Aug 3, 2015
The recent release of undercover videos that appear to show Planned Parenthood executives engaging in the sale of aborted body parts has put the Jeb Bush Presidential campaign on the defensive.
“Before becoming a GOP candidate Bush was serving as a director of Bloomberg Philanthropies, former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg’s non-profit, in March 2014 when it announced a $50 million partnership with Planned Parenthood in Africa.
At issue is whether Bush was aware of the initiative and if he exercised his fiduciary responsibility as one of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ directors to provide “advice and oversight” to the foundation’s management team prior to the decision to spend $50 million on the program.
“As a board member of Bloomberg Philanthropies, Governor Bush did not vote on or approve individual projects or programs. Governor Bush and Mayor Bloomberg disagree on several policy areas, including Planned Parenthood. They do share a passion for reforming education, which was Governor Bush’s focus on the board,” Jeb Bush campaign spokeswoman Kristy Campbell tells Breitbart News. That echos the themes — and some of the exact words — she first used in April when interviewed by the Tampa Bay Times on Bush’s role in the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ $50 million partnership in Africa with Planned Parenthood.
Governor Bush’s strong record of fostering a culture of life is clear, and he has called on Congress to investigate and defund Planned Parenthood in light of the recent alarming revelations about its practices. During his eight years in office, Governor Bush took measures to protect innocent life by passing a partial-birth abortion ban, fighting for a constitutional amendment requiring parental notifications and doing everything possible to promote adoption.
Even for a charity as wealthy as Bloomberg Philanthropies, whose 2013 endowment was $5.4 billion, an expenditure of $50 million over several years is a substantial portion of the estimated $200 million in grants it disburses annually. In 2013, it disbursed $204 million in grants. Data is not yet available for 2014.
When news that Bush was one of the Bloomberg Family Foundation’s nineteen founding directors from the charity’s formation in 2010 until the end of 2014 (by which time the name had been changed to Bloomberg Philanthropies) was first brought to the public’s attention in April 2015 by the Tampa Bay Times, the Bush campaign tried to minimize Bush’s involvement with the Planned Parenthood decision.
But a Lifesite News article on Thursday resurrected the issue, which, in light of the release of the undercover videos, has become politically radioactive.
Last week, Bush called for a Congressional investigation into Planned Parenthood.
“I’m confirming that yes, we have a maternal and reproductive health program. We support work in countries in Latin America and Africa to prevent maternal deaths and work with partners including Planned Parenthood Global. In regards to Mr. Bush’s involvement, Bloomberg Philanthropies’ board members do not vote on individual initiatives or program spends,” Rebecca Carriero, a spokesperson for Bloomberg Philanthropies tells Breitbart News.
But pro-life activists are not impressed with the explanations offered by either the Bush campaign team or Bloomberg Philanthropies.”