Congress Called to Action on Planned Parenthood
Mary Frances Boyle /
Planned Parenthood Federation of America has gotten itself into a bunch of trouble this year. It all started with the a series of Live Action videos revealing the willingness of several Planned Parenthood affiliates to clandestinely assist sex-traffickers exploiting minor girls. Now documented misuse of federal health care and family planning funds and other concerns have led multiple states to de-fund the organization entirely.
Americans United for Life (AUL), a pro-life public interest law and policy group, recently published a scathing report, “The Case for Investigating Planned Parenthood,” which documents Planned Parenthood’s
- misuse of federal health care and family planning funds,
- failure to report criminal child sexual abuse,
- failure to comply with parental involvement laws,
- assisting those engaged in prostitution and/or sex trafficking,
- dangerous misuse of the abortion drug RU-486,
- misinformation about “emergency contraception,”
- willingness to provide women with inaccurate and misleading information, and
- willingness to refer women to substandard clinics.
In the report, AUL calls for a full-scale congressional investigation of the organization, which receives $363 million in tax dollars a year. They argue that American taxpayers have a right to know what they are paying for.
Planned Parenthood presents itself as an organization that promotes health for women and their families, but as AUL reports, abortion is central to the group’s mission. Abortion made up 97 percent of Planned Parenthood’s work with pregnant women in 2009, an increasingly significant part of the organization’s “clinic income.” Congressional intent is clear that federal funding through Medicaid and Title X of the Public Health Service Act is in no way to be used to support Planned Parenthood’s abortion business. That business shows no sign of becoming rare anytime soon.
Moreover, the report shows that government funding and the number of abortions Planned Parenthood performs each year have increased at nearly parallel rates.
AUL also recounts Planned Parenthood’s misuse of federal funding. For example, in 2004 the California Department of Health Services audited the organization for improper billing practices that resulted in a $5.2 million overpayment from the government in just one fiscal year.
The report concludes that Planned Parenthood “has proven that it is not the defender of women’s rights and health that it holds itself out to be. Rather, substantial evidence suggests Planned Parenthood defends and partners with those who abuse and exploit women.”
As America falls deeper in debt, government spending must be limited. The Heritage Foundation’s Jennifer Marshall and Katherine Bradley listed subsidies for Planned Parenthood as one of the Dirty Dozen policies that show “a serious disregard for parental rights, human dignity, freedom of conscience, and civil society in American life.” The AUL report is the most comprehensive account yet of how deep that disregard really is.
Mary Frances Boyle currently is a member of the Young Leaders Program at the Heritage Foundation. For more information on interning at Heritage, please visit: http://www.heritage.org/about/internships-young-leaders/the-heritage-foundation-internship-program