The story broke yesterday that the Harris County, TX grand jury handed down two indictments against members of the Center for Medical Progress, the organization responsible for the “Planned Parenthood baby parts” videos released last year.
And, as stink upon manure, Planned Parenthood claimed that they did nothing wrong. Said PPFA spokesman Eric Ferrero:
As the dust settles and the truth comes out, it’s become totally clear that the only people who engaged in wrongdoing are the criminals behind this fraud, and we’re glad they’re being held accountable.
That statement is a lie. And, it’s the truth. Here’s why.
Planned Parenthood’s Multi-headed Structure
Planned Parenthood is an organization most opponents think of as a dragon. Most supporters think if it as a white horse, mane shimmering majestically, heroically in the breeze. Truth is, Planned Parenthood is a hydra.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America is the national organization. It has two overarching functions: receive and disperse funds. PPFA is the entity that receives hundreds of million in tax-funded grants. PPFA does not own a clinic. PPFA does not dispense birth control. PPFA does not perform a single abortion.
PPFA does not give money to Planned Parenthood clinics. The national organization “grants” money to Planned Parenthood affiliates of which there are 59 in America. Planned Parenthood affiliates do not directly receive federal tax dollars. PPFA serves as the filter through which tax dollars are dispersed.
The 59 Planned Parenthood affiliates operate between 600-700 individual clinics across the U.S., but most heavily concentrated in California (112 clinics), New Jersey (26 clinics), New York (59 clinics), and Texas (34 clinics). These four states account for around 1/3 of all Planned Parenthood clinics. These four states are home to 26 Planned Parenthood affiliates (nearly 50% of that national total). It is at the clinic (“Health Center”) level Planned Parenthood’s cash cow, abortion services, operates.
These totals do not include Planned Parenthood’s independent lobbying arm, the numerous “Public Affairs” offices, and other ancillary organizations.
With this multi-tiered structure, it is absolutely possible for Cecile Richards, Eric Ferrero, or any other PPFA spokesperson to say: We have broken no laws. They can say this with a straight face while referring to PPFA, and ignoring affiliates or individual clinics.
Planned Parenthood affiliates and clinics break the law often
Planned Parenthood advocates could not quickly enough proclaim the entity’s innocence after multiple states found no evidence of trafficking in fetal tissue. This despite the fact only three states even allowed tissue and organs from aborted fetuses to be donated for research. That one of these states is California is significant. California, the state with the most Planned Parenthood clinics, declined to do any investigation at all into the clinics in the state. Stem Express, the company implicated in procurement, shipping, and payment for fetal organs and tissue, is also located in California, so that lets them off the hook.
And, don’t forget, Cecile Richards stated before congress Planned Parenthood had (and has) done no internal investigation.
No investigation does not equate to innocence; not by a long shot.
What have investigations into Planned Parenthood revealed? Florida’s investigation found four Planned Parenthood clinics had violated state law by keeping “improper logs for disposal of fetal remains,” and found three PP clinics illegally performing second-trimester abortions.
In 2013, a Texas affiliate paid $4.3 million to settle a federal civil suit brought by the Department of Justice. The suit was for 6 years of fraudulent billing.
In Iowa, a whistleblower lawsuit filed by a 17-year Planned Parenthood employee/manager, alleges Medicaid fraud. PP is accused of buying birth control for $3, then billing Medicaid $35, being reimbursed $26.
A similar whistleblower lawsuit in Washington State alleges more than 25,000 false claims filed by Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest (an affiliate). Fined $700,000.
Planned Parenthood of Central New Jersey employee Amy Woodruff was fired in 2011 for “aiding and abetting” an investigator posing as a sex trafficker for girls as young as 13 years old.
Updated: Planned Parenthood of Northeastern Ohio fined $25,000 for improper storage of fetal tissue.
Planned Parenthood of Northern New England Action Fund fined $30,000 for campaign donation violations.
Until an investigation reveals lawbreaking at the national level, by employees of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, its leaders can continue to lie with a straight face knowing all the while that its clinics and affiliates break state and federal laws. I do not allege PPFA supports or defends affiliate law breaking, but it is clear they know it has happened, and they surely suspect it will happen again. It’s the nature of the beast.