By James Tillman and Peter J. Smith
WASHINGTON, DC, June 16, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Taxpayers have funded abortion advocacy organizations to the tune of over a billion dollars between 2002 and 2009, according to a new report by the non-partisan Government Accountability Office (GAO). However, these figures may only be the tip of the iceberg.
At a press conference on Wednesday in Washington, D.C., members of Congress and pro-life advocates unveiled the GAO findings. According to the report, Advocates for Youth received a total of $8.7 million (2002-2009); the Guttmacher Institute, $12.7 million (2002-2008); International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), $93.8 million (2002-2009); Planned Parenthood Federation of America, $657.1 million (2002-2008); Population Council of the United States, $284.3 million (2002-2008); Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS), $1.6 million (2002-2009).
“With the national debt over $13 trillion - costing every American $118,000 - we must apply strict scrutiny to every federal dollar allocated," Rep. Pete Olson (R-Tex.) said at Wednesday’s conference, noting that most Americans are opposed to funding abortion interest groups.
"That this tax money is spent by organizations that offend the majority of Americans only further justifies the need for this alarming report."
While under the Hyde and Helms amendment no taxpayer dollars are used directly for elective abortions, pro-life leaders pointed out that the federal government’s subsidizing of these groups acts as tacit approval for their agenda, and gives them ample financial resources to expand their facilities and influence in U.S. communities.
“Since Obama’s election, U.S. subsidies to the abortion industry at home and abroad have significantly increased,” noted Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), the co-chair of the bipartisan congressional Pro-Life Caucus. Smith added that President’s Obama’s lifting of the Mexico City Policy, which used to prohibit funds to overseas abortion advocates, has alone added a cool $648 million to the coffers of such groups, including the IPPF.
“It’s time for Americans and especially Congress to take a second look and defund it,” declared Smith. “Defund Planned Parenthood—Child Abuse Inc.”
Restoring the Mexico City Policy would solve the problem of funding overseas. One avenue to solve the issue of funding at home is to enact the “Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act." This bill would prohibit problematic organizations from receiving Title X “family planning” funds by making them certify to the Department of Health and Human Services that they neither perform abortions nor lend financial assistance to organizations that perform abortions.
Lila Rose, president of Live Action and an undercover journalist who has performed sting after sting on Planned Parenthood facilities, told those at the conference that – even setting abortion aside – Planned Parenthood deserves to be defunded for its repeated willingness to break state laws designed to protect young girls from sexual predators.
For investigative purposes, Rose has posed as a 13, 14, and 15-year-old girl pregnant by a sexual predator boyfriend. She said she has witnessed “Disturbing results in clinic after clinic – on tape – that Planned Parenthood doesn’t care how old the sex predator is, who the sex predator is, that the sex predator can pay for the abortion, and that the parents won’t have to find out. The girl can lie about his age or her age on the paperwork."
“This has been documented throughout the country, in state after state, in clinic after clinic. This alone is reason not to give federal funding to Planned Parenthood.”
Rose highlighted the fact that some state legislatures have defunded Planned Parenthood for violating their laws, adding, “The federal government should be as well.”
But as high as the GAO figures may seem, the report implicitly admits that the billion dollar figure may be a low-ball estimate: “expenditures in this report may understate the actual amount of federal funds the selected organizations and their affiliates spent.”
This is just the case according to Jim Sedlak of the STOP Planned Parenthood campaign, which seeks to end the federal funding of abortion: the GAO numbers are absurdly small.
"They are very low, these numbers," he told LifeSiteNews.com. "If I take Planned Parenthood's annual reports [for the same period] I get $2.3 billion that Planned Parenthood says it got in government money, and this report from the GAO is saying $655 million."
He continued: "So we have $1/2 billion that seems unaccounted for."
Sedlak explained to LSN how, for any given year, the income Planned Parenthood reported from the government was greater than that reported in the GAO's report.
"They say that in 2008, Planned Parenthood received $96.8 million. Planned Parenthood says that in 2008 it got $349 million in government money."
"That difference is just unexplainable."
Sedlak says he plans on examining the report to try to determine where the discrepancy might have originated.