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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Planned Parenthood Lobbying

As we suggest in our chapter on interest groups, organizations that receive federal funding will lobby hard to keep the money.  The Center for Responsive Politics reports on a case study:
Planned Parenthood fields a tough defense.
That was apparent last week in the dust-up over a breast cancer charity's decision to stop funding the group. Susan G. Komen for the Cure reversed itself, restoring Planned Parenthood's $680,000 per year grant, but not before Komen inadvertantly triggered millions in contributions to the women's health services provider from donors angry about the grant cutoff.
For another view of Planned Parenthood's ferocity in a fight, take a look at its tab for lobbying Capitol Hill and other parts of the federal government in 2011 -- the year that Republicans re-claimed the gavel in the House.
Planned Parenthood laid out $1.9 million for lobbying expenses last year, a record for the group and triple the $588,000 it spent in 2010. Pro-abortion rights groups collectively spent a total of $2.2 million making their case with the federal government, according to calculations by the Center for Responsive Politics, compared with $956,000 the year before.
Self-preservation was high on the list of issues Planned Parenthood lobbied on in 2011. According to its 2009-2010 annual report, the organization received $487.4 million that year in "government health services grants and reimbursements" -- close to half of its total revenue. But federal funding for the group would have been eliminated by a provision championed by Rep. Mike Pence, and Indiana Republican. Early last year, he pushed to get rid of all such money for Planned Parenthood -- which is used for cancer screenings, contraceptives and other purposes -- because the organization's clinics provide abortion services. It's already the case that no federal money can be used to pay for abortions...Meanwhile, anti-abortion groups spent just $495,000 on lobbying last year -- their lowest total since 1998. However, that figure doesn't include money spent by conservative multi-issue groups such as the Family Research Council, which put a little more than $100,000 into lobbying.