Olson, Black, Smith, and Vitter Respond to GAO Report Revealing Federal Funding of Abortion Advocates
Washington, D.C. â€“ Today Congressman Pete Olson (R-TX-22), Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06), Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ-04) and Senator David Vitter (R-LA) responded to the release of a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on taxpayer funding of six abortion advocacy groups, including: Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), Population Council, International Planned Parenthood Federation of America (IPPF), Guttmacher Institute, Advocates for Youth, and Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States.
The report found that the six organizations spent $481 million in federal funding from Fiscal Years 2010 to 2012, as well as about $1.2 billion in combined federal and state funds under federal health programs that require shared funding. Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) spent the greatest share of this public funding â€“ approximately $1.5 billion in combined state and federal dollars, or an average of about $500 million each year. Olson, Black, Smith, and Vitter led more than 60 House and Senate Members in calling for this study in February 2013. They released the following statements:
â€œIt shouldn't take a GAO request from Congress for the American public to know where their tax dollars are being spent. Yet, since I've been in Congress, this is the only way we can get answers. That's why I continue to demand transparency and fight to stop organizations like Planned Parenthood from receiving a single tax dollar. I will continue to do all I can to prevent taxpayers from being forced to support organizations that promote or perform abortions. Greater transparency is critically important and precisely what these groups seek to avoid,â€ said Congressman Pete Olson.
â€œThis report confirms what we suspected all along: hard-earned taxpayer dollars continue to be used to promote abortions. The GAO study found that Planned Parenthood Federation of America alone â€“ the nationâ€™s largest abortion provider â€“ spent about $1.5 billion in combined federal and state funding during this reporting period. This is shameful and we have a responsibility to stop it. As a nurse for more than 40 years, I know that abortion is not health care. In light of this report, Congress should act swiftly by passing the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act, which would help cut off federal funding of organizations like these that promote the destruction of unborn life,â€ said Congressman Diane Black.
Congressman Black added, â€œIt is a sad irony that this study would be released at a time when Senate Democrats are working against human trafficking and Medicare bills that continue the longstanding Hyde Amendment aimed at prohibiting federal funding of abortions. As the GAO report clearly shows, this amendment alone does not fully prevent the federal funding of abortion providers and promoters. And letâ€™s not forget, this is information the Obama Administration never wanted us to have. The only reason this report exists is because pro-life Members of Congress specifically demanded it. Greater transparency and accountability is needed to expose how taxpayer dollars are being spent when it comes to abortion. By exposing the facts and shining a light on this egregious misuse of federal dollars, I believe we can successfully mobilize the support needed to defund the big abortion industry once and for all.â€
â€œThe government watchdog (GAO) report issued today found that Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion chain in America, received a whopping $1.5 billion dollars through federal programs over a three year period. Planned Parenthoodâ€”Child Abuse Incorporatedâ€”is responsible for killing more than 6 million unborn children, and it is unconscionable that this organization continues to be subsidized by the American taxpayer,â€ said Congressman Chris Smith.
â€œTaxpayer funding should in no way support abortions. But when we hand out funding to groups like Planned Parenthood, we know exactly where itâ€™s going â€“ they proudly admit that the majority of their pregnancy-related resources go toward abortions,â€ said Senator David Vitter. â€œWe canâ€™t let this federal support come at the expense of millions of unborn children.â€
The report additionally included information on the amount of funding provided for federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), which provide comprehensive health services not offered by the six organizations named in the GAO report and do not provide abortions. According to the GAO, FQHCs served 21 million individuals during 2012 alone offering a positive alternative to funding abortion providers like Planned Parenthood. Black and Vitter are the authors of the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act which would end Title X grants for â€œhealth careâ€ providers that perform abortions. These grants are a significant funding stream for Planned Parenthood. The legislation has the bipartisan support of 143 cosponsors, including Congressmen Olson and Smith. Read the full GAO report HERE.