October 1, 2012
by Dr. Charmaine Yoest
On October 16, the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, will celebrate its 96th anniversary. The organization is lauded as an advocate for women from the Oval Office to Hollywood and in countless neighborhoods in between. That praise, however, is based on a carefully constructed false front, aided by the best marketing Madison Avenue can provide, and deeply subsidized by the American taxpayer.
Americans United for Life (AUL), the legal arm of the pro-life movement, is determined to end Planned Parenthood’s masquerade. AUL will be helping Planned Parenthood commemorate their anniversary month by launching a new project, “The Planned Parenthood Exhibits: The Continuing Case for Investigating the Nation’s Largest Abortion Provider.” Each day in the month of October, AUL will release a new backgrounder that highlights grounds for investigating and, ultimately, de-funding Planned Parenthood. These short backgrounders will serve as “Exhibits” in the Case Against Planned Parenthood.
On July 7, 2011, AUL released the landmark report, “The Case for Investigating Planned Parenthood” (The AUL Report) which documented the case against Planned Parenthood with primary source material, including many from the organization itself. The weight of the evidence shows Planned Parenthood to be a scandal-ridden, heavily-subsidized, and abortion-centric organization despite its efforts to claim otherwise. This report contributed to the launch of a first-ever Congressional investigation of the abortion giant.
The AUL Report is a product of our legal team review of over 20 years of Planned Parenthood’s reports and promotional material, financial audit reports and financial statements, as well as primary source material from investigations into and charges made against Planned Parenthood and its affiliates across the nation. The Report substantiated, synthesized, and gave clear direction for the growing case against Planned Parenthood.
Among the known and alleged abuses documented, the AUL Report:
• Demonstrates that as the taxpayer funding received by Planned Parenthood has increased, Planned Parenthood has simultaneously become more abortion-saturated.
• Reveals how Planned Parenthood has failed to be a good steward of taxpayer dollars; affiliates in multiple states have been exposed for improperly and fraudulently billing government healthcare programs.
• Exposes how Planned Parenthood is far outside the mainstream, opposing and ignoring common-sense laws designed to protect women and girls. For example, in 2009, the Alabama Department of Public Health issued a report stating that Planned Parenthood staff at a Birmingham, Alabama abortion clinic “failed to obtain parental consent for 9 of 9 minor patients in a manner that complies with state legal requirements.”
The AUL Report quickly garnered attention and Planned Parenthood responded with what it labeled a “Fact Check” document, which appears on Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s (PPFA) website as one of its 30 highlighted “Fact Sheets and Reports.”
But Planned Parenthood’s “Fact Check” does not fit the self-description: it contains several inaccuracies and fails to address serious claims laid out in the AUL Report, including Planned Parenthood’s misuse of government funding and its failure to comply with state laws. On July 12, 2011, AUL’s Legal team authored a memo containing a point-by-point rebuttal of Planned Parenthood’s purported “facts” and highlighting the utter failure of Planned Parenthood to address the vast majority of the allegations made in the AUL Report.
Planned Parenthood’s subsequent response? Deafening silence.
While Planned Parenthood apparently hoped the issue would be swept under the rug, Congress took notice.
On July 14, 2011, led by Representatives Renee Ellmers (R-NC) and Randy Hultgren (R-IL), several Members of Congress, along with AUL President Dr. Charmaine Yoest, held a press conference calling for an official Congressional investigation into the abortion giant. Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ), co-chair of the Pro-Life Caucus and a longtime pro-life leader, described the AUL Report as “a blueprint for action,” noting that Planned Parenthood is “ripe for investigation.”
And, on September 15, 2011, the House Energy and Commerce Committee (E&C Committee), responsible for oversight of several funding streams that benefit Planned Parenthood, launched an official investigation into the abortion giant’s institutional practices and policies. On behalf of the E&C Committee, Representative Cliff Stearns, chairman of the E&C Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, sent Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards a letter requesting documentation from PPFA and its affiliates.
While the Committee continues to investigate, Planned Parenthood has continued to provide example after example of why it does not deserve the over $1.34 million paycheck it receives from American taxpayers every day. From overbilling the government to bullying a respected breast cancer foundation, from becoming increasingly abortion-centric to opposing common-sense health and safety regulations, the evidence against Planned Parenthood continues to grow.
Daily highlighting additional grounds to investigate and defund the nation’s largest abortion chain, AUL’s “The Planned Parenthood Exhibits” is working toward making this the last “birthday” that Planned Parenthood celebrates at the taxpayer’s expense.