Representatives Diane Black (R-TN) and Pete Olson (R-TX) and Senator David Vitter (R-LA) led a group of more than 50 members of Congress requesting a report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) on how taxpayer funding is specifically used by Planned Parenthood and other federally funded organizations that perform or promote abortion. The representatives and senators also asked for specific information on the services provided and number of individuals served by Community Health Centers (CHCs) and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs). Click here to read the letter sent to GAO.
"America's largest abortion provider and a major recipient of taxpayer funds, Planned Parenthood, showed in its most recent annual report that they are providing fewer health services, while abortions and federal funding are going up. Nevertheless, Planned Parenthood and others like them continue to receive millions of taxpayer dollars each month despite the repeated red flags raised by their own annual reports and accounting gimmicks. An independent study of the federal funding for abortion providers is necessary to further expose the truth of how these precious taxpayer dollars are truly being used," said Congressman Black. "As a nurse for more than forty years, I firmly believe that organizations which both provide comprehensive health care and respect all life -- both the born and unborn -- are best equipped to offer the most effective health care services to those in need. This independent GAO report will give lawmakers and the public the most up to date and accurate information on the use of federal funding for abortion providers and the alternative options available for critical health care services. My hope is that through greater transparency and accountability we can successfully mobilize the support needed to defund abortion providers -- once and for all."
"The last GAO report that my colleagues and I requested showed that Planned Parenthood and similar groups received almost a billion in taxpayer dollars over a seven year period," Rep. Olson said. "That was also before we learned what many feared to be true - that Planned Parenthood has failed to properly follow correct billing practices to prevent federal tax dollars from funding abortion services, as demanded by law. This new report is critically needed to shine a bright light on how taxpayer funds are allocated.
"Federal tax dollars are legally prohibited from being used for abortions. Under our constitution, the Obama Administration has a duty to enforce these laws. And under that same constitution, Congress has a duty to ensure that the executive branch follows the law of the land," Olson added.
"Planned Parenthood performed a record 333,964 abortions last year, almost 1 million in the past three years. Last year, federal taxpayers gave Planned Parenthood a record $542 million, which is an 11 percent increase over the past two years. Planned Parenthood and other organizations who provide abortions are dependent on Uncle Sam, but there is no accounting with what they are actually using the money for. This GAO report would shine a light on how tax dollars are being spent," Senator Vitter said.
Summary of GAO Report Request:
Identify the following for all affiliates of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the International Planned Parenthood Federation, the Population Council, The Guttmacher Institute, Advocates for Youth, and Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States:
· The amount of federal funding each of these organizations received or were awarded, and within which fiscal year the funds were disbursed since the previous GAO report was conducted.
· Federal agencies, grants, and programs that were sources of these federal funds (including Medicaid, Title X, ACF, USAID, PEPFAR and any other agency or sub-agency that funds activities that the groups in question may provide).
· How these funds were disbursed (i.e. block grant).
· How many health services, including family planning services CHCs and FQHCs provide.
· A comprehensive list of all health services, including family services that CHCs and FQHCs provide.
· The number of individuals served in each category.
Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) vs. Planned Parenthood
· Over 7,000 (FQHCs) serve vulnerable populations in rural and urban areas.
· They are prohibited from providing abortions.
· FQHCs provide women with the same preventative services offered by Planned Parenthood, plus the many things they do not offer: mammograms, prenatal care, treatment of diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, depression, etc.
· Planned Parenthood traditionally performs "well women visits" which are restricted to pap tests, pelvic exams, breast exams, height/weight measurements, and blood pressure checks. Unlike FQHCs, Planned Parenthood does not offer comprehensive prenatal care, mammograms, or other quality and potentially lifesaving services that are important for "women's health."
· In states where the state legislature has defunded Planned Parenthood, low-income women are still able to access the same preventative services offered by Planned Parenthood in addition to many others through these FQHCs as well as community health centers. These health care providers far outnumber the number of Planned Parenthood locations, which are primarily located only in urban areas.
Additional Members who requested the GAO report with Reps. Black and Olson and Senator Vitter:
Representatives Jim Jordan, Michele Bachmann, Chris Smith, Randy Forbes, Joe Barton, Robert Aderholt, Steve Chabot, Austin Scott, Kevin Brady, Randy Neugebauer, Tim Griffin, Steve King, Lynn Westmoreland, Doug LaMalfa, Bill Cassidy, Vicky Hartzler, Larry Bucshon, Steve Palazzo, Doug Lamborn, Phil Roe, Charles Boustany, Robert Pittenger, Renee Ellmers, Steve Daines, Todd Rokita, Andy Harris, Bill Huizenga, Tom Cole, John Duncan, John Fleming, John Carter, Kristi Noem, Gus Bilirakis, Pat Tiberi, Martha Roby, Paul Broun, Bob Latta, Alan Nunnelee, Paul Gosar, Steve Stivers, Lee Terry, Stevan Pearce, Brett Guthrie, Reid Ribble, Jeff Miller, Marsha Blackburn, Ted Poe, Ted Huelskamp, Phil Gingrey, Randy Weber, Blake Farenthold, Bill Flores, Billy Long, Joe Pitts, Blaine Luetkemeyer, Sam Johnson, Bill Johnson, Mike Kelly, Bob Gibbs, Spencer Bachus, Jim Renacci, Andy Harris, and Ralph Hall.
Senators David Vitter, Roy Blunt, James Risch, Tim Scott, Mike Enzi, and Mike Johanns.
Background on Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act (H.R. 217 & S. 135)
At the start of the 113th Congress, Congressman Black and Senator Vitter each introduced the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act (H.R. 217; S. 135) which would ensure that Title X family planning grants are used for their intended purpose and are prohibited from being used by organizations that provide abortions, such as Planned Parenthood and its affiliates. To learn more about this legislation, click here. To become a citizen co-sponsor, clickhere.