Planned Parenthood Prepares for Payday Under Biden

Abortion provider lost $60 million in taxpayer funding in 2019

Photo Credit: SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images
January 22, 2021

Planned Parenthood stands to recover tens of millions of dollars in federal funding as the Biden administration moves to reverse Trump policies that cut off its access to taxpayer dollars.

The organization lost $60 million in 2019 alone after withdrawing from the Title X Family Planning Program, which uses taxpayer funds for contraceptive services to low-income individuals. When the Trump administration changed the policy to exclude any organization that participates in abortion, Planned Parenthood withdrew from the program.

Despite the revenue drop and the subsequent financial struggles of local affiliates, Planned Parenthood spent more than $27.4 million through a main super PAC during the 2020 election cycle. Alexis McGill Johnson, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, said the nation's top abortion provider is eager for its "partnership" with the new administration.

"In partnership with the Biden-Harris administration and the pro-reproductive health care majority in Congress, Planned Parenthood Action Fund will work to not only reverse the attacks of the past four years, but boldly expand sexual and reproductive health care and rights for all people in the U.S. and across the globe," Johnson said.

The organization lists the administration's priorities as moving to institute taxpayer funding for abortions in the United States and abroad and reversing the funding restrictions the Trump administration instituted on the Family Planning Program. It also said that it recommended almost 200 staffers for key positions in the administration.

Planned Parenthood is likely to find a receptive audience in the Biden administration. President Biden has not only pledged to restore taxpayer funding to the organization and repeal restrictions on taxpayer funding of abortion but has also stocked his administration with Planned Parenthood allies and politicians who have cashed its checks.

Andrea Palm, deputy secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services, came under fire during her time in the Wisconsin Department of Health Services for hiring a former Planned Parenthood lobbyist to help shape state health policy. Soon-to-be-confirmed treasury secretary Janet Yellen was also a member of both NARAL and Planned Parenthood. Jen O'Malley Dillon, Biden's deputy chief of staff, cofounded a marketing company that worked with Planned Parenthood as one of its clients.

Former elected officials also enjoyed the organization's financial support. Incoming secretary of the interior Deb Haaland received $5,000 during her first and only run for Congress, and Department of Health and Human Services pick Xavier Becerra received more than $5,500 over the course of his time in Congress and as California attorney general. Becerra's track record in Congress suggests that he will roll back the Trump administration's protections for religious conscience.

After receiving around $300,000 from Planned Parenthood during his time in the Senate and repeatedly defending federal funding for the group, John Kerry has taken a top position as climate-change adviser to Biden. Marty Walsh, Biden's pick for labor secretary, was a major ally for the organization while mayor of Boston and received hundreds of dollars in donations for his second mayoral run. He led a rally in 2017 in Boston to protest Republican efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, calling those attempts "reckless." He also said that Boston should lead a movement to continue to provide abortions if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

Newly confirmed transportation secretary and former South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg also received more than $11,000 in financial support from the organization during his 2020 run and did a "fireside chat" to address the organization's priorities. Incoming energy secretary Jennifer Granholm criticized Republicans for being obsessed with Planned Parenthood and defended federal funding for the organization.

The Biden administration did not respond to a request for comment. The White House put out a statement Friday commemorating the 48th anniversary of Roe v. Wade and pledged the administration's commitment to codifying abortion rights into law.

Pro-life activists lamented the White House's commitment to pushing for expanded access to abortion. "Abortion isn't health care. It is heartbreaking but not surprising that on the day we commemorate the loss of 60+ million Americans to abortion the new administration is already aggressively leaning into abortion extremism," said March for Life president Jeanne Mancini. "Doing so brings more divisiveness at a time when our country needs unity and healing."

"Joe Biden marks the anniversary of Roe v. Wade by saying he is 'deeply committed' to the intentional destruction of innocent life through the heinous practice of abortion," CatholicVote said. "This represents a major rupture with the Church, only days after his press secretary described Joe Biden as 'devout.'"