It is pretty obvious that the Planned Parenthood videos that were posted by the Center for Medical Progress have created a lot of controversy. Many at Planned Parenthood and those who are even against abortion have called these videos edited to the point that there isn't any believability in them. However, this does raise the question of how much of your tax dollar is spent funding Planned Parenthood, and whether or not we should de-fund the organization.
As you might have guessed, it is very difficult to obtain a fair and unbiased point-of-view when attempting to answer this question. For example, a recent article at Life News had an exclusive column written by Senator Marco Rubio, a pro-life Florida Republican and presidential candidate, stated that Planned Parenthood receives $500 million in tax dollars. This figure is similar to a figure used on cnsnews.com, a conservative news source, which states that Planned Parenthood received about $540.6 million in government grants in the 2013 fiscal years. Considering that the United States has a population of about 318 million, that is about $1.50 for every person.
There are several things to consider when looking at these numbers. A lot of anti-abortion people have made out Planned Parenthood to be "big abortion", but Planned Parenthood reports that 3 percent of its total services were for abortions, according to Fact Check. These figures were in response to allegations back in 2009 when Arizona Senator Jon Kyl claimed that over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does is abortion services.
It was in that same year that Planned Parenthood reported that it had received $363.2 in "Government Grants and Contracts". This was from two sources that include the title X family planning program, which is about $70 million, but the rest is from Medicaid (federal and state), which is about $293 million. Yes, these figures are old, and if the lower numbers are to be believed, then it would seem that the government is giving more money to Planned Parenthood, and this funding will no doubt increase in the next few years.
However, there are still laws in place to guarantee that Title X funds cannot be used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning. Also, Medicaid funding is restricted by the Hyde Amendment to only abortion cases involving rape, incest, or endangerment to the life of the mother. So the government funding is going to Planned Parenthood for their other services such as STD Testing and Treatment, Contraception, Cancer Screening and Prevention, and Other Women's Health Services.
So perhaps the big question isn't how much of your tax dollar is going to Planned Parenthood, but how much is going to abortion? The answer to that is none, at least not on paper. Is it possible that Planned Parenthood moves monies around so that it eventually will? There are clearly anti-abortionist groups that want to make Planned Parenthood out to be this kind of villain.
This is the problem with the sting videos, is they are edited to make Planned Parenthood out to be uncaring as they support abortions. According to CNN, Planned Parenthood isn't profiting by selling the body parts of aborted fetuses, and you can read the full transcripts at the Center for Medical Progress and judge for yourself whether or not these videos are a "sting" or not.
It should be noted that in a separate article from CNN discussed the other side of the abortion debate and stated that even though these doctors are not selling aborted baby body parts, they were far too nonchalant about how abortions are done as they discussed them over wine and salad. This is the issue that is at the heart of the abortion debate: what is actually done in an abortion.