Fact-Check: Planned Parenthood Can and Does Use Federal Tax Dollars for Abortions

By Dustin Siggins Published on November 30, 2016

Since November 8, the abortion industry has been in a panic. President-elect Donald Trump has reiterated a promise to nominate a pro-life justice to the U.S. Supreme Court, and pro-life leaders are pushing for Trump to uphold a vow to defund Planned Parenthood as long as it conducts abortions. Additionally, the annual Hyde Amendment provision that bans most federal funding for abortions could become permanent law, as could a ban on most abortions after 20 weeks’ gestation.

The inside baseball on the politics of defunding Planned Parenthood were examined by Politico on Monday, in a piece that was the leading article for the prominent publication’s website. That piece twice falsely claimed that federal funding cannot be used for abortions.

Politico Versus Facts on the Hyde Amendment

According to Politico (emphasis added):

Federal law already bars Planned Parenthood from using taxpayer funds for abortions; the group uses the money for family planning and other health services. But anti-abortion groups insist the funding facilitates abortion by freeing up other funds for abortion services.


After Planned Parenthood, advocates are expected to take aim at banning abortion at 20 weeks of pregnancy and making the Hyde amendment — which bans the use of federal money for abortions — permanent. 

These claims were made in adjacent paragraphs near the top of the article. However, none other than Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards has disputed this, in her testimony to Congress last year:

In her opening statement to the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee, Cecile Richards said that “while the federal policy, in my opinion, discriminated against low-income women, no federal funds pay for abortion services at PP or anywhere else except in the very limited circumstances allowed by law.”

Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s website spells out the details on “the very limited circumstances allowed by law” claimed by Richards:

Since 1976, the Hyde Amendment has blocked federal Medicaid funding for abortion services (since 1994, there have been  three extremely narrow exceptions: when continuing the pregnancy will endanger the woman’s life, or when the pregnancy results from rape or incest). 

(Like Politico, Planned Parenthood needs a little brushing up on its history. The Hyde Amendment originally allowed the federal funding of abortion if the mother’s life was at risk. The other exceptions were applied starting in 1994.) 

Politico’s reporters could have also looked at the 1993 Hyde language, which is still in force today. From the official “purpose” of the 1993 bill:

An amendment to prohibit the use of any funds appropriated in the bill for any abortion except, when it is necessary to save the life of the mother or when the pregnancy is the result of an act of rape or incest.

Planned Parenthood Uses Federal Dollars for Abortion

Clearly, Politico missed the boat on the federal funding of abortion as related to the Hyde Amendment; the statutory language of the Amendment is clear. Additionally, Richards’ statement indicates that Planned Parenthood explicitly uses federal funding for abortions. 

There are other ways Planned Parenthood funds abortions with federal tax dollars. For example, many of the pregnancy-preventing contraceptives provided by Planned Parenthood and paid for by taxpayers double as pregnancy-ending (read: abortion-inducing) drugs and devices. While the abortion industry and its allies dispute this, it is easily proven through simple scientific observation.”

These scientific realities were the basis for Hobby Lobby’s victory against the Obama administration’s contraception/abortifacient/sterilization mandate. Planned Parenthood and other abortion advocates maintain that the science of unborn life can be ignored, and that the definition of human life as applies to the unborn is quite subjective and flexible. They often cite the Food & Drug Administration’s unwillingness to categorize pregnancy-ending drugs and devices as causing abortions — a disturbingly anti-science choice by the federal agency. 

The Congressional Budget Office estimated that Planned Parenthood received $60 million in Title X funding in 2014, which is where the bulk of federally-funded contraceptives are provided.

Note: Multiple efforts by this reporter to convince one of the article’s reporters to correct the article prior to this fact-check were unsuccessful.

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  • Hillary Allen (aka Canuck)

    Fact check – this is false. Shame on you.

    • Emtieswall

      “Shame on you”?


      Kindergarten talk.

      • Hillary Allen (aka Canuck)

        Trying to pass off fake information as true – heinous and sleazy (and potentially criminal).

