A recent article in The Seattle Times reported that the Planned Parenthood affiliate overseeing Alaska is one of the most successful in the nation, and it is expanding its influence into pro-life areas of the country.
Chris Charbonneau, who oversees Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands, aims to expand her affiliate’s reach into Indiana and Kentucky, both traditional pro-life states. Her affiliate already covers Alaska, Idaho, Western Washington and Hawaii. The new expansion is part of a plan to keep abortion mills running in red states.
She said expansion into the middle of the country involves secretly buying and building abortion clinics without pro-life advocates finding out.
Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest has “easier politics” and a “nicer fundraiser environment,” Charbonneau told The Seattle Times. She said expansion into the middle of the country involves secretly buying and building abortion clinics without pro-life advocates finding out. Since the Seattle-based affiliate is flush with money it has resources to boost abortion in more pro-life regions. In doing so, Planned Parenthood leadership takes a “softer touch” when talking about abortion in red states – choosing to avoid talking about abortion directly, the Seattle Times article notes.
The article does reveal, however, that pro-life efforts do have an impact on Planned Parenthood. Patti Stauffer, who headed Planned Parenthood in Kentucky, told The Seattle Times that resisting pro-life efforts was exhausting.
Planned Parenthood’s restructuring is due, in part, to the fact that the company voluntarily withdrew from Title X federal funding after President Trump issued a rule banning these funds from benefiting groups that provide or refer for abortions. That has meant the loss of millions to regional areas around the country, including in Alaska.
Charbonneau, however, is zealous about abortion. As the longest-serving Planned Parenthood CEO, she likes to point to her successes in less pro-abortion climates like Idaho, Arkansas and Alaska. She told The Seattle Times that Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands has actually gained patients, and she credits state-funded family planning services for providing a key revenue stream. Due to an Alaska Supreme Court order, the state still pays for abortions through Medicaid funds. Since Planned Parenthood provides nearly all Alaska abortions, they are the chief beneficiaries.