars or the President’s celebrity fundraising appearance to make ends meet. The organization that performs one out of every four abortions in the United States has ridden the waves of taxpayer funding—over half a billion in 2011 alone—reported excess revenues exceeding $87 million and net assets of more than $1.2 billion in its last reporting year.
The President spoke to Planned Parenthood despite criticism that his support for the nation’s largest abortion provider comes in the midst of his reluctance to comment on the murder trial of late-term abortionist Kermit Gosnell.
When asked last about the gruesome case that has shocked the nation, the President briefly responded that he would not comment on an ongoing criminal trial but believes “abortion should be safe, legal, and rare.”
Instead, he took time in his speech to belittle the tireless and effective work of pro-life advocates who daily seek to reclaim a culture that values and protects human dignity and life –for those just born and yet to be.
But for the efforts of Planned Parenthood—which allegedly turned a blind eye to the safety of women in Delaware and Pennsylvania, advocates against legal protections for newborns, and consistently adds to the more than 3,000 abortions performed in the United States every day—the President’s feelings couldn’t be clearer: “I want you to know,” he ended his speech, “that you’ve got a President who’s going to be right there with you, fighting every step of the way.”
American taxpayers, however, shouldn’t be forced to share the President’s views on abortion. Policymakers looking for organizations capable of funding more of their own activities and wishing to put limited federal tax dollars for women’s health to more efficient and effective use would do well to view Planned Parenthood’s subsidies with a critical eye.