WASHINGTON, D.C., February 27, 2013, (LifeSiteNews.com) – Dozens of legislators in the House and Senate have called on a federal government watchdog agency to investigate how much taxpayer money Planned Parenthood receives each year and how those funds are being used.

The letter asks for information on all affiliates of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, International Planned Parenthood Federation, the Population Council, the Guttmacher Institute, Advocates for Youth, and the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS).

The effort is being led by Reps. Diane Black of Tennessee and Pete Olson of Texas, as well as U.S. Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana. But scores of Congressmen and five U.S. Senators signed the letter asking the Government Accountability Office (GAO) for a comprehensive list of grants being made to the abortion giant, the programs that authorize those monies, the kinds of programs offered, and the number of people served in each category.

The letter states the goal is to determine which organizations are “providing optimal health services and best using taxpayer dollars.”

Other prominent signatories include Rep. Steve King, R-IA; Tim Huelskamp, R-KS; Vicky Hartzler, R-MO; Joe Pitts, R-PA; Bill Johnson, R-OH.

They note in the letter they are “relying on the promise of openness and transparency often mentioned by the current administration” for updated information.

Last year, Planned Parenthood performed a record number of abortions and received a record amount of U.S. taxpayer dollars. In 2011-2012 PPFA performed 333,964 abortions and received $542.4 million in taxpayer funding – nearly half the organization's budget.

Black introduced a bill to defund Planned Parenthood at the federal level in January.

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Rep. Pete Olson said the last government report, in 2010, was released “before we learned what many feared to be true – that Planned Parenthood has failed to properly follow correct billing practices to prevent federal tax dollars from funding abortion services, as demanded by law. This new report is critically needed to shine a bright light on how taxpayer funds are allocated.”

Last year the the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) released a 23-page report that found upwards of $99 million in waste or possible Planned Parenthood fraud, including the alleged illegal taxpayer funding of abortion and abortion-related procedures.

“Planned Parenthood has to play by the same rules as everyone else,” Steven Aden, vice president for human life issues and senior council at ADF, told LifeSiteNews.com last year. “It is not entitled to a dime of taxpayer funds, especially if it is committing Medicaid fraud.”

“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 Sen. Vitter. “This GAO report would shine a light on how tax dollars are being spent."

Pro-abortion congresswomen were quick to condemn the effort.

Reps. Louise Slaughter, D-NY, and Diana DeGette, D-CO, called the actions “an ideological crusade against women's health, reminding the American people that while Republicans may not be interested in averting the sequester's disastrous cuts, they are interested in getting between women and their doctors and limiting women's health choices.”