Newsbreak

Government Accountability Office to investigate Planned Parenthood

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investigate planned parenthoodJust when Planned Parenthood might have thought the investigations on their financial practices were dying down, more seem to crop up, like the abortion provider’s nightmare of a Whac-A-Mole.

The latest investigation is from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), which granted the request of Representatives Diane Black (TN), Pete Olson (TX) and Senator David Vitter (LA), along with more than 120 members of Congress requesting a report from the GAO on “how taxpayer funding is specifically used by Planned Parenthood and other federally funded organizations that perform or promote abortion.”

On March 4, the representatives and senator wrote a letter to Gene L. Dodaro, Comptroller General of the United States, saying:

We are writing to request up-to-date information regarding federal funding of Planned Parenthood, International Planned Parenthood Federation and Marie Stopes International…. Relying on the promise of openness and transparency often mentioned by the current Administration, it is our hope that the requested information be updated and made available to Congress and the public.  Proper oversight of publicly funded programs is crucial in determining the value of the goods and services provided to the taxpayer, and allow policymakers to more carefully and thoroughly review them.

This month, the GAO replied that it would investigate.

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Rep. Black, who also sits on the Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives, was a nurse for over 40 years, and has taken a resolute stance against Planned Parenthood and its practices. In response to the GAO’s letter, Black said:

I thank the GAO for acting responsibly and committing to carry out our request for an independent review of the taxpayer funding provided to Planned Parenthood and related organizations. As a nurse for more than 40 years, I know that abortion is not healthcare and I am incensed that, year after year, my constituents see their money sent to Washington and distributed to organizations that promote or perform abortions all under the guise of ‘healthcare’ services. This is a sham and it is an affront to the conscience rights of every American taxpayer. By shining a light on the federal funding allocated to these organizations we can mobilize the support needed to defund the big abortion industry and reroute those dollars to organizations that uphold life while protecting women’s health.

Fellow requester, Rep. Pete Olson, said:

I applaud the GAO’s decision to fulfill our request to provide more taxpayer transparency on organizations that promote or perform abortions.  While I remain committed to defunding Planned Parenthood and protecting the unborn, at a minimum, Americans deserve to know where their tax dollars are going. I look forward to seeing the results of this report and increasing awareness and support to end taxpayer support for these organizations.

And Senator David Vitter added:

For years Planned Parenthood and their pro-abortion allies have deceived the public on how they spend their taxpayer dollars. We absolutely need to shed light on how these types of organizations are spending federal funds, and I suspect the forthcoming GAO report will confirm our fears of Planned Parenthood’s inexcusable misuse of taxpayer dollars for abortion.

The GAO’s anticipated timeline for launching its investigation coincides with the presidential election this November, in which all of the candidates have taken some stance regarding Planned Parenthood, further showing the potential impact of the investigation’s outcome.

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The request included the following areas for investigation:

  • The amount of federal obligations and disbursements to, and expenditures of federal funds by, each of these organizations in each fiscal year;
  • The federal agencies (such as ACF and any other agency or sub-agency that funds activities that Planned Parenthood may provide), funding source (e.g., block grants), and programs associated with these federal funds (including Medicaid and Title X);
  • How these funds were made available (e.g. direct or pass-through funding).
  • For the International Planned Parenthood Federation (including affiliates) and Marie Stopes International (including affiliates):
    • The amount of federal obligations and disbursements to, and expenditures of federal funds by, each of these organizations in each fiscal year;
    • The federal agencies (such as USAID, PEPFAR and any other agency or sub-agency that funds activities that the groups in question may provide), funding source, and programs associated with these federal funds (including funding provided by USAID missions);
    • How these funds were made available (e.g. direct or pass-through funding).
  • We respectfully request that your report also include information about Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) including data on the number of individuals served, the types of visits provided, the preventive services provided, and the amount of federal funding allocated to FQHC in 2013-2015.
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