Reaction to the undercover videos in which Planned Parenthood officials discuss the sale of body parts of aborted babies has led to calls for the federal government to cease funding the organization. In addition, some private donor companies are now distancing themselves from the abortion giant.
Three companies listed as donors on the website of Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider, have already demanded that their company’s names be removed: Xerox, Coca-Cola, and the Ford Motor Company.
Xerox said, “We have communicated with Planned Parenthood. They have removed Xerox from this list of companies that match gifts to the organization. It was not correct.”
Ford officials also stated that their company has directed Planned Parenthood to remove its name. Coca-Cola was even more explicit. “The Coca-Cola Company does not contribute to Planned Parenthood. We do not match employee contributions to Planned Parenthood.”
More than one-fourth of Planned Parenthood’s $1.3-billion annual revenue is from private donations. Readers may be interested to know what companies either give grants to Planned Parenthood or match contributions made by employees. In alphabetical order, the following companies are listed on Planned Parenthood’s website:
Adobe, American Cancer Society, American Express, AT&T, Avon, Bank of America, Bath & Body Works, Ben & Jerry’s, Clorox, Converse, Deutsche Bank, Dockers, Energizer, Expedia, Exxon Mobil, Fannie Mae, Groupon, Intuit, Johnson & Johnson, La Senza, Levi Strauss, Liberty Mutual, Macy’s, March of Dimes, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, Nike, Oracle, PepsiCo, Pfizer, Progressive, Starbuck’s, Susan G. Komen, Tostitos, Unilever, United Way, Verizon, and Wells Fargo.
Since Coca-Cola, Ford, and Xerox have had their names removed from the site, readers may wish to contact these companies directly to see if any have discontinued their affiliation with Planned Parenthood, or if they intend to do so. In some cases, these corporations have matched the giving by employees to various non-profit organizations, and in light of the new bombshell videos, company officials might now wish to reassess matching any employee gifts to Planned Parenthood.
Efforts are also underway in Congress to strip government funding of Planned Parenthood.
Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) told Fox News, “I think the time is now to discuss whether taxpayer dollars should be going to such a gruesome procedure.”
Governor Scott Walker (R-Wis.), another presidential candidate, has also called for abolishing government funding of Planned Parenthood.
Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) not only called for the defunding of the abortion provider, but also told Mark Levin that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) had blocked his amendment to defund Planned Parenthood. “In the wake of these gruesome videos, where they appear to admit to multiple felonies, we should be defunding them, and we should defund them this week,” declared Cruz.
Another Republican presidential hopeful, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, took a more cautious approach, remarking only that Congress should investigate the recent video.
Conversely, Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton vehemently opposed any cut-off of funding for Planned Parenthood, calling the videos an “attack against women’s right to choose.” She strongly endorsed the abortion giant, insisting that it has provided “essential services for women” for “more than a century.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has called for an investigation — but not of Planned Parenthood: She wants the Justice Department to probe the Center for Medical Progress, which secretly filmed Planned Parenthood leaders discussing the sale of aborted baby parts.
Planned Parenthood has received federal funding since 1970, when President Richard Nixon signed the Family Planning Services and Population Research Act. The organization's clinics perform approximately 300,000 abortions each year. While it is commendable that political leaders such as Paul, Walker, and Cruz are calling for an end to the federal funding of the grisly practice of abortion, constitutionalists have long asked, “Why is Planned Parenthood funded in the first place?”
After all, as James Madison observed, the powers delegated to the federal government under the U.S. Constitution are “few and defined.” And one could search forever without finding constitutional authority for the federal funding of any activities of Planned Parenthood.
Steve Byas is a professor of history and government at Hillsdale Free Will Baptist College in Moore, Oklahoma. His book, History's Greatest Libels, is set for publication soon.