Utah politicians, anti-abortion advocates call for ending federal funding of Planned Parenthood

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A rally at the Utah State Capitol on August 19 calling for the federal government to defund Planned Parenthood.

A rally at the Utah State Capitol on August 19 calling for the federal government to defund Planned Parenthood.

SALT LAKE CITY – Gov. Gary Herbert recently directed state agencies to stop serving as an intermediary for federal funds to Planned Parenthood after video surfaced of the organization’s employees allegedly discussing the sale of aborted fetal tissue, and Wednesday he and other state leaders joined anti-abortion advocates at a rally calling for U.S. lawmakers to defund the program.

“I’m here today to add my voice to yours, in standing up for the sanctity of life,” Herbert said.

Herbert and other state leaders addressed a crowd of anti-abortion protesters Wednesday in the rotunda of the State Capitol.

“The bigger person stands up for those who need them the most,” said Rep. Mia Love, a Republican who represents Utah’s Fourth Congressional District in Congress.

After video surfaced of Planned Parenthood executives allegedly discussing the price of fetal tissue, Utah joined five other states in removing themselves from the process of funding the program.

“One-point-four-million taxpayer dollars a day go to fund clinics that dismember and piece apart infants and sell their body parts,” said State Senator Margaret Dayton, R-District 15. “How are hearts so hardened that such a thing could happen?”

Those opposed to abortion said they hope U.S. lawmakers will listen to their pleas to stop funding the program.

“We believe that life begins at conception, and we want to be a voice for the voiceless,” said Salt Lake resident Cynthia Edwards.

One supporter of Planned Parenthood said she is against defunding the program because of the resources it offers to women. She said she believes executives’ actions were taken out of context.

“These people were baited into these conversations, and the people who interviewed them misrepresented themselves,” said Tina Escobartaft, an advocate and lobbyist for Planned Parenthood. “They felt comfortable thinking that they were fellow medical professionals.”

While representatives with Planned Parenthood were not available to comment on-camera Wednesday, they released a statement attributed to Karrie Galloway, CEO of Planned Parenthood Action Council of Utah, saying, in part:

“We were shocked to learn late Friday afternoon of Gov. Herbert’s order to the Utah Department of Health to end the disbursement of federal grant money to Planned Parenthood.

This outrageous attack is motivated by recent videos released by extremist anti-abortion activists making completely false claims. The fraudulent group opposes Planned Parenthood’s mission and services and is intent on cutting millions of women and their families off from care at Planned Parenthood.

It’s disappointing that the governor and his advisors were fooled into doing just that: cutting off funding for education programs and STI testing. The governor’s order jeopardizes services that reduce unintended pregnancy and that keep Utahns safe and healthy. None of these funds go towards providing abortion services, per state and federal law.

Let’s be clear: this executive order is political grandstanding at its worst. It’s playing politics with the health of thousands of Utahns who rely on Planned Parenthood.

At Planned Parenthood, we believe that everyone deserves the chance to choose their own path to a healthy and meaningful life. As the most trusted provider of reproductive health care in Utah for almost 50 years, we’ll continue to fight for all Utahns and their families.”

Representatives from Planned Parenthood said they did not participate in Wednesday’s Women Betrayed rally. They’re hosting their own rally next Tuesday on the south steps of the State Capitol at 6 p.m.


  • bob

    Where did this idea come from that anyone has a right to have their abortion paid for by taxpayers? There is no such right.

    Stop funding it. Liberals could voluntarily make up the revenue loss to P. P. for about $10 a YEAR, each. Let THEM pay for it. It’s not my problem.

    • Tc

      Wel I don’t want my taxs paying for cops who murder people but no one cares . And who said are tax dollars should pay for lazy people on warfare. or to send single moms to collage when a single dad can’t get free collage even though he pays to support the kid way more then the woman does

    • Tc

      Ture it’s not a right but are taxs are paying for war and that kills way more people and babies and little kids. So with your idea on what taxs should pay for and not pay for I think shold 1st get the goverment to stop murdering people with war as that is the biggest part of are taxs not planned parenthood.


    If you want to kill your baby do it on your own nickel and not mine. I believe in the death sentence for convicted murderers and not for innocent unborn baby boys and girls.

    • Cora

      Ever heard of the Hyde amendment? We already aren’t paying for abortions through taxes. Those are out of pocket. So please learn what the hell you are talking about before you spit uneducated rants. OUR TAX DOLLARS DONT FUND ABORTIONS. ABORTIONS ARE PAID FOR BY THE PATIENT OUT OF POCKET. WE ARE PAYING FOR CANCER SCREENINGS AND STI TESTINGS. read a book.


        So you won’t mind when Utah stops serving as an intermediary for federal funds to Planned Parenthood. Good for you.

  • Bob

    Um, abortion is a valid medical procedure. It is strictly between the gestating woman and her health care provider. The recent outcry about PPH “selling baby parts” is absolutely ludicrous – nothing more than a back-door attack on abortion rights. We do have the right to medical care, the government has stepped in and made healthcare something that is part of our governing process. If we’re paying for some dude’s Viagra, we shouldn’t be balking at making sure women’s healthcare is funded properly as well. Let me be very clear – human tissue is harvested and nused in the medical/scientific communities every day. The facilities which do the harvesting are fully within their rights to recoup their costs for time, effort and manpower, not to mention the very real costs associated with the retrieval and transport of said tissue.

