We have exposed how the program, now in its 10th year, has done almost nothing to reduce the rate of unwanted pregnancies, births to low-income women, or abortions, but has become a massive, multi-million dollar slush fund for Planned Parenthood affiliates of Washington.
As everyone now knows, the state has been facing a budget deficit in the billions, and state legislators have been forced to cut spending on a host of health and education programs, even those which are widely supported, and which help the truly sick and destitute.
The Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) gave Gregoire a list of programs for possible elimination. The Take Charge program was in that list, raising hopes that the scandalous scheme would be eliminated once and for all, and abortion clinics would start closing immediately.
But, alas, Gregoire decided to cut the state's Basic Health Plan, which covers 66,000 otherwise uninsured Washingtonians, rather than cut birth control payments to Planned Parenthood.
She cut the Children’s Health Program, which was helping 27,000 kids. But Planned Parenthood's sacred cow was untouched.
She chose to eliminate Disability Lifeline grants to 28,000 people each month who are temporarily disabled and who can’t work, rather than cut the Planned Parenthood CEO Cadillac plan.
She chose to eliminate the Disability Lifeline Medical Program, but not the Abortion Industry Slush Fund.
|Gregoire cuddling former NARAL |
director Karen Cooper
She slashed public education funding in every direction. But free birth control that essentially ends up as millions of dollars in Planned Parenthood's Abortion Clinic Expansion Program was off the table.
You get the idea.
"Take Charge" -- which is exclusive to Washington State, and started in the George W Bush administration -- is an 'experimental' Medicaid program which provides a year's supply of birth control to women who would normally be ineligible for Medicaid because of income at taxpayer's expense.
Most women enrolled in the program get their contraceptives through Planned Parenthood, so it is this organization which ends up getting paid. PP makes huge profits on oral contraceptives sales, and so the program has been a cash cow for them for a decade.
For example, in 1998, Planned Parenthood of Western Washington was pulling in about $5m each year in program revenue. Ten years later, in 2008, that figure had rocketed up to over $25m. In their 2006 annual report, they admitted that fully 70% of their clients the previous 5 years had been Take Charge participants.
PPWW has used these millions in revenue to expand their network of clinics, all of which provide or abortions or at least close the abortion sale.
Defenders of the program argue that all those women on free birth control adds up to fewer unplanned pregnancies, fewer Medicaid-paid births, and fewer abortions. As hard as it may be for contraceptive ideologues to accept this, the numbers are in, and the truth is just the opposite.