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View Diary: House Republicans go after Planned Parenthood. Again. (60 comments)

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  •  A Few Facts (2+ / 0-)
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    Pandoras Box, white blitz

    First off, I'm a PP board member in one of our larger cities, so I know a thing or two about internal operations. The assault on PP is having two effects: It's putting PP under substantial financial pressure on the down side, but it's also brought a lot of support out of the woodwork from people who believe in PP's mission but have not traditionally given money.

    There are something like 90+ PP affiliates nationwide, an affiliate being like a regional franchise. Each affiliate operates independently using the PP name. In using the PP name, it must submit to regular audits and inspections to insure that it's financially sound and provides medical care that conforms to the national standards, usually higher than the states require. Thus each local affiliate generates its own revenue through fundraising, contracts with health insurers, and participation in state run Medicaid programs. Our affiliate and probably all others, depending on state law, run the abortion side as a separate operation with its own overhead and staffing. Some states require separate facilities and staff; some allow for the same facility and staff for both but not on the same day or hour. This necessitates some convoluted book keeping, but PP is used to it and has long adapted to its constraints just as it has to protesters.

    PP Federation of America is the national umbrella group and it does its own fundraising. It also provides an assortment of services, from specialized insurance to complex technical support, that affiliates could not source efficiently on their own. And, of course, it enforces professional standards of operation.

    All PP operations are under the non-profit umbrella so each affiliate and the national file 990's (the non-profit 1040) annually. As registered non-profits they also all undergo annual audits by outside auditors, just like publicly held corporations (the auditors are looking over our books right now). Those audits are used when cultivating donors, with large donors being especially keen on seeing them to insure their money is well spent.

    Working at PP will not make one financially rich, but one will be richly rewarded nonetheless in other ways. Affiliates do their best to pay competitive wages, and most succeed, to its doctors, nurse practitioners, and clinical assistants, but many do leave for the comfort (no protesters or personal harassment) of a private practice or a hospital and in most cases, higher pay. But we retain many because of their sense of mission.

    So, if any are so inclined, by all means look up PP on the web and click on the "DONATE" link at the upper right. The women—and men, who can get vasectomies and STD testing at most PP site—will very much appreciate your generosity.

    OH, by the way, abortions account for between 3% and 5% of PP services, depending on the affiliate.

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