    The “anger” over the PPH donation of fetal tissue stems from a hatred of abortion, not some kind of moral issue with human tissue being utilized in science, medicine and research.

    Women have the RIGHT to abort, in this country we all have the RIGHT to healthcare coverage. This fact alone will guarantee that if ignorant thumpers and pro-fetal-lifers (who cares what happens to it once it’s born, so long as the woman is adequately punished for her $exuality by being forced to risk her life and health gestating) get too froggy with their attempts to remove women’s access to this healthcare procedure, the feds will jump in with something more expensive to protect the rights of women to have their reproductive healthcare needs met.

    Just as I have no desire to see my tax dollars be used to build schools with conveniently adjacent mormon seminary buildings, sometimes ignorant thumpers have to see their tax dollars go to pay for things that they disagree with.

    Fact – abortion is 14 times safer than pregnancy and childbirth for the gestating woman.

    Fact – no human being can be forced to risk their life to be sentient life-support for another.

    Fact – if you believe there should be exceptions in abortion legislation that allow for the procedure to be performed if the conception of the fetus was under duress, you are admitting your issue with abortion has to do with punishing a woman, not protecting a life.

    Fact – if you don’t believe the quality of life of born humans is your problem, whether or not they are gestated is certainly none of your business.

    Most of the people who oppose abortion support the death penalty, oppose public services that ensure born children are fed, clothed and housed, support deporting the legal children of “illegals” and support the US military industrial complex that kills thousands of born children every year. They call themselves “pro life” but are really just anti-woman and pro-fetus. Because who cares about people once they’re born?


      Fact: Most of the people who oppose abortion support the death penalty, oppose public services that ensure born children are fed, clothed and housed.

      Fact: That is true. The Fathers never intended for government to take my money to support someone who doesn’t work because they are too lazy to get a job.

      Fact: If you are in this country illegally both you and your children should be deported.

      • Bob

        The founding fathers also intended for us to own our darker-skinned brethren. Sometimes, 200 years ago got it wrong. Sometimes, they lacked the knowledge to process the results of the industrial revolution and realize the repercussions of rampant reproduction.

        We’ve legally allowed for abortion because we’ve decided as a society that personal sovereignty and freedom matter. Women aren’t the chattel of man or fetus. When you declare folks to be sovereign, they are individually important and must be able to sustain their own existence. If they are unable to sustain their OWN life, they are not sovereign, and as such sovereign rights do not apply to them.

      • bob

        Planned Parenthood was founded by Margaret Sanger, a virulent racist and eugenicist whose stated goal for the organization was to eliminate blacks and other non-whites from society, as well as the disabled, “soldiers”, Jews, and anyone else she considered sub-human. Read up on what she actually SAID. It’s no coincidence that she was so popular among the Nazi “intellectuals.”

        The vast majority of taxpayer-funded abortions are performed on BLACK babies. It is a racist crusade.


        Thank goodness the vast majority of Americans are decent people who don’t agree with the idea of killing babies. Reminds me of Adolf Hitler and his “Final Solution”.


      The Founding Fathers never intended for a welfare state where those who want to work have to support those who were too lazy to get a free education.

      At least convicted murderers get to appeal their death sentence. If your wife wants an abortion you should pay for it Bob.

    • bob

      Removing an intact baby and then chopping it up, which Planned Parenthood is on record as doing, is not “abortion.” It’s murder, by definition. THAT statute does not have a cut-off date for developmental stages. When the “fetus” is outside the mother’s body, and is alive, he or she is a PERSON, and a citizen.

      Planned Parenthood KNOWS they’re breaking the law, and discussed that with the “buyer”, in one of the videos.

      Stop trying to sell this as “medicine.” Nobody has a right to taxpayer-funded health care, either. It’s something that society chooses to provide, but we can UN-choose just as easily.

  • Cora

    Our tax dollars don’t fund abortions. It’s actually illegal to use our tax dollars for abortion procedures because of the Hyde Amendement. So what do our tax dollars go towards? Cancer screenings. STI testings. Pre natal care. Family Planning Services. Counseling. NOT ABORTIONS. Seriously, if you are going to argue or rant about a topic, please educate yourself about it before doing so.


      So you agree that Utah should stop serving as an intermediary for federal funds to Planned Parenthood. So do I.

  • Jesi

    Fact: Planned Parenthood does not get any kind of federal funding for abortions or abortion proceedures. By cutting off funding, your cutting off STD/STI TESTING, HIV/AIDS TESTING, PREGNANCY TESTS and other BASICS of reproductive health. That my friends? Discusts me. And it should you too. Why? Cuz you cant argue with being diligent about your reproductive health. NOTE THAT NO OPINIONS FOR OR AGAINST PRO-LIFE/PRO-CHOICE WERE MADE. Thanks and have a nice day.

    • C'MON JESI

      Fortunate is the child born to a mother and father who chose to get married before having babies. Those are the homes where children learn about virtue and chastity by the examples set by their parents.
      We need less from Planned Parenthood and more from intact families that include one (1) mother and one (1) father.

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