ZURITA: The Real Cost of Abortion
Editor's Note: A version of this article was posted by The Washington Times. Click here to read it.
The Planned Parenthood Federation of America has become the target of an investigation by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). Since Planned Parenthood received $542.4 million in fiscal 2011-12, there is sure to be a lot to investigate about exactly what the government got for its money.
In February, Republican Reps. Diane Black of Tennessee and Pete Olsen of Texas, along with Republican Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana, authored a letter to the GAO, signed by more than 65 other members of Congress, which asked for the investigation. The GAO will also be investigating the International Planned Parenthood Federation, the Population Council, the Guttmacher Institute, Advocates for Youth, and the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States.
The information they seek in the investigation includes:
The amount of federal funding each of these organizations received or were awarded, and the fiscal year in which the funds were disbursed.
Federal agencies, grants and programs that were sources of these federal funds (including Medicaid, Title X, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Agency for International Development, President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and any other agency or subagency that funds activities that the groups may provide.
Descriptions of how these funds were disbursed (i.e., by block grant).
An accounting of the number of health services provided, including family-planning services, community health centers and federally qualified health centers.
A comprehensive list of all services, including family services, that the community health centers and federally qualified health centers provide.
The number of individuals served in each category.
Concerned Women for America has been at the forefront in pointing out the problems related to Planned Parenthood. In CWA’s 2011 report, “Cutting the Cord: The Case for Defunding Planned Parenthood,” Beverly LaHaye Institute senior fellow Janice Shaw Crouse detailed the ways in which Planned Parenthood rakes in money and deceives the public about its true purpose. Detailing ongoing investigations into fraud, mismanagement and misrepresentation. Ms. Crouse wrote, “Planned Parenthood claims that no federal money goes for abortions. Such claims are more than a bit disingenuous; while that statement is technically true, it hides the reality of gaping loopholes. The claim is nothing more than a bookkeeping allocation — federal funds applied to overhead costs, etc., free up other money to enable them to profit from the abortions that they perform.”
In April 2013, the Alliance Defending Freedom released a report, “Planned Parenthood’s Waste, Abuse and Potential Fraud,” which found — at a minimum — $108 million “in waste, abuse and potential fraud in Title XIX-Medicaid programs. Yet it is troublesome that all the audits conducted to date have been relatively superficial; none has yet examined more than a small subsection of an organization’s billings. Thus, the total amount of waste, abuse and potential fraud is likely many times that.”
One Planned Parenthood affiliate, Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast (PPGC) in Texas, is a high-profile example of fraud. The organization has agreed to pay $4.3 million to the U.S. government, a whistleblower and the state of Texas. The Department of Justice “contends that PPGC submitted false claims and made false statements to the United States in connection with claims submitted” to Medicaid, Title XIX, Title XX, and the Texas Women’s Health Program.
As the Concerned Women for America report pointed out, Planned Parenthood is purportedly committing fraud even though they have been receiving hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars every year for many years. In 2008-09, the organization received $363.2 million; 2009-10: $487.4 million; 2010-11: $538.5 million and 2011-12: $542.4 million. President Obama has been very generous to one of his biggest supporters. In 2008, Planned Parenthood snuffed out the lives of 324,008 babies; in 2009: 332,278 babies; in 2010: 329,445 babies and in 2011: 333,964 babies were slaughtered. Worse still, this supposed nonprofit made huge profits: $63.4 million in 2008, $18.5 million in 2009, $155.5 million in 2010, and $87.4 million in 2011.
What’s with Planned Parenthood’s obsession with money? In 2012, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation decided to stop funding Planned Parenthood after the organization admitted it does not perform mammograms. After threats from the abortion giant, Komen restored $680,000 in funding. Planned Parenthood went after this charity over a drop in the bucket compared with their billion-dollar-a-year business (including government funding, clinic income and donations) — all under the guise of promoting women’s health.
The GAO report will hopefully provide the information necessary for Congress to not only close loopholes in funding, but to actually defund Planned Parenthood. With more than a half-billion dollars to track, the investigation will undoubtedly find waste, fraud and abuse. Taxpayers deserve to know the truth about how their hard-earned dollars are spent and be assured they are not paying for abortions, waste, fraud or abuse.
Brenda Zurita is a research fellow for Concerned Women for America’s Beverly LaHaye Institute.
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