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Friday, September 13, 2019
MRC Still Doesn't Know How Planned Parenthood Funding Works
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center loves to push the canard that federal money to Planned Parenthood is fungible in order to claim that said federal money pays for abortions. The MRC also manages to misunderstand how other areas of Planned Parenthood funding works.

In an Aug. 29 post, MRC Latino's Jorge Bonilla criticized one news anchor for allegedly framing the controversy over the Trump administration effectively cutting off Title X federal funding to Planned Parenthood "in a way most favorable to Planned Parenthood," going on to huff:

Since no pro-life voices are featured, no one was present to point out the fact that the federal government allocates close to $600 million a year to Planned Parenthood. Furthermore, no one was there to point out that Planned Parenthood could very easily cover their Title X shortfall by diverting monies destined to political campaigns...that is, if they're so concerned about Latinas being left without "services".

As with federal funding to pay for reproductive services, money for political activism must be accounted for separately and can't be moved around. As FactCheck explains:

Although a tax-exempt, nonprofit, Planned Parenthood is involved in federal campaigns through three national committees: the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, which is registered with the IRS as a 501(c)(4), a social welfare organization that is allowed to engage in some political activity; Planned Parenthood Action Fund PAC, which is a political action committee registered with the Federal Election Commission; and Planned Parenthood Votes, a super PAC also registered with the FEC.

It is illegal for Planned Parenthood to "divert" money designed for its operations for political purposes, and it would jeopardize its nonprofit status. Those 501(c)4s and PACs collect money specifically for that purpose, and that money can't go into the parent organization.

TheMRC ought to know this; while it pushes the envelope of allowed political activity under its 501(c)3 nonprofit status, it has a separate entity, MRC Action, that's designed for more explicit political activity , as well as For America, which is MRC-linked, if not controlled, and registered as a 501(c)4. Presumably it knows it can't move money between those entities -- then again, maybe it doesn't, which is why it thinks Planned Parenthood can.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:12 PM EDT

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