The Yearly Federal Budget for Planned Parenthood: About the Cost of Two F-35 Fighter Jets

Misleading and dishonest chart shown at Congressional hearing to attack Planned Parenthood
Misleading and dishonest chart shown at Congressional hearing to attack Planned Parenthood

W.J. Astore

My wife and I were talking about the Republican attack on Planned Parenthood and how ludicrous it is in the grand scheme of things.  The Federal Government contributes just over $500 million to the budget of Planned Parenthood.  That’s the equivalent of two F-35 jet fighters to support vitally important health services provided at 700 clinics across the country.  Talk about bang for the buck!

If a person playing with a full deck had to make a choice, which would she choose to fund: basic medical and information services for nearly three million Americans each year, or two underperforming F-35 jet fighters?  Indeed, for the projected cost of the F-35 program, you could easily fund Planned Parenthood for more than 2000 years!

Speaking of Planned Parenthood, it’s reassuring to know such centers and clinics exist, especially given how squeamish Americans are, generally speaking, about sex.  Planned Parenthood provides invaluable services at low cost, but I guess Congress prefers funding extraneous jet fighters at sky-high cost.

The true chart for the services rendered by Planned Parenthood is below, courtesy of Politifact.  The false chart had been used to suggest Planned Parenthood was increasing abortions and decreasing cancer screening services.  But a decline in cancer screening is due mainly to changes in frequency of pap smears, and abortion rates have held steady across time.  Note all of the other services provided, to include screening for STDs.

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Of course, phony charts and Congressional hearings are all about politics and hot button issues like abortion.  Hysterical opposition to Planned Parenthood is a cynical exercise in emotional manipulation by disinformation and scare-mongering.  The sad thing is how easily it gains traction in our country.

Even as Republican men (yes — it’s mostly men) beat their collective chests about Planned Parenthood, consider that the Federal Budget (discretionary) for FY 2016 is $1.168 trillion.  Recall that total federal funding for Planned Parenthood is a mere $500 million.  If this was shown on a pie chart, the budgetary piece for Planned Parenthood would not be a slice; not even a sliver.  It would be a flake off of the crust.

Compare this to defense spending, Homeland Security, and war funding, which constitutes more than half the federal pie (discretionary spending), and which a Republican Congress wants to increase.  Still think we should focus on flakes off the crust of the pie?

For shame, Congress.  For shame, all of us, for allowing our politics to be manipulated by liars, opportunists, and ignoramuses.

(Note: Planned Parenthood “provides sexual and reproductive health care, education, information, and outreach to more than five million women, men, and adolescents worldwide each year.  2.7 million women and men in the United States annually visit Planned Parenthood affiliate health centers for trusted health care services and information.”  Well, they would say that, wouldn’t they?  Except that it’s true.)

16 thoughts on “The Yearly Federal Budget for Planned Parenthood: About the Cost of Two F-35 Fighter Jets

  1. The unfortunate, infuriating fact–for those of us playing with full decks–is that the “religious” extreme right has achieved major gains in denying abortions to American women de facto. This is done on the state or local level, with requirements for “admitting rights” at local hospitals for physicians employed at the clinics, etc. Some clinics have been put out of business by physical violence or the threat thereof. (That’s how “good Christians” behave, right, by tossing firebombs and shooting doctors?) Thus, Roe v. Wade is being overturned not by SCOTUS or national legislation, but locally. In the best of all possible worlds, abortions would only be necessitated by medical complications of a pregnancy rather than unwanted, destined-to-become-unloved, children. Last I checked, unfortunately we haven’t yet arrived in that best of all possible worlds.

    Finally, I would suggest one revision to the original post: using the phrases “defense spending” and “war funding” in the same sentence is oxymoronic. The former is just a phantasmagorical smokescreen for the latter!

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  2. These tactics are not new, particularly when applied to religion. We had several examples through History of how you can gain “new believers” with the Crusades and the chritianization of native cultures. Whenever the church joined the imperialistic efforts by the invading forces they massacred and prayed all at the same time. Before and after, the after including rape, torturing and killing the original inhabitants of the land. I have joined the fight to stop the sainthood of Junipero Sierra. It is a beginning.

    The worst part of this manipulation is the door that the corrupted politicians open to the hierarchy of the church to become part in the scheme. And how the church immediately becomes the chief of the manipulators allowing the corrupted politicians to sit back and watch the people fighting for their rights. In this case, these same politicians take advantage of the free time the church gives them, to pay their doctors to get abortions for their young aids. In fact members of the church and politicians have both become very well trained wolves. We could say, shared family business.

    The sexual corruption among politicians is well known. Recently there were several scandals in the Parliament in Great Britain. Here we do not have free press so very little is made public. Still they could not cover up the rape numbers happening in our military schools and military training centers. Rape of young women and young men.

    In the Supreme Court we have a Justice that was accused of sexual harassment during his confirmation hearings. Regardless, he was appointed. Moral values seem not to be important for a Justice of the Supreme Court. Then, it is understandable the low quality and partiality of the decisions by SCOTUS.

    Starting at five years old my family -traditionally Catholic- used to tell me, be aware that there is a wolf under the cassock! Strange? I was lucky to have a wonderful family! And I was always ready to fight the wolf! In fact, later on in life, a wolf ran after me all around the church. But I was faster.

    In the USA the wolves helped by money have multiplied and are all over the place and can be extremely dangerous with their decisions that affect our personal integrity (well being?) and our democracy.

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