Biden: Planned Parenthood ‘Under Law Cannot Perform Any Abortion;’ Planned Parenthood: We Did 985,731 In 3 Years

Terence P. Jeffrey | October 15, 2012 | 12:33pm EDT
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Vice President Joe Biden at the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse on Oct. 12, 2012. (AP Photo)

( - Vice President Joe Biden said at the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse on Friday that Planned Parenthood “under law cannot perform any abortion.”

Planned Parenthood itself has published fact sheets indicating that it did 985,731 abortions in just the three years from 2008 through 2010. These included 324,008 abortion in 2008, 332,278 abortions in 2009, and 329,445 abortions in 2010.

Biden made his remark in response to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney position that he would defund Planned Parenthood.

“And now these guys pledge that they are going to defund Planned Parenthood, which under law cannot perform any abortion,” said Biden. “You heard it last night again.”

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Biden may have confused whether Planned Parenthood can legally perform abortions with whether it can legally use the federal subsidies it receives to directly fund an abortion.

A Congressional Research Service report published on Aug. 28 said that the federal government gives Planned Parenthood about $66 million per year in Title X “family planning” grants. The law prohibits recipients from using Title X money for abortion except in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother. However, Planned Parenthood and other organizations that receive federal subsidies under Title X can take the federal money and do abortions at the same time as long use other dollars—not the dollars they got from the federal government--to pay for an actual abortion.

“PPFA and its affiliates receive about $66 million in annual Title X funding, according to the PPFA Washington Office,” the Congressional Research Service reported.

“The prohibition on abortion does not apply to all the activities of a Title X grantee, but only to activities that are part of the Title X project,” the Congressional Research Service said. “A grantee’s abortion activities must be ‘separate and distinct’ from the Title X project activities.”

The Congressional Research Service pointed out that critics believe that federal Title X funding should be withheld from organizations like Planned Parenthood that do abortion.

“On the other hand, Title X critics argue that federal funds should be withheld from any organization that performs or promotes abortions, such as the Planned Parenthood Federation of America,” said the report. “These critics argue that federal funding for non-abortion activities frees up Planned Parenthood’s other resources for its abortion activities.”

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