Why does Planned Parenthood spend money on elections when you’re worried about losing your funding?
Someone asked us:
I’ve given a lot of money to Planned Parenthood because I know politicians are trying to cut your funding and you’ve been asking for donations to help keep your clinics open. But then I found out you also gave a bunch of money to political candidates, so I guess you don’t need my donations as much as you say you do? I support Planned Parenthood, but I don’t want my money going to any politicians, no matter what side they’re on.
First off, thank you so much for your donations and support. This is a super common question with a pretty simple answer: like many nonprofits, we’re actually made up of multiple organizations — at the national level, there’s Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) and Planned Parenthood Action Fund (Action Fund), plus dozens of state and local Planned Parenthood organizations. It gets kind of confusing because many people just refer to the whole family as “Planned Parenthood,” but PPFA and Action Fund (and the state and local orgs) do different things and get funding from different places.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America works to support health care providers at Planned Parenthood health centers across the country, educate the public on issues of reproductive and sexual health, and advocate for policy to expand access to health care. PPFA has 56 independent local affiliates that operate more than 600 health centers throughout the U.S, which provide critical health care services and sex education programs. In addition, PPFA partners with more than 100 organizations across Africa and Latin America to advance the health and rights of young people, women, and families.
PPFA also engages in reproductive rights advocacy, but does NOT endorse candidates, intervene in elections, or fund political campaigns. So when you donate to Planned Parenthood Federation of America, you’re helping to bring vital health care and education services to millions of people worldwide — and 0% of your money goes to political candidates. Planned Parenthood Federation of America and our affiliates are 501©(3) charitable nonprofits, which means donations to them are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowable under the law.
Planned Parenthood Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood. Many Planned Parenthood affiliates also have their own advocacy organizations at the state and local level as well. The Action Fund engages in educational and electoral activity, including public education campaigns, grassroots organizing, and legislative advocacy to protect and advance reproductive rights and access to health care at Planned Parenthood health centers. Planned Parenthood Action Fund is a 501©(4) social welfare nonprofit, which means donations to PPAF are NOT tax deductible.
Both Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood Action Fund do important, lifesaving work, but it’s understandable to have preferences about which type of work your money supports. The good news is, you can totally make that call by choosing which Planned Parenthood organization you donate to.
-Kendall at Planned Parenthood