Hillary Clinton Gets Plan B Kickbacks

Timothy Carney reports that Hillary Clinton is working hard to get a federal subsidy for Plan B, which in turn lines the pockets of Planned Parenthood, which in turn donates heavily to Democratic candidates such as Hillary Clinton.

Clinton’s campaign Web site touts that she has “battled the big drug companies.” Yet she has sponsored many bills that would directly subsidize Barr Laboratories, maker of the emergency contraceptive pill Plan B, which also functions as an abortifacient. Thanks to a deal cut between Barr and Planned Parenthood, those taxpayer subsidies will yield generous profits for the pro-choice group that every four years spends millions trying to elect a Democrat to the White House.

On Sept. 27, Clinton and eight other Democratic senators introduced the “Emergency Contraception Education Act of 2007.” While Clinton’s broad health care plan would “limit direct-to-consumer advertising” of prescription drugs, this particular bill would subsidize such advertising for emergency contraceptives in the name of a public awareness campaign for “postcoital contraception.” In effect, this bill would give Planned Parenthood tax money to conduct an ad campaign for the morning-after pill.

The most common form of emergency contraception is the drug Levonogesterol, marketed under the name Plan B. Barr Labs, which owns the patent on Plan B, has a deal with Planned Parenthood in which Barr sells the drug wholesale to Planned Parenthood for $4.25 a kit, according to media accounts of internal Planned Parenthood documents made public during a court case. A pro-life group’s survey of Planned Parenthood clinics found an average retail price of about $25, yielding an average $20 profit for each Plan B sale.

Clinton has done yeoman’s work to pump up the sales of Plan B. Last year, while holding up a Bush nomination until the Food and Drug Administration allowed Plan B — unlike other contraceptives — to be sold without a prescription, Clinton proposed an amendment to the Budget Resolution earmarking hundreds of millions of dollars to subsidize Plan B and other contraceptives. She has reintroduced the Plan B subsidy bill this year.


According to NYU’s Brennan Center for Justice, Planned Parenthood’s various affiliates — including a PAC and a 527 — spent $13 million in 2000 in efforts to defeat George W. Bush, including paying for nearly 10 percent of all the pro-Gore ads that aired. In the last two weeks before the election, Planned Parenthood spent more than the Gore campaign. In recent election cycles, the pattern has been the same.

None of Senator Clinton’s Plan B subsidies have been passed into law this year, but if she can pull it off, it’s a nice deal: Taxpayers subsidize advertising for Planned Parenthood, which then spends money to elect Clinton to the White House. Surely that makes up for helping one of those “big drug companies” make a bundle.

To be sure, Members sponsor subsidies all the time and those efforts are often if not usually rewarded with campaign contributions. Still, this is the first I’ve heard of Planned Parenthood’s sweetheart deal on Plan B distribution.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Anderson says:

    Another non-story. Did Hillary create the deal between Barr and PP?

    Considering how eager the media is for me to vote against Hillary, she must be doing something right.

  2. spencer says:

    Wow — she plays the Washington game just like every other politician.

    Can’t you come up with anything better then this.

  3. Michael says:

    Still, this is the first I’ve heard of Planned Parenthood’s sweetheart deal on Plan B distribution.

    Sweetheart deal? Sure it’s a big markup, but it’s not like they’re selling them by the hundreds every day. Lets assume that the average office has 2 people on staff, each making $10/hr (probably a low estimate on both number and pay rate). They would have to sell one Plan B pill per hour just to cover payroll. Assuming the doctor spends about 30 minutes per patient, then every other patient at Planned Parenthood would have to be buying Plan B. I don’t think this is a cash cow for them.

    A pro-life group’s survey of Planned Parenthood clinics found an average retail price of about $25

    Which is about what they charge for regular contraceptives, are we sure this pro-life group was pricing Plan B, and not just contraceptives in general? I’m sure they don’t have any kind of agenda to justify fudging their data or anything, I’m just saying, it’s an odd coincidence.

  4. Joe says:

    This article lost all credibility when it stated that Plan B functions as an abortifacient. Not true! Legally and medically, a pregnancy begins at implantation, after which Plan B is ineffective. I wonder if the author’s other assertions are also as devoid of validity? Probably….

  5. Allison says:

    That is too bad that this post is full of false information.

    Plan B is NOT an abortifacient. It is the same hormones as regular birth control pills, and has NO effect if a woman is already pregnant. RU-486 is the abortion pill – not Plan B.

    Way to spread lies, dumbass.

  6. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    I am glad the experts in phamacology chimed in. People like the first poster would blame the media for Hillary’s behavior even if she (remember Vincent Foster) committed murder. She loves you as much as she loved Socks the cat. Not much. Just as much as Stalin loved Russians.

  7. Mark Jaquith says:

    […] Barr Laboratories, maker of the emergency contraceptive pill Plan B, which also functions as an abortifacient.

    As far as I have read, there is no conclusive evidence that this actually happens. It’s just theorized. And even if those theories are correct, there are many who would argue that an pre-implantation zygote is not a viable human being.

    Note that if one claims “Plan-B” is an abortifacient, then one must think that all contraceptive pills are abortifacients, since it’s the same stuff, just at different dosages.

  8. Andy says:

    I wonder if the energy industry ever donated money to Bush. Golly gosh.

    God, this is so stupid. Particularly stupid because it’s REALLY, REALLY great that Plan B is available and subsidized. It reduces rates of abortion and unwanted pregnancy. And this column is a crock of poop to begin with: Plan B is not an abortifacient by most definitions (including medically).

    Oh, and this isn’t reporting, it’s commentary. It’s dishonest to label it as news.

  9. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Speaking of dishonest. Have you ever heard of the Clintons? I wonder what she would charge to rent the Lincoln bedroom?