Faced with Budget Cuts, Planned Parenthood Cuts Patients First

Two interesting stories out today about how Planned Parenthood in two states–Indiana and Minnesota–is being forced to download because of losses in taxpayer subsidies. We should look carefully at the way Planned Parenthood is responding to this revenue loss, because it is indicative of their priorities. In Minnesota:

Planned Parenthood is closing six clinics in outstate Minnesota on Aug. 1 because of federal budget cuts made this spring in a highly politicized abortion battle.

And in Indiana:

Planned Parenthood will stop treating Medicaid patients and lay off two of its three STD specialists after the donations it had been using to replace state funds ran out Monday.

A tough state anti-abortion law cutting off Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood of Indiana went into effect May 10, but more than $100,000 in donations has helped the health-services provider stay open and continue serving Hoosiers on Medicaid — until this week.

“Our 9,300 Medicaid patients, including those who had appointments Tuesday, are going to see their care disrupted,” said Betty Cockrum, president of Planned Parenthood of Indiana.

[...]

A total of 85,000 Hoosiers receive services at Planned Parenthood of Indiana’s 28

health centers. If the law stands, Planned Parenthood says, it must close eight of them: two Indianapolis locations and clinics in Bedford, Hammond, Michigan City, New Albany, Terre Haute and Muncie.

Planned Parenthood likes to present itself to the public as an indispensable community healthcare provider. Well, some other public-funded community organizations that arguably are indispensable have been facing loss of government revenue for longer than Planned Parenthood, and have been dealing with it in a much more noble way. I’m talking about public schools.

All across the country, public school districts have been facing painful budget cuts. Keeping their mission to educate children first in mind, they are responding by instituting furloughs for some teachers or cutting pay for administrators, who have the largest salaries. Some administrators are even submitting to voluntary pay cuts to keep their districts solvent. In Indiana itself, in the Medora school district, Superintendent John Reed is voluntarily resigning and finishing out the year without pay in order to save his district the $123,000 that would go to his salary.

Would a Planned Parenthood administrator like PP IN’s Betty Cockrum, who makes nearly $160,000 in her capacity as CEO, ever take similar actions? Public school districts’ priority is educating the kids, and so when they face hard financial times, they pull out all the stops–administrator cuts, furloughs–to keep the classrooms open. Planned Parenthood claims that its priority is helping women in need–but if that priority were anything like the school districts’ priority to educate, it would be using innovative tools like furloughs and voluntary administrator pay cuts to keep providing its “essential” services, rather than closing its clinics, laying off medical specialists, and canceling client appointments. One suspects that there aren’t many Planned Parenthood workers who love the organization enough to take a voluntary pay cut for it. And based on the way it first cuts its client services to deal with a tighter budget, it looks like Planned Parenthood and its administrators are more concerned about keeping their business serving their own bottom line rather than serving all of their patients.

Oh, and Planned Parenthood IN’s abortionist, Dr. Michael King? He makes over $100,000 per year. Wonder if they’ll be furloughing him any time soon….

  • S_Lufi

    From the Minnesota article:

    “Minnesota has received roughly $3.5 million per year in Title X funds, with $3 million going to Planned Parenthood and the rest going to a Ramsey County family planning program. The state has an estimated 250,000 women in need of subsidized reproductive health care. One-fifth get services at Planned Parenthood.”So, they get 7/10ths of the funding (which is 2.5 times 1/5), but only supply subsidized reproductive health care to 1/5 of those who need it?

  • Anonymous

    Keeping their mission to educate children first in mind, they are responding by instituting furloughs…
    You do understand that in the two stories you quoted, “furlough” means “terminate employment,” don’t you?  Really.  I know you don’t like to read long articles, but if you struggle onward and read them all the way through you’ll see that they refer to the furloughs as “layoffs” and “lost jobs.”  The teachers may be recalled if the budget situation improves, but otherwise they will not be working. 

    …it would be using innovative tools like furloughs and voluntary administrator pay cuts to keep providing its “essential” services, rather than closing its clinics, laying off medical specialists, and canceling client appointments.
    If Planned Parenthood were to “furlough” its employees they would still be canceling appointments and closing clinics–you can fire a teacher and combine classrooms, but you can’t fire a doctor and combine appointments because of medical privacy laws.  (Not a concept that Live Action accepts, I know).

    • Brianaamber

      (Privacy is not a concept that Live Action accepts, I know) – what privacy laws did they break? They in no way violated a single patient’s privacy. And I suppose you would like them to adhere to the Planned Parenthood Privacy model – you have been coereced, raped, abused or are in an underage prostitution ring – well that is a private matter.

      • Anonymous

        One post would have been enough, Miss Amber.

        Live Action’s indifference to patient privacy has been shown in several ways.  The site has posted at least one picture of a clinic patient being transported during a medical emergency.  I couldn’t immediately find an example, but IIRC either Live Action or Ms. Rose has called for opening all of a clinic’s patient records when there is a single case of suspected misconduct.  Live Action is also a big supporter of former Kansas DA Phill Kline, who spent countless hour trying to invade the privacy of Dr. George Tiller’s patients but refused to cooperate with his (Kline’s) successor when she tried to investigate Kline’s claims that Dr. Tiller had failed to report child abuse.  That claim turned out to be false. http://www.sedgwickcounty.org/da/criminal_media/2007/final%20jan%2010%20tiller%20media%20release.pdf

        • Briana Shackley

          You  will have to excuse the duplicte postings. It is obvious that was not intentional as they are exact duplicates.

