Unions Send Dues Money to Planned Parenthood

Nearly half a million to top abortionist, mostly for political purposes

The Planned Parenthood logo is pictured outside a clinic in Boston

The Planned Parenthood logo is pictured outside a clinic in Boston / Reuters

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Labor groups sent nearly half a million dollars to Planned Parenthood in 2014, according to federal disclosure forms.

Three of the nation’s largest unions—the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), and Service Employees International Union (SEIU), contributed $435,000 to the nation’s largest abortion provider.

Almost all of that money was spent on political advocacy. AFSCME donated $400,000 to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, which spent about $1 million helping Democratic campaigns in 2014, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. UFCW categorized its $10,000 donation as political activity in federal labor filings.

Not all of the donations were political in nature. Some were categorized as charitable contributions to the billion-dollar organization, which performs more than 300,000 abortions each year. The remaining $25,000 given by AFSCME and SEIU were described as "grants" to a "tax-exempt organization."

None of the unions returned request for comment about the specific purpose of the donations or whether they intended to maintain relations with the organization in the wake of recent scandals.

The Center for Medical Progress, a pro-life group, has released several hours of video of top Planned Parenthood officials discussing organ harvesting and the sale of remains in manner that may run afoul of federal law. The group released a fourth video Thursday showing Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains Vice President Dr. Savita Ginde sifting through the remains of "another boy" while drawing attention to various organs and praising a "per item" payment schedule for pieces of the fetuses.

"It’s a baby," she said on tape as an assistant probed the body for intact body parts to sell to undercover videographers posing as prospective organ buyers.

While donating fetal body parts is legal, federal law prohibits the alteration of abortion techniques to harvest usable parts of the fetus, and also prohibits any sale of the body parts.

Planned Parenthood and Democrats have attempted to shield the group, which now faces three congressional investigations, by saying the "tissue donations" are used for medical research. Ginde, the Rocky Mountain executive, told the CMP actors that the group would use the blanket term "research" to justify its financial benefit from the sale of body parts.

"In public, I think it makes a lot more sense for it to be in the research vein than, I’d say, a business venture," she said.

Patrick Semmons, a vice president at the National Right to Work Foundation, told the Washington Free Beacon that union members may oppose abortion, but have little say in how their dues money is spent because only half of states bar coercive unionism.

"Union bosses will continue to use workers' dues money as a slush fund to support controversial causes and organizations as long as union officials are empowered to order a worker fired simply for refusing to pay money to the union," he said.

Planned Parenthood has received hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars since Barack Obama took office in 2008, including tens of millions of dollars from the United States Agency for International Development while Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton was secretary of state.

Clinton has called the imagery in the videos "disturbing," but continues to support Planned Parenthood and late-term abortions. She has received about $10,000 from abortionists in 2015—20 times more than the rest of the presidential field combined.

The GOP is now considering several bills that would withdraw federal funding of Planned Parenthood outright or freeze it until the congressional investigations raised by the videos are complete.

Bill McMorris   Email Bill | Full Bio | RSS
Bill McMorris is a staff writer for the Washington Free Beacon. He joins the Beacon from the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, where he was managing editor of Old Dominion Watchdog. He was a 2010 Robert Novak Fellow with the Phillips Foundation, where he studied state pension shortfalls. His work has been featured on CNN, Fox News, The Economist, Colbert Report, and numerous print publications and radio stations. He lives in Alexandria, Va, with his wife and three daughters. His Twitter handle is @FBillMcMorris. His email address is mcmorris@freebeacon.com.

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