Hillary Clinton was dominating the Planned Parenthood vote long before receiving its endorsement, collecting more than $22,000 from the abortionist group—20 times higher than the rest of the Democratic field combined.
The nation’s top abortionist announced that it would back Clinton for the Democratic nomination on Thursday, its first primary endorsement ever. The Planned Parenthood Action Fund, its advocacy wing, praised Clinton for her support of abortion.
"Hillary Clinton holds the strongest record on reproductive rights of all presidential contenders in not just this election, but in American history," the Planned Parenthood Action Fund said in a release. "No other 2016 candidate has shown such strong, lifelong commitment to the issues Planned Parenthood Action Fund cares about."
Even before the official endorsement was announced, the organization’s employees were voting with their wallets. Clinton collected more than $10,000 per quarter from Planned Parenthood employees, according to Clinton’s July and October election filings. Five top executives from the organization’s regional chapters each donated $2,700, the maximum allowed for primary races.
Clinton’s campaign haul represented a near monopoly of support from Planned Parenthood. Neither Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., VT) nor Martin O’Malley, the former governor of Maryland, has been able to translate his pro-abortion record into campaign cash. Clinton’s rivals have combined for about $1,000 in contributions from the group’s employees. O’Malley received a single $250 donation from an employee at Planned Parenthood Maryland, according to his October filing. Sanders meanwhile garnered about $800 through October.
Clinton has long ties to Planned Parenthood, which performed nearly 1 million abortions over the past three years, despite sharp drops in contraceptive and sexually transmitted disease services. In 2009 the group presented her with its highest honor, the Margaret Sanger Award named after the famed eugenicist and Planned Parenthood founder.
Clinton also employs the daughter of Cecile Richards, the group’s president, for her Iowa team. Her campaign celebrated the groundbreaking announcement in a tweet signed "H."
"I'll take on Republicans or anyone who tries to interfere with women's health. Proud to have @PPact‘s support in this important election," she said.
I'll take on Republicans or anyone who tries to interfere with women's health. Proud to have @PPact‘s support in this important election. -H
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) January 7, 2016
She later announced that she would "coordinate pantsuits" with Richards.
Pro-life activists also welcomed Planned Parenthood’s early endorsement. Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life political group Susan B. Anthony List, said that the announcement provides "clarity" for voters. Clinton supports abortion up to the point of birth, while 80 percent of Americans oppose third trimester abortions.
"Planned Parenthood’s endorsement of Clinton is also a much needed and welcome moment of clarity in this election. It is proof positive of her extremism on the abortion issue. Clinton is grossly out of step with the majority of Americans who support legislative proposals such as limiting abortion after five months and getting taxpayers out of the abortion business," she said in a release. "Make no mistake, this radical position—sadly the norm for the Democratic Party—will cost Clinton votes in November."
Planned Parenthood has garnered controversy over the past six months after undercover videographers from the non-profit Center for Medical Progress captured top executives candidly discussing how to sell aborted baby body parts to maximize returns. The videos, which Clinton called "disturbing" in July, have led to investigations from several federal agencies, congressional committees, and states.
Just hours after Planned Parenthood announced its endorsement, Congress sent a bill to President Obama’s desk, which would shift more than $500 million in annual taxpayer funding from the abortionist to local community health centers. Nearly every Republican seeking the presidency has backed the effort to defund Planned Parenthood, while Clinton, O’Malley, and Sanders have said that they would protect its taxpayer haul, which accounted for more than 40 percent of its revenue last year. President Obama has said he would veto any attempt to defund the group.
Update 3:21 p.m.: A previous version of this story said that O'Malley received a contribution from Planned Parenthood Maryland. It came from an employee. PPMD has not contributed to any presidential candidate.