Abortion providers spent more than $1.6 billion in U.S. tax dollars over a three-year period, according to a report released last week by the Government Accountability Office.
The report, requested in 2016 by more than 120 members of Congress, details the funding and expenditures of federally qualified health centers and abortion groups, which include Marie Stopes International (MSI), the International Planned Parenthood Federation, and the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA). It covers fiscal years 2013 to 2015.
Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., who led the request for the GAO report, called the amount of money sent to the abortion industry “sickening,” adding, “Abortion is not family planning. Abortion is family destruction. The American people deserve better.”
The funds came through Medicare, Medicaid, and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) reimbursements, as well as from the Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and other federal agencies.
Of the abortion providers, PPFA and its affiliates got the lion’s share, receiving $289 million from federal agencies and $1.2 billion in Medicaid, Medicare, and CHIP reimbursements—slightly more than they received from 2010 to 2012. Those reimbursements enriched Planned Parenthood abortion centers across the country by anywhere from a few hundred thousand dollars to upward of $200 million.
In 2016, the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives referred four of the top five PPFA recipients for investigation for profiting from the sale of aborted baby parts and other violations of federal law. According to the GAO report, Planned Parenthood Mar Monte received $229 million, Planned Parenthood Los Angeles $106 million, Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest $105 million, and Planned Parenthood Northern California $104 million.
Kelly Marcum with the Family Research Council told me the report offers yet another motivator to strip Planned Parenthood of its subsidies.
“As long as federal dollars are funneled to Planned Parenthood, then the U.S. government continues to condone the idea that abortion is healthcare, which it certainly is not,” she said. “Women need access to a broad array of healthcare services which can be accomplished by funding the over 13,000 community health centers in our country, not by subsidizing the nation’s largest abortion organization implicated in criminal violations.”
Federally qualified health centers offer treatment regardless of a patient’s ability to pay, and provide primary medical care, family planning, prenatal care, postpartum care, and even transportation or translation services. They reported spending about $11.2 billion in tax dollars over the same three-year period, seeing more than 25 million people in 2015 alone. Clients are most often women, and most visits are for the health of an infant or child, immunizations, or flu shots.
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, urged Congress to use the report to take money from Planned Parenthood and give it to centers that actually provide healthcare: “Community healthcare alternatives outnumber Planned Parenthood facilities more than 20-to-1 nationwide and could make infinitely better use of those funds to provide comprehensive healthcare for women and families.”