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S.C. Legislature Investigating Abortion-Related Funding

by | Jul 30, 2015

By Holly Gatling, Executive Director
South Carolina Citizens for Life

20weekunbornbabyIn the wake of published undercover videos exposing Planned Parenthood’s grotesque involvement in harvesting aborted baby organs– including livers, hearts, brains, and skin — for sale to biotech companies, South Carolina lawmakers have joined a number of other states and several congressional committees in calling for investigations into the abortion giant’s government funding sources.

Prolife Representative Garry Smith, R-Simpsonville, is spearheading the investigation in the State General Assembly with letters to the Legislative Audit Council and the House Oversight Committee.

“What has been revealed about the actions of Planned Parenthood is very concerning. The lack of humanity involved.  I think any organization that would stoop to do those sorts of things are ones I wouldn’t feel comfortable with supporting in any manner [with state funding] ,” Representative Smith said.

Lisa Van Riper, President of South Carolina Citizens for Life, said the Planned Parenthood videos show a “complete callous disregard for the sanctity of human life. The tiny organs harvested are not from unborn children who have died of natural causes. Rather these organs are harvested after procedures with the intent of the unborn child’s destruction. The videos not only raise awareness of the humanity of these unborn children, they also leave no doubt about the inhumanity of abortion.

As stomach-churning as the Planned Parenthood videos are — with the causal discussion of abortion techniques that “crush” the baby in a way that preserves valuable organs — Planned Parenthood is only part of the problem contributing to the United States’ inhuman abortion holocaust.

More than 57 million babies have died from legal abortion since 1973.  That is more than 50 times the number of Americans killed in all wars since 1775. Planned Parenthood, however, is not the only culprit (although it is the most egregiously government-funded abortion business).

Take, for example, the problem of the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) that trains its future abortionists at the Charleston Women’s Medical Center. MUSC receives massive amounts of tax dollars. Given its affiliation with an abortion business, it is fair to ask if MUSC engages in fetal tissue research? If so, where does it procure the body parts? How is the “research” funded? These are just some of the questions for which the public has a right to seek answers.

Representative Smith who serves on the House Ways and Means Committee’s Higher Education subcommittee said MUSC will have to bring him its budget in January.

Moreover, sickening, filthy abortion practices are not news in South Carolina.

Long before the Planned Parenthood videos; long-before Ohio nurse Brenda Shafer testified before Congress about the savage practice of partial-birth abortion that she witnessed; long before Illinois nurse Jill Stanek blew the whistle on live-birth abortions at Christ Hospital; and long before the Philadelphia baby-butcher Kermit Gosnell was convicted of murdering aborted babies born alive in his filthy flea infested “clinic;” long before all these atrocities, there was Dr. Jesse Floyd, South Carolina’s most infamous abortionist.

In 1974, Floyd, a Columbia, S.C., based gynecologist, aborted a 25-week baby boy who lived 20 days. A Richland County grand jury indicted Floyd for murder, but Floyd fought back. He appealed to the federal court and in 1979 the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Floyd’s favor.  All the sickening details are found in the case called Floyd v. Anders.

While calling late abortion “grisly and gruesome business,” the court nonetheless held that Floyd could not be prosecuted. The court said that the “right of a mother to rid herself of an unwanted fetus is comparatively unfettered.” (Subsequent U.S. Supreme Court decisions including Planned Parenthood v. Casey and Gonzales v. Carhart established compelling state interests in regulating the abortion industry to a limited degree.)

Fast forward to 1992. Again abortionist Jesse Floyd made the news. Two of Floyd’s women employees in North Charleston quit and reported to the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control that Floyd was grinding up the bodies of aborted babies in a common sink garbage disposal and rinsing these human remains into the public water system.

There was nothing DHEC could do because there were no abortion regulations that applied to babies until the 24th week of fetal life.  The women then went to investigative reporter Dan Ashley at the ABC TV affiliate in Charleston, S.C. Ashley aired a three-part investigative series on Floyd and his disgusting North Charleston-based office located between an adult bookstore and a pawn shop on Rivers Avenue.

Based on the revelations of Ashley’s stellar investigative work, and with the full support of South Carolina Citizens for Life, the General Assembly revved into action in 1993 to pass the Abortion Clinic Regulation Act. During the legislative debate, an abortionist was arrested after leaving most of the remains of a 16-week baby inside the mother. The charges were dropped, but the Abortion Clinic Regulation Act was passed in 1994 and signed into law in 1995.

