(NationalSentinel) There are few political issues that create as much passion on both sides than abortion. And inevitably, when the subject comes up, so, too, does the $500 million in federal tax dollars paid every year to the nations’ largest abortion mill, Planned Parenthood.

Following the abhorrent scandal unearthed by the Center for Medical Progress a couple of years ago, in which undercover investigators recorded Planned Parenthood officials negotiating prices for the sale of body parts - in violation of federal law - Republicans have been pushing to defund the organization on grounds that such practices are offensive to a majority of Americans.

Now that the GOP has both chambers of Congress and the White House, plans are afoot to keep the half-a-billion dollars PP gets every year in the U.S. Treasury, to be put to better use as Congress and the president see fit.

This, of course, has outraged the Left, which makes the usual claims that without Planned Parenthood poor women won’t have anywhere else to go for their “health care.”

A column this week by Cayte Bosler in the New York Observer is typical:

No federal dollars go toward abortion services—except in the protected cases of rape or incest upheld by the Hyde Amendment. Rather, the bulk of services provided by Planned Parenthood are STI testing and treatment, cancer screenings, pap smears, contraception and educational counsel. Therefore, the term “defund” is a misnomer. In reality, the proposed legislation prevents millions of women who rely on Medicaid from accessing the healthcare provider they’ve been depending on for decades.

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About 75 percent of federal funding to Planned Parenthood comes from Medicaid. Additionally, 79 percent of Planned Parenthood’s healthcare patients are at or below the federal poverty level, and Planned Parenthood accepts them at no cost or on a sliding scale. To provide care, the organization receives with Medicaid reimbursements, totaling about $500 million annually. Denying access to this funding threatens millions of women who have no other options.

As liberal women writers who support abortion tend to do, Bosler’s figures come from Left-wing publications which are immediately suspect to conservative opponents.

Meanwhile, on the other end of the spectrum, pro-life opponents cite their statistics, as this Breitbart News story claiming women don’t need Planned Parenthood for health care does:

Planned Parenthood clinics provide a relatively small number of health services including birth control, manual breast exams, urinary tract inspections, STD testing, PAP testing and pelvic exams, while federally qualified health centers provide these and eleven more services including mammograms, emergency care, diabetes and glaucoma screenings, well-child services, radiological services, cardiovascular blood tests, bone mass measurements and more.

Jeanneane Maxon of American United for Life said in recent years Planned Parenthood is focusing more on its core profit center, abortion.

Since 2006, during a time when overall abortions are dropping in America, Planned Parenthood’s abortion business has been growing. Cancer screening and prevention screenings have dropped from roughly 2 million to 985,000 while abortions have increased from 289,750 to 327,000.  “Since 2004, Planned Parenthood has increased from performing one in every five abortions to now performing one in every three,” she said.

As usual, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. But the real question becomes, who made funding for Planned Parenthood some untouchable entitlement in the federal budget? And why should a majority of Americans who oppose unrestricted abortion-on-demand be forced to support it against their will?

The point is, just because the Left has designated Planned Parenthood permanently worthy of your tax dollars doesn’t make it legally so. If Republicans - elected largely by voters who agree with them on this issue - want to spent the $500 million normally earmarked for PP on something else, that is their prerogative. If a majority of voters disagree, then they can voice that in the next election.

Regardless of where you are personally on the issue of abortion, Planned Parenthood is not a mandatory federal expenditure. If its proponents want to save the organization, there are plenty of deep-pocketed liberal donors out there who would no doubt be willing to help.

If not, then maybe the organization isn’t worth saving anyway.

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