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No corproate welfare for the merchants of death, Part VIII

By Scott Tibbs, June 19, 2006

----Original Message Follows----
From: Scott Tibbs
To: banachj@bloomington.in.gov, diekhofm@bloomingtonin.gov, gaalc@bloomington.in.gov, mayert@bloomington.in.gov, rollod@bloomington.in.gov, ruffa@bloomington.in.gov, sabbaghd@bloomington.in.gov, sturbauc@bloomington.in.gov, volans@bloomington.in.gov
Subject: Planned Parenthood's grant request does not deserve funding.
Date: Sun, 18 Jun 2006 15:40:02 -0700 (PDT)


I am writing you again this year to urge you to not include Planned Parenthood in the John Hopkins Social Services grants this year. This year will be the eighth year in a row that Planned Parenthood has come to you for a handout, including the $2000 grant you provided through the Community Development Block Grant program six years ago. Each year, pro-life citizens have asked you not to give grant monies to the local abortion clinic. I urge you to reconsider the policies of the last seven years.

I appreciate that Councilor Sturbaum has recused himself from the funding vote the previous two years due to his wife's employment with Planned Parenthood. Even though Mr. Sturbaum is not legally required to recuse himself and does not directly benefit from the grants to Planned Parenthood, I applaud him for doing the honorable thing and refraining from voting on the matter, and I look forward to Mr. Sturbaum doing the same again this year.

To review, you have voted to give the following to Planned Parenthood:

  • 2005 - $1,500, security cameras and equipment for the facility at 421 S. College Ave.
  • 2004 - $2,923 for cervical biopsy equipment
  • 2003 - $3,600 to purchase 4 computers for 421 south college facility
  • 2002 - $1,500 to purchase an autoclave
  • 2001 - $1,394 to purchase equipment to test for anemia
  • 2000 - $2000 for "teen education" (This was from the Community Development Block Grants monies disbursed annually.)
  • 1999 - $5,000 for a medical exam table

In years past, Planned Parenthood and the organization's supporters have argued that objections of abortion opponents were misguided because the grants did not go directly to the clinic's abortion services. I disagree with that argument because I find any government grants to an abortion clinic to be gravely morally offensive. No matter how much good planned Parenthood does, and even though the monies you give them do not go directly to abortion services, everything Planned Parenthood does is clouded by their abortion business. Every Thursday, babies are violently killed just a few blocks from City Hall.

No doubt most of you consider yourselves to be "pro-choice" and disagree with this argument. However, you have thousands of constituents who believe abortion is murder and you trample on our beliefs in June of every year. As elected representatives of the city of Bloomington, you are to represent all of your constituents. I would expect that you would deny a grant to the Boy Scouts because the organization does not allow homosexuals to be scout leaders and many in this community would strongly disapprove of a taxpayer grant to the Boy Scouts. Why is Planned Parenthood different?

In any case, I do not think the argument can be made this year that the grant money Planned Parenthood is requesting is unrelated to their abortion business. Planned Parenthood wants to remodel their front office to better "serve" all of their customers. Would that not include women seeking an abortion?

As I mentioned in my letter to the editor of the Herald-Times earlier this month, Planned Parenthood of Indiana's Web site proudly promoted an event called "Gathering of Goddesses and the Mere Mortals who Love Them" which featured tarot card readings and psychics. Given that Planned Parenthood organized an openly pagan event, would giving taxpayer money to Planned Parenthood violate the "separation of church and state" that many on the Left claim to support? Would the City Council even consider giving a similar grant to help an openly Christian social service organization renovate their front office?

Of the handouts you have given to Planned Parenthood each year since 1999, I believe this one may be the least worthy of funding. Planned Parenthood has already raised $26,000 toward the renovation of their office. Would it be so difficult to secure that final $3000? After many years of the office being in the present configuration, why is it so much of an emergency now that taxpayer funds must be appropriated?

As I have stated with past grant requests, I believe it is clear that Planned Parenthood does not need corporate welfare from city government to remodel their office, but that they are seeking a political endorsement from city government.

What a sad situation this is. Every dollar you give to Planned Parenthood id a dollar that could go to a social service organization that actually needs it. While I am not a fan of the John Hopkins grants to begin with, if city government is going to be spending money on social services that money should go to where it is most needed and can do the most good.

Planned Parenthood and all of its affiliates nationwide enjoyed a $35.2 million profit according to the organization's 2003-2004 Annual Report. I was unable to find the 2004-2005 report on Planned Parenthood's web site, but www.LifeSite.net reports that PP's total income was $882 million dollars with an obscene profit of $63 million. Surely Planned Parenthood can shuffle some money around the organization to help the Bloomington branch remodel their front office.

Since the local branch is the one applying for corporate welfare, I was curious how it is doing financially. I called Planned Parenthood's offices in Indianapolis on May 25 and asked for this information, but they refused to provide it to me. As a taxpayer, I find it unfortunate that PP is unwilling to share this information while simultaneously asking city government for three thousand dollars. I sent an electronic mail to the nine of you plus the council attorney requesting that the City of Bloomington ask the local Planned Parenthood to provide this information in the interests of transparency. I also think it is important for the City Council to have this information so that you can make an informed decision when voting on the final funding package this Wednesday.

It is not too late to change course and deny Planned Parenthood's request for corporate welfare. I urge you to delete Planned Parenthood's funding request in the interest of fiscal accountability, respect for diversity of opinions, and a desire to help those who truly need it. Thank you for your time.