Thirty-nine Planned Parenthood Federation of America affiliates together spent $271 million in federal grants from fiscal years 2016 to 2018, not counting Medicaid reimbursements, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office, a nonpartisan research arm of Congress.
The amount of money, which is sometimes allocated years in advance, was not substantially affected by the transition from Democratic President Barack Obama to Republican President Donald Trump in January 2017. The totals were $88 million in 2016, $93 million in 2017, and $89 million in 2018.
The affiliates cover all areas of the U.S., from Planned Parenthood of the Heartland to Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas to Planned Parenthood of Northern New England.
More than two-thirds of the money came from the Department of Health and Human Service’s Office of Population Affairs for its Family Planning Services program. Only small percentages came from other programs, such as those aimed at teenage pregnancy prevention, maternal and child health services, and HIV relief.
Republican lawmakers asked GAO auditors to tally the funds following a December 2020 GAO report that found that PPFA has more than 49 affiliates operating more than 600 centers across the country.
In addition to the grants given to Planned Parenthood either directly or through intermediaries, it also received reimbursement under Medicaid, the medical program for the impoverished, totaling $1.3 billion. Those costs are split between the federal government and states.
Planned Parenthood’s international outfit, the International Planned Parenthood Federation, also received more than $15 million from USAID, nearly all of which was spent on “family planning and reproductive health” abroad.
USAID also obligated $60 million in federal money to MSI Reproductive Choices (previously known as Marie Stopes International), which provides abortion and contraception across the world. Nearly $58 million of that money went to family planning and reproductive health, and $2 million went to HIV/AIDS.
The flow of funding went in both directions. Its employees and PACs donated nearly $6 million to political campaigns in the 2020 election cycle, and its super PACs, which can spend unlimited money advocating on behalf of candidates, spent nearly $13 million that cycle. That included $5.7 million boosting Joe Biden over Donald Trump, and $1.6 million attempting to unseat moderate Republican Susan Collins of Maine, according to OpenSecrets.org.
Planned Parenthood also spent $887,000 on lobbying in 2020, up from $683,000 in 2019. It lobbied on bills such as the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which “establishes requirements for the degree of care a health care practitioner must exercise in the event a child is born alive following an abortion or attempted abortion.”
“A health care practitioner who is present must (1) exercise the same degree of care as reasonably provided to another child born alive at the same gestational age, and (2) immediately admit the child to a hospital. The bill also requires a health care practitioner or other employee to immediately report any failure to comply with this requirement to law enforcement,” a Congressional Research Service summary of the bill says.
The federal government additionally funds research on fetal remains, which are often obtained from abortion providers.
The University of Pittsburgh received grants from the National Institutes of Health to fund experiments using aborted fetal tissue that involved scalping five-month-old fetuses in order to stitch their scalps and back skin onto lab rats and transporting fetal kidneys to other researchers, The Daily Wire reported in May.
In 2019, Trump halted fetal-tissue research by government scientists and imposed restrictions on researchers applying for federal grants for such research. In April, the Biden administration reversed those restrictions.