Lawmakers Ask If Taxes Fund Abortion; Planned Parenthood Targeted in Inquiry
Byline: Cheryl Wetzstein, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
A group of 72 lawmakers have revived an effort to ask the government's watchdog agency to scrutinize taxpayer dollars going to Planned Parenthood and five other organizations who provide family-planning services.
The request for a Government Accountability Office (GAO) probe - which drew a sharp response from Planned Parenthood - focuses on Planned Parenthood Federation of America, International Planned Parenthood Federation, the Population Council, the Guttmacher Institute, Advocates for Youth and the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States.
Pro-life groups have long pushed Congress to investigate Planned Parenthood, noting that although by law federal funds may not be used directly to pay for abortions, Planned Parenthood receives about $1 million a day in federal funding for its other services.
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, said Sen. David Vitter, Louisiana Republican, and one of the coauthors of a recent
letter to the GAO.
Last year, Planned Parenthood performed a record 333,964 abortions and received a record $542 million in federal funding - up 11 percent since 2011, Mr. Vitter said.
My hope is that through greater transparency and accountability, we can successfully mobilize the support needed to de-fund abortion providers, once and for all, said Rep. Diane L. Black, Tennessee Republican, one of 66 House members who signed the letter.
Other senators who signed the letter are Republican Sens. Roy Blunt of Missouri, James Risch of Idaho, Tim Scott of South Carolina, Mike Enzi of Wyoming and Mike Johanns of Nebraska.
Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, rejected what she called political attacks from out-of-touch politicians.
At a time when the American people want Congress to focus on creating jobs and preventing the looming budget cuts, it is ridiculous that some members of Congress are instead focused on launching baseless political attacks aimed at restricting women's access to preventive health care, Ms. …