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Black, Vitter, Olson, and Smith Applaud GAO Decision to Investigate Planned Parenthood Funding

Aug 5, 2013 Issues: Defunding Planned Parenthood, Pro-Life

Washington, D.C. – Representatives Diane Black (R-TN), Pete Olson (R-TX), Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Senator David Vitter (R-LA) issued the following statements in response to the Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) decision to accept their request to investigate the use of federal funding allocated to Planned Parenthood and other specific organizations:

"The federal government providing funding to abortion providers is a serious problem in our nation,” said Congressman Diane Black. “I am pleased with the decision from GAO to investigate the use of taxpayer money designated to any abortion provider, particularly Planned Parenthood. This independent study of how much and for what purpose these dollars are allocated to all abortion providers is necessary for Congress to ensure accountability and oversight. I look forward to reviewing the results and ultimately, mobilizing the support needed to stop federal funding of abortion providers once and for all.”

Senator David Vitter added: “Planned Parenthood performed a record 333,964 abortions last year – almost 1 million in the past three years. At the same time, they also received more federal taxpayer dollars than ever before – a record $542 million, an 11 percent increase over the past two years. Planned Parenthood and other organizations that provide abortions clearly benefit from Uncle Sam, but there’s no accounting to prove how they actually use that money. This GAO report would shine a light on how our tax dollars are being spent.”

"I'm thrilled that GAO has agreed to again investigate the amount of taxpayer funding that has been allocated to Planned Parenthood and similar groups that perform or promote abortions," Rep. Pete Olson said.  "Federal tax dollars are legally prohibited from being used for abortions. Under the U.S. constitution, the Obama Administration has a duty to enforce these laws. And under that same constitution, Congress has a duty to ensure that the executive branch follows the law of the land. I look forward to seeing the report and following up on behalf of all American taxpayers."

“Despite the best and slickest market branding money can buy, the stubborn fact remains that Planned Parenthood clinics are among the most dangerous places on Earth for a child. It is deeply troubling that despite the fact that Planned Parenthood claims direct responsibility for killing over 6 million unborn babies, including a record 333,964 abortions in 2011 alone, they still receive taxpayer money--since Obama’s election, U.S. subsidies to the abortion industry at home and abroad, have significantly increased.

It’s time for Americans and especially Congress to take a second look and defund Planned Parenthood. I’m pleased that the GAO will be investigating how much taxpayer money the abortion industry is receiving. Hopefully this will help us finally put an end U.S. taxpayer support, funding and complicity with this violence against children” said Rep. Smith.

Background: In February, Representatives Diane Black (R-TN) and Pete Olson (R-TX) and Senator David Vitter (R-LA) led a group of more than 50 members of Congress requesting a report from the GAO on how taxpayer funding is specifically used by Planned Parenthood and other federally funded organizations that perform or promote abortion.  Black and Vitter are the lead sponsors of the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act (H.R. 217/S. 135), legislation to block any Title X federal funding from going to organizations that perform abortions, such as Planned Parenthood.