Cliff Stearns Attacks Planned Parenthood
Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Ocala, is the chairman of the House oversight subcommittee. Stearns has requested that Planned Parenthood hand over internal audit reports from 1998 to 2010. Stearns question if Planned Parenthood is using federal funding for abortion the Hyde Amendment forbids the use of federal funds for abortions. Factcheck.org found that only 3 percent of services are dedicated to abortions and that it receives no federal funding for abortions.
Stearns is basing his investigation on the findings of the anti-choice organization Americans United for Life. AUL makes the outlandish allegations that Planned Parenthood is involved in prostitution and sex trafficking. The report's endnotes and appendix section is a mess. I cannot find anything relating to prostitution.
The prostitution allegations started from the anti-abortion group Live Action. Anti-abortion activist Lila Rose was trained in video hit jobs by the disgraced James O'Keefe. Unsurprisingly, the videos Rose made for Live Action were heavily edited hoaxes. The Americans United for Life are using debunked sex ring stories in their report. It isn't surprising that AUL would run with the sex trafficking story. What is shameful is Stearns cannot discern fact from fiction. That is assuming that Stearns cares about the truth.
There is pushback against Stearn's investigation. Emily's List is running a petition to stop the Congressional harassment against Planned Parenthood. Rep. Jan Schakowsky sent out a press release condemning the Republican attacks on Planned Parenthood.
“With the recent announcement of their needless and politically motivated investigation of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, House Republicans continue to make their extreme agenda clear: to undermine women’s access to reproductive health care and attack the health providers they rely on in their communities.
Instead of attacking unemployment, Republicans are waging a war against women. Earlier this year, House Republicans threatened to shut down the federal government over funding for Planned Parenthood. This investigation continues the Republican assault on Planned Parenthood, an organization that plays a critical role in our nation’s health care system.
Planned Parenthood serves over 3 million Americans every year. More than 90 percent of the care Planned Parenthood health centers offer is preventive. Planned Parenthood provides life-saving cancer screenings, routine gynecological examinations, contraceptive services, immunizations, and testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections.
This is not about federal funding of abortion. This is about cutting off women’s access to affordable, quality care in an effort to score political points. Now is the time to be working on the issues that are most important to Americans – creating jobs and improving the economy.”
Below the fold is Stearns' document request to Planned Parenthood.
Stearns Planned Parenthood