Demanding an Account

On Aug. 14, the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee sent a letter to Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards, calling for a detailed accounting of the organization’s financial dealings and surgical procedures over the last five years—and gave her only two weeks to get the information together.

“For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2014, Planned Parenthood reported approximately $1.3 billion in total revenue, of which $528.4 million is attributed to ‘government health services grants and reimbursements,’ ” Chairman Jason Chaffetz wrote. He then asked her to provide, by Aug. 28:

  • The cumulative amount of funding Planned Parenthood received from the federal government, including the programs and grants involved, since 2010;
  • all financial statements, annual reports and tax forms since 2010;
  • a detailed list of all the group’s activities that were financed with federal funds, and the specific amounts of federal funds used for each of them;
  • the total amount of Medicaid funding it received, broken down by state;
  • a list of the 50 highest-paid employees, including their titles, annual salary, bonuses and “any other compensation”;
  • the names and contact information of the “66 independently incorporated affiliates” that rely on Planned Parenthood’s support to operate 700 health centers nationwide, which the organization obliquely mentioned in its 2013-14 annual report; and, tellingly:
  • “Identify, specifically, what procedures, services, or other medical treatments are available only or exclusively at a Planned Parenthood affiliate or health center that are covered by either a state’s Medicaid program or a health plan sold via a state exchange or under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Do not include services or procedures that could otherwise be provided by a health care provider.”

“I think they’re trying to assess Planned Parenthood’s claim that some, if not many, of the services it provides or offers that are non-abortion related are unique to a state,” Americans United for Life General Counsel Ovide LaMontagne tells Citizen. “We’ve heard Planned Parenthood claim on numerous occasions that if they’re defunded, millions of women will go without the care they provide. But research has shown many times that other providers give more expansive or better care than they do.”

When services other health providers offer are deleted, will Planned Parenthood have a long list to show Congress?

“Without abortion,” LaMontagne says, “I think you’ll have no list.”

—Karla Dial

© 2015 Focus on the Family.