Not surprisingly, the abortion industry challenged the regulations in federal court and years later ultimately lost the challenge. In 2004, the regulations went into effect. (Dan Ashley is now a well-known news anchor for ABC7 TV in San Francisco.)*

Despite the voluminous problems with non-Planned Parenthood abortion businesses, Planned Parenthood is the high-profile case. Why? The big problem with Planned Parenthood is the big government money it receives and the number of abortions it does — close to one third of all the abortions in the U.S.

Randall K. O’Bannon, Ph.D, the director of the National Right to Life Education Department, regularly analyzes Planned Parenthood’s own annual reports and other information related to government funding of the abortion mogul. In a March 27, 2015, article for National Right to Life New Today, Dr. O’Bannon writes about a U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report that found more than $1.5 billion flowed into Planned Parenthood between 2010 and 2012. “It is government largesse like this,” O’Bannon writes, “that helps explain how you end up with U.S. taxpayers covering 41% of Planned Parenthood’s annual budget.”

The National Right to Life Committee strongly endorses passage of S 1881, the federal bill to defund Planned Parenthood and its affiliates. Any funds removed from Planned Parenthood would be reallocated to women’s health services provided by others (but such funds cannot be used for elective abortions).

While not all government funding to Planned Parenthood pays for abortion, no other abortion business makes the kind of money that Planned Parenthood makes off of taxpayers. The blood of well over 330,000 dead babies every year covers the hands of Planned Parenthood and soaks into our soil. Any government funding is tainted.

What can those who find abortion not just wrong, but appalling by the sheer numbers do? In addition to strongly supporting laws that protect unborn babies’ lives, South Carolina Citizens for Life has long advocated for state government to stop funding any agency, organization, or institution that promotes, provides, or refers for abortion.  Perhaps now the time is ripe.

To that end, SCCL has shared with Representative Garry Smith its own investigative information into direct or indirect state funding of abortion including the funding of the two Planned Parenthood offices operating in South Carolina. We know, for example, that in 2009 Medicaid paid the medical director $35,000.

Because Planned Parenthood is the master of disguise and obfuscation, it is difficult to document what state monies it receives, but we have enough information to raise serious questions. That is why the prolife community should applaud Representative Smith and his colleagues who are asking the Legislative Audit Council and the House Oversight Committee to follow the money trail and to answer some compelling questions about Medicaid reimbursements to the two Planned Parenthood facilities operating in South Carolina. The Columbia office does abortions; the Charleston facility refers for abortion; and both facilities advertise they accept Medicaid patients.

Additionally, SCCL has asked for information about the Medical University of South Carolina and its arrangements with the Charleston Women’s Medical Center, an abortion facility that advertises abortions up to 16 weeks from the first day of the last menstrual period. It too accepts Medicaid patients and offers Medicaid patients a discount, according to its webpage. Of notable interest, abortion customers are forbidden to bring bags, purses, cell phones, or heavy coats into the facility.

Finally, the DHEC abortion report for the year 2014 does not list hospitals by name that do abortions. Past DHEC reports have identified the hospitals and the number of abortions done. Not this year. Why? The citizens of South Carolina deserve answers.

What we know from previous years’ reports is that MUSC does the majority of late abortions performed in this state on babies capable of feeling excruciating pain. So it is reasonable to assume that MUSC committed the majority of the 36 abortions in 2014 on unborn babies 20-weeks or older.

It is also reasonable to assume that MUSC doesn’t want to be associated with the pain and suffering a pain-capable baby feels while being torn limb from limb. So who is protecting MUSC’s abortion record, and why –all of a sudden –is the information withheld? The public has a right to know.

The bottom line of abortion is the money. But there is an even deeper, more sinister bottom that reaches into the pit of Hell. The bodies of aborted babies are treated as medical waste and worse like dissected frogs up for grabs from the highest bidder. Abortion corrupts everything; the government, the church, the law, the healing arts, the news media, the whole society. But most of all, abortion corrupts the human soul.

As Dave Andrusko, editor of the National Right to Life News says about those videos exposing the dehumanizing practices of the abortion industry, “We have seen into the heart of darkness.”

*Floyd died in a 1995 automobile accident.

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