NEW YORK, September 28, 2011 ( – The Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) has hit back at a U.S. House Committee investigation into the abortion group’s handling of hundreds of millions in taxpayer funds, calling it “harassment and intimidation.”

The U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce, chaired by Rep. Cliff Stearns, has asked PPFA to hand over all official documentation that would prove not only proper allocation of its $363 million in Medicaid and other taxpayer funding each year, but also its institutional dedication to reporting child sex abuse and illegal sex trafficking. 

PPFA president Cecile Richards launched a petition against the Committee, telling supporters that “you know as well as I do that this isn’t about fiscal responsibility.”

“This is about harassment and intimidation of America’s leading provider and advocate of women’s health care,” said Richards in a mass email Tuesday. “[Rep. Stearns] is grasping for something, anything, he can use to discredit, damage, or destroy Planned Parenthood.”

Americans United for Life, the pro-life group behind a massive exposé of Planned Parenthood’s business history released in July, says that the organization’s response dodged the real issue.

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Regarding Richards’ claim that the investigation is purely political, Americans United for Life President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest responded: “Prove it.”

“Open the Records. Cecile Richards needs to account for the conduct of the abortion mega-provider,” said Yoest. “Substantial evidence exists that Planned Parenthood is an abuse-laden organization requiring Congressional oversight.”

AUL’s report “The Case for Investigating Planned Parenthood” laid out evidence of multiple financial and legal scandals using Planned Parenthood’s own records.

“Ensuring compliance with the law is not a partisan issue, and the Committee’s decision to investigate an organization that has been rocked by systemic fraud and abuse shows that Congress takes its responsibility to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars seriously,” said Yoest.