GAO to Investigate Planned Parenthood's Taxpayer Dollar Use

Image: GAO to Investigate Planned Parenthood's Taxpayer Dollar Use

Friday, 09 Aug 2013 12:45 PM

By Melanie Batley

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The Government Accountability Office confirmed Thursday that it will investigate how Planned Parenthood is using the millions of taxpayer dollars it receives each year.

The announcement came after 72 members of Congress, petitioned the agency in February seeking an audit of the country's largest abortion provider and other providers that receive federal funding, Fox News reported Thursday.

In 2010, the GAO released a report that indicated significant discrepancies in Planned Parenthood's reported spending and funding.

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In the Republican-sponsored letter to the GAO, the lawmakers called on the agency to provide an update on how federal funds are being spent by organizations that provide abortion 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," said Louisiana GOP Sen. David Vitter, who along with Tennessee GOP Rep. Diane Black, is leading the push of an audit.

Last year, clinics affiliated with the Planned Parenthood Federation of America performed a record 333,964 abortions and reported a record $1.2 billion in revenue generated, according to a report by Life Decisions International.

Taxpayer funding of the organization reached $538.5 million last year and accounted for 45.2 percent of Planned Parenthood's total annual budget in 2011-2012.

Meanwhile, the organization is under renewed scrutiny after its Texas affiliate was forced to pay a $4.3 million at the end of July to settle a whistle-blower lawsuit alleging that the organization fraudulently billed Medicaid over $30 million, according to the Houston Chronicle.

"Federal and state auditors and investigators have specifically tabbed Planned Parenthood affiliates with at least $12.5 million in waste, abuse and 'fraudulent overbilling' of taxpayers. Former Planned Parenthood employees and others allege many millions more," Casey Mattox, a lawyer for Alliance Defending Freedom, said after the settlement.

The alliance group has filed lawsuits against Planned Parenthood and has produced a report that it claims tracks the organization's waste.



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