Republicans are pushing and effort to end federal funding of Planned Parenthood in the wake of undercover videos allegedly showing representatives of the organization trying to sell the body parts of aborted babies.
Blum had five minutes to question Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards and asked her about how the federal funding is used in an exchange where they often talked over each other. “Your providers, do they make money, your individual affiliate offices, do they make money providing abortions, in general,” Blum asked. “In general, there is no general,” Richards says, “I mean we are a nonprofit. There are three sources of income. There are federal and public funds and there are donations,” Richards started to say, but Blum jumped in,”I’m talking about individual abortions if someone can’t afford to pay for it. What’s an abortion cost?” Richards responded, “It depends, depending on the state, depending on the procedure.”
Blum asked Richards if providers used profits from Medicaid to fund abortions. “As you know across the country, Medicaid rates vary widely. In some states they come closer to paying for the cost of the services. In a lot of states we actually have to raise private donations to supplement what it costs for,”Richards says. “So, you may make money on some Medicaid reimbursement services, correct?,” Blum asked. “I don’t know that anyone does, but I would be happy to find out,” Richards replied.
Paying for abortions with federal funds is illegal except in a few cases. Blum continued to ask Richards about the use of Medicaid funds for abortions. “The profits generated from taxpayer funded sources such as Medicaid reimbursements, are any of those profits used to help cover the cost of abortions?,” Blum asked. “I don’t believe…we can go through all of our 990’s, happy to go through with the committee, but I don’t believe that there are any profits from any Medicaid services in this country,” Richards answered.
Blum questioned Richards as part of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing.