Before the 2011 Congressional session began, the anti-choice activists who felt they supplied many of the wins that allowed Republicans to take over control of the House sent out a wish list of items they wanted to see passed. Among them were The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortions act, which would make the Hyde Amendment permanent, defunding stem cell research nationally, and of course, defunding the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
Although the Republicans tried to defund the group during the first government shut down of the year, they were in the end unsuccessful. Multiple states have instead launched individual attempts to defund their local Planned Parenthoods, only to have their efforts thwarted by the federal government. Instead, they are taking a new path towards their goal by launching a federal investigation into the group.
According to Lifenews.com, at the request of Americans United for Life and other anti-choice action groups, Florida Republican Rep. Cliff Stearns is using his position on the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee to launch a full investigation of the reproductive health provider, asking for twelve years worth of documentation ranging from financial audits to billings to internal company policies and memos.
“Please provide all internal audit reports conducted by PPFA and its affiliates from 1998 to 2010. If not clearly indicated in the audit reports, please detail how much PPFA and each affiliate expended and received in Title XIX Medicaid funding, Title X family planning, and any other federal funding,” the letter says.
The letter requests any information related to improper billing related to federally-funded programs, proof that federal funds are not being improperly used to pay for abortions by PPFA or its affiliates, audits by state agencies of any Planned Parenthood affiliate, and documentation of how many affiliates currently receive Title X family planning funding.
The Stearns letter also requests documents on standards and practices related to billing issues, written policies and procedures, and its requests information on how the abortion giant keeps its family planning abortion monies separate and segregated.
“Please provide a summary of how PPFA detects criminal conduct and the policies and procedures in place to prevent it or report it,” the letter reads. “Please provide the policies and procedures PPFA and its affiliates have in place to ensure that all Planned Parenthood clinics report all cases of suspected sexual abuse, including statutory rape, to proper authorities.”
“Please provide the policies and procedures PPFA and its affiliates have in place to ensure that suspected sex trafficking is reported to the proper authorities,” it adds.
The letter also includes four pages of legal instructions on how the abortion business should comply with the requests Stearns makes in the letter.
The national health provider has been given two weeks to provide the documents.
Congressional Democrats are unamused by the obvious political games being played with Planned Parenthood, a ploy that is an obvious massive fishing expedition paid for by tax dollars. Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Henry A. Waxman and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Ranking Member Diana DeGette sent a letter to Stearns questioning his motives in launching an investigation. “Planned Parenthood is being singled out as part of a Republican vendetta against an organization that provides family planning and other medical care to low-income women and men. … The HHS Inspector General and state Medicaid programs regularly audit Planned Parenthood … These audits have not identified any pattern of misuse of federal funds, illegal activity, or other abuse that would justify a broad and invasive congressional investigation.”
An extensive audit into a group that has already been audited repeatedly, simply to pander to anti-choice voters and campaign contributors? Just another day in the war against women in America.
Photo credit: PeacoToons
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