Despite President Donald Trump’s vow to defund the Planned Parenthood, federal funds to the women’s healthcare and abortion provider actually grew to record levels in 2017 and 2018 — the most recent years for which fiscal reports are available. When Trump took office in 2017, Planned Parenthood reported about $543.7 million in federal funds — mostly from Medicaid payments. For the 2018 – 2019 fiscal year, that number was up to $616.8 million. Medicaid can’t legally be used to fund abortions, but it still throws cold water on Republican leaders’ stated desires to defund the organization entirely.
“I think there is a great desire to get the executive branch to do something about it, but there is very little that can be done,” Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List, told Chron. She went onto say that she and the rest of her team were “very aware” and “not happy” about the funding.
Several states have attempted to cut Planned Parenthood off from Medicaid entirely, mostly without success due to court rulings. This is why many anti-abortion activists see overturning Roe v. Wade as so crucial to the cause.
It’s possible Planned Parenthood’s report for the 2019 – 2020 fiscal year will look different. The Trump administration pushed the organization out of a federal family planning program and tightened some of the rules around Title X recipients referring abortion services. That prompted Planned Parenthood to drop out of the program altogether, leading to a loss of something like $60 million, but it’s hard to say how such a shift will shake out in reports. Planned Parenthood has only offered vague responses when asked if the change is hurting their bottom line, with Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Lauren Kokum telling Chron “we cannot predict what future revenues will be.”