      • Hillary Allen (aka Canuck)

        Q: How much of Planned Parenthood’s services are dedicated to abortions? Does the federal government fund those procedures?
        A: Abortions represent 3 percent of total services provided by Planned Parenthood, and roughly 10 percent of its clients received an abortion. The group does receive federal funding, but the money cannot be used for abortions by law.

        Planned Parenthood cannot use the money it receives from the federal government for abortions anyway. According to the Department of Health and Human Service’s website, “by law, Title X funds may not be used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning.” Medicaid funding is restricted by the Hyde Amendment to only abortion cases involving rape, incest or endangerment to the life of the mother. The federal budget deal now bans Washington, D.C., from using its funds to pay for abortions.

        • Toro

          abortions account for 83% of their revenue stream – even Cecil Richards admitted this

          • Hillary Allen (aka Canuck)

            You have been lied to. Not surprising. Facts don’t seem to matter to some people anymore.
            No, Abortion Is Not 86% of Planned Parenthood’s Revenue
            October 1, 2015 by Libby Anne 113 Comments
            In Tuesdays’ congressional hearings, Rep. Cynthia Lummis asked Planned Parenthood Federation of America President Cecile Richards the following question:
            If you look at the 2013 statistics that you report, abortions, from revenue, would have been over 86% of your non-government (health services) revenue. How do you explain this massive disparity between the amount of revenue you collect from abortion and the fact that you only report 3% of your services being abortion?”
            Richards responded by pointing out, again, that federal funds do not go toward abortion funding and correctly noting that abortion procedures are more expensive than some of the other procedures provided by Planned Parenthood.
            Nevertheless, opponents of Planned Parenthood are now running headlines like this:
            ‘Cecile Richards: Abortion is 86% of Planned Parenthood’s revenue!!!’
            This is incredibly dishonest, both because the 86% figure came from Lummis and was never confirmed by Richards and because it is patently and obviously false that abortion makes up 86% of Planned Parenthood’s revenue. In fact, the headline distorts what Lummis herself said—she made it clear that the 86% figure she stated had to do with non-government (health services) revenue, but the headlines don’t make that clear in the least, and in fact suggest the opposite—that 86% of Planned Parenthood’s overall revenue comes from abortions.
            Where did Lummis get her number, is it accurate, and what does it tell us about Planned Parenthood’s funding as a whole? I have answers to all of these questions! Only 23% of Planned Parenthood’s revenue comes from non-government health services. This is what makes the headlines declaring that “86% of Planned Parenthood’s revenue comes from abortion” so ludicrous.

          • Toro

            the only thing you’re proving here is that you’re a walking talking billboard in favor of abortion – in fact, I’d be OK with legalizing post birth abortions for lunatic zealots like you

          • KaraMarika

            Planned Parenthood claims to be all about providing preventative services to women. They provide about 270,000 pap smears in a year. That’s it. Meanwhile they are providing over 323,000 abortions in a year. Do you see a disparity here? Btw, millions of pap smears are performed in the US every year. Those few women who receive them at PP can easily get them done elsewhere. There will not be a devastating loss of services if PP disappears.

          • Hillary Allen (aka Canuck)

            You expect to find the truth on this site, yet refuse to believe the american medical association… okay… next time you need your appendix out, or a broken bone set, go to your church… stay out of hospitals, as you don’t seem to care about reality. Also, abortion is legal. I pay for weapons of war, yet don’t like it… what should I do, withhold my taxes in protest? And also, it’s still none of your business what a woman decides to do. So gnash your teeth and feel all holier-than-thou, but women will continue to make decisions for themselves, thank you very much, with or without your vaunted approval. Such hypocrisy boggles the mind.

          • Michael Turberville

            Planned Parenthood is one of only a few abortion providers while there are thousands of providers of Pap Smears. Disparity explained for you.

  • Barefoot Life

    The Molech religion is getting government subsidies.

    Definite First Amendment issues.

  • spadestick

    Pizzagate is bigger than this, they let the child grow up, then kidnap them, torture them, then murder. I bet you all the members of planned parenthood are involved. In order to stop them, you must first expose their crimes.

    • Dee

      Pizzagate is a fake news. Stop reading those conspiracy sites ffs.

  • Hillary Allen (aka Canuck)

    whaddaya expect from this site… the facts?! tee hee.

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