Bridenstine proposes banning federal contracts for corporate donors to Planned Parenthood

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Because of its involvement in providing and promoting abortion, for its corruption of the morals of American youth through its sexual education programs, for its trafficking in the organs and limbs of unborn children, Planned Parenthood is a loathsome organization, and I would love to see it deprived of all public funding. I would love to see an awakening of the consciences of private donors, so that they ceased to fund Planned Parenthood's atrocities.

But because of unintended but foreseeable consequences that could hurt good non-profits, I can't support Congressman Jim Bridenstine's proposal to exclude companies who donate to Planned Parenthood from eligibility for federal contracts. Here is his press release:

Congressman Jim Bridenstine Introduces Legislation to Prohibit Government Contracts to Companies that Donate to Planned Parenthood

Washington, DC, July 28, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Today, Congressman Jim Bridenstine introduced the GRACE Act, a bill to prohibit federal government contracts from going to companies that donate to Planned Parenthood. He is already sponsoring numerous other bills to cut direct government funding to the organization.

Congressman Bridenstine said, "The government should not do business with companies that facilitate Planned Parenthood operations. Every child has value. Every person has a purpose. Most Americans are horrified at the thought of expertly crushing the bodies of pre-born, living babies and 'harvesting' organs."

Planned Parenthood has been exposed in recent days as not only a major provider of abortions but also as a marketer of baby parts harvested from their victims. This horrific practice is funded by the American taxpayer at a rate of more than $1.4 million per day. The $528 million Planned Parenthood received from government grants, contracts, and Medicaid reimbursements in fiscal year 2013-2014 accounted for 41 percent of their overall revenue. An additional 30 percent of revenue, $392 million, was received from private contributions and bequests.

Bridenstine added, "This organization promotes itself as a great protector of women's health and provider of choice. In truth, the choice they offer is abortion. In 2013, Planned Parenthood performed 327,653 abortions which comprised 94% of their pregnancy services, while prenatal care and adoption referrals amounted to 5 percent and 0.5 percent respectively. According to their own reports, Planned Parenthood performed 174 abortions for every adoption referral. If the public knew these facts, on top of the recent video revelations, their donation funding would dry up, too.

"It is sad that both parties in Congress are complicit in continuing to fund Planned Parenthood through last minute, massive spending bills like CRs (continuing resolutions) or omnibus bills. I have not and will not vote for any spending bill that sends one cent to Planned Parenthood."

Congressman Bridenstine's bill would prohibit federal contracts with any entity that donates or matches employee donations to Planned Parenthood Federation of America. For more information, see the legislation at Bridenstine.House.gov.

Data Source: Planned Parenthood 2013-2014 Annual Report, http://issuu.com/actionfund/docs/annual_report_final_proof_12.16.14_/0

I agree completely with Bridenstine's description of Planned Parenthood and his desire to cut off their sources of funds, but his action would set a dangerous precedent that could be used in the future to hurt companies owned by conservatives and the churches and conservative institutions to which they donate. President Obama has already, by executive order, forced federal contractors to add "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" to the list of protected categories in employment. Leftists are already proposing to end tax exemptions for non-profits that don't adhere to the Sexual Revolution's ideology and to ban federal financial aid to students who attend colleges that adhere to the natural, scientific, and historical view of human sexuality. It is not farfetched to imagine an executive order banning federal contracts to companies that donate to such organizations -- churches, crisis pregnancy centers, Christian schools.

It's also a mistake for Bridenstine to target matching-donation programs. These are programs where employers let their employees' giving direct the company's charitable contributions. An employee files receipts for gifts to 501(c)(3) charitable organizations, and the employer matches those gifts up to a certain amount per employee. I have no data, but I strongly suspect that these programs put a significant amount of money into socially conservative organizations. As a rule, big corporations making centralized donation decisions are going to give to big, politically-correct non-profits. But if a big corporation has a matching-donation program, some of the company's charitable budget is going to support small local causes, including churches, Christian schools, and other conservative religious organizations, because their employees are giving to those causes. Here again, it's not hard to imagine a precedent that forces federal contractors to ban matching contributions to Planned Parenthood being extended to ban matching contributions to conservative causes.

Government contract offices should not be in the business of policing the charitable giving of government contractors. When government pays a contractor for their work, the contractor should be free to spend that money as it sees fit.

Instead, I'd encourage Congressman Bridenstine to focus on blocking federal money from reaching abortion providers. Pass a bill that says federal grant money (e.g. Community Development Block Grants) can't go to organizations that perform abortions. Get rid of the spending programs that are used to funnel money directly to Planned Parenthood.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on July 29, 2015 12:18 AM.

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