Commentary

Planned Parenthood paid $6.5 Million for a Seat at the State of the Union


This op-ed originally appeared in the Washington Examiner on February 7, 2019.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., invited Leana Wen, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, to be one of her guests at the State of the Union address.

Wen’s seat was not cheap. Affiliates of her organization spent millions to support Pelosi’s quest for the majority in the House of Representatives and the ultimately unsuccessful efforts by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., to retake the Senate.

In total, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund and Planned Parenthood Votes — the arms of the Planned Parenthood Network allowed to engage in electoral politics under tax regulations — spent almost $6.5 million in outside spending supporting the election of Democrats to both houses of Congress in the 2018 midterm and special elections, according to FEC records compiled by OpenSecrets.

Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., bore the brunt of Planned Parenthood’s attacks. The organization spent $1.85 million attacking him, more than any other House or Senate candidate in 2018. One suburban Philadelphia congressman was attacked more than Rick Scott or Mike Braun, freshman Republican senators who won their race and will now vote on judges with substantial power over abortion policy.

Planned Parenthood might have put Fitzpatrick so high on its hit list because of who his opponent was. Fitzpatrick faced centimillionaire heir and well-connected liberal donor Scott Wallace. Wallace has been a member of the left-wing donor organization known as the Democracy Alliance. Wallace’s foundation, the Wallace Global Fund, has contributed over $400,000 to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

But Wallace didn’t make it into Pelosi’s House. He lost in part because of Wallace’s radical left-wing stances on abortion and other issues. But other Planned Parenthood beneficiaries did win: Reps. Antonio Delgado, D-N.Y., Sean Casten, D-Ill., Angie Craig, D-Minn., and Dean Phillips, D-Minn., each benefited from over $100,000 in Planned Parenthood Votes expenditures targeting their rivals or supporting their own efforts.

Michael Watson

Michael is Research Director for Capital Research Center and serves as the managing editor for InfluenceWatch. A graduate of the College of William and Mary, he previously worked for a…
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