Three more counties join call to defund Planned Parenthood

Baby 2By Bob Eschliman


While the Branstad Administration continues to insist that “no line item” exists in the state budget to directly fund Planned Parenthood, the fact still remains that the organization continues to receive funding through federal block grants administered by the state departments of Human Services and Public Health.

As abortion abolitionist groups like Personhood Iowa have pointed out, those funds are fungible, meaning money meant to provide diagnostic services easily replace funds lost that would otherwise directly fund abortions. And, in light of the continued release of investigative journalism videos released by the Center for Medical Progress that expose Planned Parenthood’s sale of body parts and tissue “harvested” from aborted babies, pressure continues to build to eliminate all funding to the organization.

Three more Republican county central committees have adopted resolutions calling for just that.

The Franklin County GOP adopted its resolution at its Aug. 3 Central Committee meeting. The resolution, which called for “Franklin County Republican Central Committee” be added to original Personhood Iowa petition calling for an end to all taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood, included the following statement of principle:

“Recent revelations of abortions associated with Planned Parenthood casts their practice into the realm of intolerable.  The videos released over the past two weeks have shown where abortion-on-demand leads: the careful harvesting of body parts from nameless babies only to be sold to the highest bidder ‘cafeteria style’.

“The value of life within the walls of Planned Parenthood is by its utility and convenience — as opposed to the inherent dignity of innocent human life.  According to The Daily Signal, Planned Parenthood has ridden the waves of taxpayer funding to millions of dollars in annual surpluses.  During its last reporting year, like many before it, the organization reported revenues over expenses exceeding $127 million and net assets of more than $104 billion.  During that year, Planned Parenthood received over $528 million in taxpayer funded grants and reimbursements from federal and state coffers — 41 percent of the organization’s total revenue.  As a Government Accountability Office report released this past March demonstrates, a large portion of that taxpayer money comes from a variety of federal sources, including Title X and Medicaid.

“The Central Committee of the Franklin County Republicans supports all state and federal efforts to eliminate all taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood.”

Linn County Republicans adopted their resolution on Aug. 18 by a motion of the entire committee. The resolution states:

“The LCRCC recognizes that Planned Parenthood has sought to violate the Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution, State and Federal Law and in accordance with those honored documents and in adherence to the platform of the Republican Party of Iowa, pertaining to planks one and two. We hereby resolve to petition the Governor, and the whole of the Republican caucus in the State Legislature, to take any and all legislative, executive and fiscal action necessary to defund Planned Parenthood’s illegal operation of profiting from the sale of human body parts.”

Earlier this week, the Dallas County Republican Central Committee joined the growing list of counties that have called upon their elected representatives to defund Planned Parenthood. By a majority vote, the committee adopted the following resolution:

“The Dallas County Central Committee resolves to call on both our state and national elected representatives for the immediate defunding of Planned Parenthood, utilizing every method and opportunity at their disposal, in order to prevent any future taxpayer funds from going to the killing of pre-born babies and the sale of their body parts. Furthermore, we call for the immediate investigation of Planned Parenthood and prosecution of any parties found to be violating state or federal law.”

Dallas County Central Committee member Joel Kurtinitis, whose wife, Kelsey, serves on the board of Personhood Iowa, said it is important for conservatives to bring issues like defunding Planned Parenthood to their local meetings.

“It is clear to me that county party activism is vitally important to the health and engagement of the local GOP, and I was proud to see Dallas County take a bold stand for life and open a new chapter in our grassroots activism with the passage of this resolution,” he said.

At least one Republican Party of Iowa State Central Committee member agrees. John Thompson, a regular guest columnist for The Iowa Statesman, said the growing number of county resolutions to defund Planned Parenthood isn’t just about taking a stand against abortion; it helps grow the Republican Party.

“When people use their local party to take stands on important issues it becomes the place for people to come make that stand,” he said. “It becomes a news event for the county papers and radio stations. We need to do this in all 99 counties. The majority of the money we spend as a party goes to boosting candidate names. We win on issues. This is a great way to make our issues part of the local conversation.”