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Planned Parenthood, which says it needs taxpayer money for 'health care,' just announced that its political arm will spend $45M on the 2020 elections
LAURA SEGALL/AFP via Getty Images

Planned Parenthood, which says it needs taxpayer money for 'health care,' just announced that its political arm will spend $45M on the 2020 elections

'It is a matter of life and death'

Planned Parenthood's political arm will spend $45 million on pro-abortion candidates in 2020, the most ever spent by the organization in an election season, CBS News reports.

The organization hopes to shape congressional and state-level races, in addition to the presidential election, as a part of its newly launched electoral push, dubbed "We Decide 2020."

"The stakes have never been higher," Planned Parenthood Votes Executive Director Jenny Lawson told CBS News.

"[The Trump administration] has managed to undo so much over the last three years ... the fact that this summer the Supreme Court might gut Roe v. Wade is an indicator of their intention and they've never been so bold," she said.

The money will flood into nine battleground states — Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin — and will fund grassroots programs, canvassing, digital, television, and radio ads, and mailers.

In a video released promoting the launch of "We Decide 2020," speakers characterized the year's upcoming elections as a matter of "life and death" for many people.

"Can I be blatantly honest? My life is at stake in this next election," one speaker said.

"It is a matter of life and death to have access to quality health care," another exclaimed.


Planned Parenthood says it needs federal funding for 'health care'

Pro-life advocates have long-desired to cut federal taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood, arguing that such funding has allowed the organization to grow its abortion industry while its other health care offerings shrink.

In 2018, the Heritage Foundation reported that from 2013 to 2015 Planned Parenthood received over $1.5 billion in taxpayer funds. Yet in that same time frame the organization's number of routine health care services, including cancer screenings, breast examinations, HPV vaccinations, and prenatal services all declined considerably — one service that continued to grow: abortion.

The way federal funding generally works for the organization is in the form of reimbursement for medical procedures through federal programs such as Medicaid, and formerly Title X, the nation's family planning program.

Planned Parenthood is careful to make that distinction in a post on one of its websites titled, "How Federal Funding Works at Planned Parenthood."

But in the same post, which responds to the "defund Planned Parenthood" movement, the organization warns that cutting its funding would have "devastating consequences" for many Americans seeking health care, because "what Planned Parenthood health centers do is health care."

But, in August 2019, Planned Parenthood removed itself from the Title X program after new rules prohibited Title X grantees from providing or referring patients for abortion, except in rare cases, further suggesting that what Planned Parenthood does is abortion, not health care.

According to information on its website, Planned Parenthood Votes, the entity in charge of the "We Decide 2020" campaign, is financially independent from the main Planned Parenthood organization that runs its clinics.

But, given that the entity shares a name and a mission with Planned Parenthood, the optics don't look good. When an entity directly related to Planned Parenthood is spending a whopping $45 million on an electoral push, it begs the question: Is Planned Parenthood really in desperate need of federal funding?

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