Questions still lingers: Should any taxpayer funds go toward funding Planned Parenthood’s non-abortion services?

In the summer of 2015 a group known as the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) released a series of highly-disturbing videos from a 30-month long investigative journalism study titled Human Capital. The group went undercover to expose the process by which Planned Parenthood was profiting from the sale of body parts from aborted children. Since that time the CMP has continued in a legal battle with Planned Parenthood to remove a gag order that has been in place since July of 2015 to silence the group and keep further videos from surfacing.

In the wake of these revelations there have been investigations of the abortion provider, including a number here in the Palmetto State, which we wrote about back in 2015. Following the release of the Human Capital videos, then Governor, Nikki Haley asked for a review of abortion facilities in South Carolina and for DHEC to pay specific attention to Planned Parenthood. The SC House obliged and launched an investigation. Dr. Oran Smith said of the investigation that:

“[The investigation] has not been perfect, but its deliberations and investigations have been professional and essential for an understanding of the agency charged with inspecting Planned Parenthood (DHEC), Planned Parenthood itself, and agencies that fund or interact with PP in their normal course of the people’s business.”

The committee, in the end, unfortunately, dodged key questions in regard to how abortion providers operate in South Carolina.

The DHEC investigation, on the other hand, turned up some very different results. According to a December 2015 report, the state’s health department found a long list of violations including violations of the Women’s Right to Know Act which requires that abortions wait at least 60 minutes after an ultrasound (see page 3). Other violations included improper documentation of important training, expired medicine in their pharmacy, failure to maintain vital records and report abortions to the state and a myriad of violations pertaining to sanitation, including a failure to ensure sterile and non-sterile instruments and supplies had not been mixed. The facilities, whose licenses were suspended by DHEC, were allowed to remain open after submitting plans to fix their problems.

The next year, in December 2016, Senator Chuck Grassley of Utah took the necessary steps on behalf of the Senate Judiciary Committee to refer a number of organizations to the Department of Justice for investigation in connection with Planned Parenthood’s “paid fetal tissue transfers.” Six months later on June 19, 2017 the FBI issued a letter to Senator Grassley indicating that the Bureau had begun investigating a number of Planned Parenthood organizations and their customers.

While the investigation is ongoing, there is a glimmer of hope that Congress may send a bill banning abortions after 20 weeks* to the President’s desk, just as South Carolina did earlier this year. Still, one of Palmetto Family’s previous questions still lingers: Should any taxpayer funds go toward funding Planned Parenthood’s non-abortion services?

Be sure to check out Palmetto Family’s analysis from 2015 on the South Carolina House investigation here.

*The bill text provides exceptions for the case of rape, incest and life of the mother.

Dan Scott

Dan Scott



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