Lets Look at Funding Planned Parenthood Differently
by H. Sandra Chevalier-Batik
February 12, 2012
This week, the Women’s eNews Cheers section hailed the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s new One Million Strong For Women website.
“A group of senators is launching a bid to organize one million people in support of women’s rights, The Huffington Post reported Feb. 8. Led by Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., seven Democratic senators and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee are appealing to backers on all of their websites to sign on to “One Million Strong For Women” in hopes of harnessing the energy displayed in the backlash against Komen.”
Are we really going to cheer the actions of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in their efforts to set woman against woman over a wedge issue custom made for election year activism and reaching that all important fund raising goal?
Are women really ready to Cheer one group of women with hopes of harnessing the energy displayed in the backlash against…other women.” A more honest title for the website should be “One Million Strong For Women Who Agree With Us!” Read the website copy carefully, and you will find an inordinate number of ominous “theys” and lots of carefully chosen threatening buzzwords liberally sprinkled though generalized copy.
The One Million Strong For Women website message is clear —
Without us, standing bravely between you and those who threaten you, your cause is lost!
Send your cash to your champions NOW!
Are women really suppose to Cheer women’s reproductive health being used as a ‘political talking point’ to generate campaign donations for a group of Senators? Rather than giving money to political operatives who promise to fight for women’s reproductive rights, give your money directly to Planned Parenthood, or directly to any non-profit group you passionately believe in.
What the government gives, the government can also take away.
The best, surest, way to fund those causes in which you believe, is to fund them personally.
What if the One Million Strong For Women website was being used as a direct funding channel for Planned Parenthood to carry out its mission?
Lets look at the numbers, shall we. One Million Strong Women donating an average $25 would garner $25,000,000 for Planned Parenthood to use as in any manner they saw fit. These donations would have no strings, no restrictions, and more importantly, no sticky fingered Senators making a grab for the cash in exchange for “fighting” for your reproductive health.
What if One Million Strong Women, felt passionately enough about organization’s mission, to bust out $25 a month, $300 a year, for Planned Parenthood? What could Planned Parenthood accomplish with $300,000,000 annually?
With an annual budget of $1,029,700,000, Planned Parenthood provided services for 3,000,000 clients here in the United States and extended services to approximately 1,000,000 clients in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. That rounds out to approximately $257.43 per client served. With direct contributions of $300,000,000 donated by women, who believe in, and more importantly support, the mission of Planned Parenthood, the organization could offer services to 1,165,365 women.
According to its 2009-2010 annual report, Planned Parenthood received close to half of its total revenue, $487.4 million from “government health services grants and reimbursements.” To assure the continuation of Government funding, Planned Parenthood laid out a record $1.9 million for lobbying expenses in 2011, triple the $588,000 it spent in 2010.
Lets step back and look at Planned Parenthood’s funding issues differently.
It is a reasonable goal to fully replace the Government’s $487.4 million in grants with donations, freeing the organization from the constraints of Congressional over sight. If you don’t want to hear someone’s opinion, you should not take their money. Women should not let the political process control the women’s reproductive health conversation. More importantly, we should not let the politicians turn one woman against another.
Why not turn Planned Parenthood’s attention to the women in our country who have money and are willing to fund those cause we believe in. Stop spending 1.9 million dollars lobbying the government and start encouraging potential funders to skip contributing to political campaign funds, and donate that money directly to Planned Parenthood.
High-net-worth women account for 39% of the country’s top wealth earners; 2.5 million of them have combined assets of $4.2 trillion. More than 1.3 million women professionals and executives earn in excess of $100,000 annually. 43% of Americans with more than $500,000 in assets are female – MassMutual Financial Group–2007
If Planned Parenthood would aim its lobbying budget, use it’s massive media influence and grassroots organizational resources to make a strong case for its core mission with the women of this country, they would no long need Government grants to function. It is time for all women to back up their causes with cash. If every woman who sent an eMail or stroked a blog in support of Planned Parenthood this past month, dropped a buck or two in the mail, loosing the Susan G. Komen grant of $680,000 would not have been such a big deal. Independent funding, by those folks committed to the mission of Planned Parenthood, is the one sure way to control the continuing viability of the organization. It is time for women to work together, and past time to stop vilifying women who disagree with us. It is time for the digital witch burnings to stop.
And it is definitely time to “Jeer” rather than “Cheer” anything that promotes one group of women harnessing the energy displayed in the backlash against…any other woman.