A sitting member of the U.S. House of Representatives resorted to using discredited far-Left smears to call an upstanding legal nonprofit a “hate group” 5 times just to defend Planned Parenthood.
Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.) announced a newly released report from a “whistleblower” in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) who uncovered the scandalous truth that a letter from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) was originally written by a staffer for Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). The letter — shocker of all shockers — involved encouraging states to stop funding Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider.
ADF is a Christian legal nonprofit that has won seven Supreme Court cases in seven years. One of those cases, Burwell v. Hobby Lobby (2014) — decided as part of Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Burwell — involved protecting the religious freedom of family-run businesses to refuse to cover abortion pills as health care. ADF is a mainstream conservative nonprofit with impeccable legal credentials.
Even so, Chu did not think twice about branding it a “hate group.” Here is a snippet of her remarks:
… the Alliance Defending Freedom, an extremist religious group that the Southern Poverty Law Center has designated as a hate group. According to the whistleblower’s documents, on January 11, HHS received a draft letter from ADF (the hate group).
That same day, the Deputy HHS Secretary’s Chief of Staff sent an email to CMS and I quote her email here: “CMS should be receiving the SMD (State Medicaid Director) today to make sure that your clearance process is ready to go on this. We will need a very quick turnaround. Consider an utmost priority.” Given the timing of the emails and when HHS received this draft letter from the hate group, it appears to ranking member Cummings and to myself that HHS was “taking orders” from outside groups in order to write policy.
I’m extremely concerned about the idea of a hate group drafting official U.S. government policy.
Chu went on to defend Planned Parenthood, framing the desire to defund it as an assault on women’s health care. “Furthermore, the policy in question encourages states to defund Planned Parenthood, which provides health care to millions of American families,” she said. “This is yet another example of this administration siding with religious extremists over the health of women and families in this country.”
The congresswoman went on to repeat the tired Planned Parenthood talking points. “I would like to remind you, Mr. Secretary, and this committee that planned parenthood health centers provide essential healthcare services like cancer screenings, STD testing, prenatal consultations and contraception,” she said.
Chu concluded by turning to HHS Secretary Alex Azar, saying, “Secretary Azar, I strongly encourage you to reconsider your agency’s association with hate groups as you move forward, and work to improve the health of families and women, not undermine it.”
Chu framed her remarks as a desperate plea to protect an innocent health care organization against the malicious assaults of hateful religious extremists. Only those in the smallest of liberal bubbles would buy this argument.
First, all of Planned Parenthood’s non-abortion services declined in the past year, according to the organization’s annual report. Prenatal care has dropped by more than 60 percent. Total cancer screening and prevention services have decreased by more than 41 percent. The number of unique patients dropped by 600,000 — a 20 percent decline.
Only one thing has been steady: Planned Parenthood performed 321,384 abortions last year, and more than 1.6 million in the past five years. It performed approximately 126 abortions for every adoption referral. Meanwhile pregnancy health centers (PHCs) have sprung up across the country, offering essential health care without abortion. A full 60 percent of Americans said they do not want tax dollars to fund abortion.
Perhaps more importantly, however, applying the “hate group” label to ADF is a laughable farce. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) began this attack. The SPLC is a far-Left pro-LGBT organization that brands socially conservative groups “hate groups” because they believe marriage should be between one man and one woman. The SPLC reaches back to the 1990s to claim these organizations connect homosexuality to pedophilia, something these “hate groups” have never done, or have not done for decades.
The SPLC gained its legal credentials by taking the Ku Klux Klan to court, and it is generally trustworthy on racial issues. However, the group expanded its list of “hate groups” in recent decades. SPLC leaders have admitted the “hate group” list is based on “opinion” and have declared their desire to “destroy these groups, completely.”
The SPLC plotted these “hate groups” on a “hate map,” and a convicted terrorist used this map to target the Family Research Council (FRC) in Washington, D.C. This terrorist broke in with a semiautomatic and a bag of Chick-fil-A chicken sandwiches, intending to kill everyone in the building and place a sandwich by each of their heads.
To make matters worse, this “hate map” marked the innocent town of Amana Colonies as the location of the white supremacist website Daily Stormer. A similar SPLC map plotting Confederate monuments listed elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools. The organization had to remove an elementary school from this list after learning the school was not named after a Confederate general, but a stone wall.
After the white nationalist riots in Charlottesville, Va., large companies partnered with the SPLC. Apple pledged $1 million to the organization, along with other key benefits, while J.P. Morgan chipped in $500,000. Companies like Lyft and MGM Resorts have partnered with the group, while Pfizer, Bank of America, and Newman’s Own have each contributed over $8,900 to the SPLC in recent years.
All this money merely props up a cash cow. As of 2015, the SPLC had $328 million in net assets, and it took in $50 million in contributions that year. More damningly, the Washington Free Beacon recently reported that the group sent multiple transactions to foreign entities, including two cash payments of $2.2 million into the Cayman Islands.
After CNN, ABC, and NBC repeated SPLC talking points branding ADF a “hate group,” 47 nonprofit leaders signed a letter warning that the “SPLC is an attack dog of the political left,” and urging the media to stop citing them as a credible source on “hate.”
In this context, Chu’s repeated claims that ADF is “extremist” and a “hate group,” based on the claims of ADF’s well-funded political opponent, seem particularly desperate. These desperate attacks signify just how difficult it is becoming to defend Planned Parenthood.
Just to reiterate — to protect a political pet project of the Left, the nation’s largest abortion provider that is slowly dropping all services except abortion, a Democrat must cite discredited claims from a Leftist “attack dog” to drum up anger at a Trump administration cabal to give “religious extremists” control of the U.S. government.
Let’s see how those arguments pan out on Election Day.
According to a whistle-blower at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, a recent policy to defund Planned Parenthood was written by a designated hate group, not a government employee. Today, I had the opportunity to question HHS Secretary Alex Azar and I encouraged him to prioritize the health of American women over the demands of religious extremists.
Posted by Judy Chu on Wednesday, February 14, 2018