A huge Planned Parenthood donation from a famous author and his wife is making headlines. The embattled women’s health organization is currently involved in a fight to avoid congressional defunding for allegedly using fetuses for profit.
On their website, the non-profit organization that provides reproductive health, as well as mother and child health services, is urging supporters to help. Planned Parenthood donations are actively being requested in the face of conservative attempts to cut federal funding.
“Right now, women’s health opponents are pushing to defund Planned Parenthood health centers nationwide, cutting off millions of patients from essential care like birth control, cancer screenings, and access to safe and legal abortion.”
Famous author Daniel Handler, known as Lemony Snicket — who is the author of the popular Series of Unfortunate Events novels — and his wife, Lisa Brown, announced on Twitter they will give to Planned Parenthood with a $1 million donation.
— Daniel Handler (@DanielHandler) September 28, 2015
The Planned Parenthood donation is welcome during this difficult time for the controversial women’s health group, which offers several, much-needed services for low-income women. Conservative lawmakers are threatening to cut funding to the organization because of the images seen in videos released for the Center for Medical Progress, which has downloadable fact sheets to prove their case.
Over several years, the Center conducted an extensive investigation on Planned Parenthood abortion clinics. In the viral videos, footage of Planned Parenthood executives seen casually discussing the sale of baby body parts and profits for the exchange, caused outrage with anti-abortion supporters. Planned Parenthood claims the videos are doctored.
According to the latest annual report and in line with Republican Presidential candidate Jeb Bush’s claims, Planned Parenthood receives $500 million per year from the U.S. government, making it the largest contributor to the organization. This subsidy amounts to 40 percent of the company’s $1.3 billion revenue for 2014, with private donations totaling $391.8 million, NPR reports.
Even though abortion has been at the center of the Planned Parenthood controversy and is driving the campaign to defund them, the non-profit’s financial statements show the procedure only totaled 3 percent of their services in 2013-2014. However, according to critics, this statistic does not reflect the revenue Planned Parenthood receives from abortion services.
Supporters of Planned Parenthood and the services they provide claim that if the government defunded them, millions of women without access to healthcare would suffer the consequences. However, even if Republicans were successful in their bid to defund Planned Parenthood, women seeking services could still receive help from the states.
As of 2012, 79 percent of people receiving services from Planned Parenthood lived at 150 percent of the federal poverty level or lower (about $18,500 for a single adult), according to a March Government Accountability Office report.
The Planned Parenthood abortion videos have been front and center during the GOP debates. Republican hopeful Carly Fiorina — whose popularity has soared following her appearance in the second debate — made headlines when she challenged President Obama and Democrat hopeful Hillary Clinton to look at the latest abortion video released, which depicts a moving fetus on a table at a Planned Parenthood clinic.
The Planned Parenthood donation by Handler and his wife came the day before the non-profit’s president, Cecile Richards, was grilled by lawmakers on Capitol Hill. During the hearing Tuesday, Richards slammed Republicans, saying the “outrageous accusations” about the company and her employees are false and the charges “offensive and categorically untrue.”
What do you think about Lemony Snicket’s Planned Parenthood donation?
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