           And you must also realize that the reason they want the records to be released is not to veiw the patient information (names, addresses, etc) but to see what procedures are being done, complications,rape cases, ages, etc. The DA/prosecutor can request these records but the personal identifying information is removed/blacked out of the copies of the records this is called redacted/ing and it is to protect patient privacy (currently PP is trying to get a heads up on when they will be requiring these records so they can redact them, there has also been the claim that they over-redacted, so PP knows about this procedure/concept).

          You insinuate that Live Action wants this information so that they can then make the actual patients public – that is not their intent – the intent being to see where PP is lying and how much and where. Also making that information public is illegal and unethical. In requesting those records they would never actually see that information – so there would be no need for them to request it to expose actual patient’s identities. There must be another reason to request that information.

          After seeing in their videos the willingness to cover up crimes and cases where they have covered up crimes (again in cases where they were crimes they have to provide these records – where is the outrage over patient privacy here?). But in this case Live Action can only advocate to have those records evaluated (again no patient identities are ever made public) because no actual crime was commited so they have no legal grounds for that.

           As to the picture if it is identifying then they should remove it.

    • Brianaamber

      (Privacy is not a concept that Live Action accepts, I know) – what privacy laws did they break? They in no way violated a single patient’s privacy. And I suppose you would like them to adhere to the Planned Parenthood Privacy model – you have been coereced, raped, abused or are in an underage prostitution ring – well that is a private matter.

    • Brianaamber

      (Privacy is not a concept that Live Action accepts, I know) – what privacy laws did they break? They in no way violated a single patient’s privacy. And I suppose you would like them to adhere to the Planned Parenthood Privacy model – you have been coereced, raped, abused or are in an underage prostitution ring – well that is a private matter.

    • Brianaamber

      (Privacy is not a concept that Live Action accepts, I know) – what privacy laws did they break? They in no way violated a single patient’s privacy. And I suppose you would like them to adhere to the Planned Parenthood Privacy model – you have been coereced, raped, abused or are in an underage prostitution ring – well that is a private matter.

      • Truthdoesnotchange66

        You don’t actually think that LY112 cares about what you say, do you?  As soon you make a statement, their thought is not, “what does that mean”  Are they making sense?.  NO!  They are simply reading just enough to figure out what their rebuttal will be.  I applaud you for your attempt, but I think it falls on deaf ears.  Sorry I sound negative, but I’m glad you’re fighting the good fight.

  • Anonymous

    Apples and oranges!!!!  Equating PP with public schools is a strawman argument.

  • Anonymous

    And you must also realize
    that the reason they want the records to be released is not to veiw the patient
    information (names, addresses, etc) but to see what procedures are being done,
    complications,rape cases, ages, etc. The DA/prosecutor can request these
    records but the personal identifying information is removed/blacked out of
    the copies of the records this is called redacted/ing and it
    is to protect patient privacy (currently PP is trying to get a heads up on
    when they will be requiring these records so they can redact them, there has
    also been the claim that they over-redacted, so PP knows about this
    procedure/concept).

    Documents get leaked, and pro-lifers have no problem giving details that would
    be enough to identify the individual to someone who knew them, as long as they
    have the fig leaf of being able to say that no names were named.  Bill
    O’Reilly got hold of some patient records and reported them on-air with
    everything but the names. 

    When there is a police investigation of a particular case, it is legitimate for
    the patient records to be open to the appropriate authorities.  There is
    no excuse for anyone demanding that anyone be given blanket access to records,
    even redacted ones, simply to go on a fishing trip.

    And if PP illegally covers up crimes, they should be prosecuted.  I don’t
    know all the details of previous events, but Live Action’s latest stunt did not
    reveal cover-up of crime because the cases were reported appropriately.

    Anyway, the privacy issue is secondary to my main point, which is that the
    “Research Director” evidently doesn’t understand the articles he
    links to.

    • scragsma

      In fact, the only ‘release’ that was requested was for the DA/prosecutor to view the ALREADY REDACTED files that the judge was holding. Prosecutors have that right; PP has done nothing but obstruct a routine request that is completely normal and legal. I know; I have worked in medical records, where it is common for a health information manager to be subpoena’d to present records in court or to provide redacted records. There’s nothing unusual about it, PP is just throwing up frivolous objections to hide their wrongdoing that would be revealed in those records. No pro-life group is requesting the records. They only want the records to be released to the proper authorities.

      • Anonymous

        And again I point to the Tiller records.  After months of trying to violate Tiller’s patient’s privacy unsuccessfully, Bill O’Reilly magically ended up with copies of patient records a week after the Kansas DA, Phill Kline, received them.  Even if we were to posit that Kline was not involved in leaking the records, he had no objection to O’Reilly discussing patient histories on-air.  When people charged with enforcing privacy laws don’t care about them, they don’t matter. 

        And again I refer interested readers to the article on Kline’s successor following up on his allegations that abortion clinics covered up abuse.  Her investigation was hampered by Kline’s refusal to cooperate, but she did not find misconduct.  Rather, reports of abuse had been submitted to law enforcement in the jurisdiction where the crime had been committed.