New charges from seven former workers—including a self-described "abortion doctor"—that Planned Parenthood used federal money for abortions despite prohibitions is expected to fire up Republicans seeking to shut off tax dollars to the massive family planning group.
In a letter to the House committee investigating Planned Parenthood, the seven former workers also charged that they have witnessed staffers fail to notify parents when a minor sought an abortion, failed to provide a women undergoing an abortion with "accurate and relevant information" regarding the stage of her pregnancy, or detect and act upon instances were a female was brought to a clinic under coercion, possibily even human trafficking. [Whispers: Barack Obama Recruits Planned Parenthood Exec.]
"We are of one mind that the extent of these problems with the organization is not fully understood by the American people, who are underwriting the growth of Planned Parenthood and its potent outreach to the young and the poor," said the seven in the letter circulated to Congress by the Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-abortion group.
Planned Parenthood had no immediate comment.
The committee is probing allegations that Planned Parenthood is misusing taxpayer funds, which the seven pegged at $1 million a day in state and federal support. In opening his investigation, Florida Republican Rep. Cliff Stearns recently demanded documents related to audits, abortion-funding, and policies on reporting sexual abuse from Planned Parenthood.
Republicans for years have tried to kill funding for the group, and supporters of Planned Parenthood said that the goal of the new probe is to end the flow of federal dollars. [ Ohio Dems Attack Romney for Abortion Flip-Flop.]
The letter from the seven could bolster that goal. In it they said:
"It is a matter of public record that the affiliates of PPFA and its national headquarters receive roughly $1 million per day in federal-state support, for a total of $1 billion or more in any three-year period. This alone would merit close government attention as to whether or not these funds are being spent appropriately and, specifically, in keeping with the federal law which stipulates that none of these funds should be made available to a program in which abortion is used as a means of family planning. We can state categorically, from personal experience, that abortion is indeed deployed as a means of family planning according to the mission of the organization for which we once worked."
The seven include a former abortion doctor, two clinic managers and one clinic director. They did not explain why they had left the organization, but they all said that they felt a need to tell the public about the inside workings of their clinics.
They listed five areas of concern where they said Planned Parenthood staff failed to:
- "Properly account for and maintain separation between government funds prohibited from use for elective abortions and those funds derived from other sources that are not subject to such limitations."
- "Notify parents when a vulnerable girl is seeking an abortion, including instances when the minor girl is the victim of an act of statutory rape under applicable state law."
- "Provide a woman undergoing an abortion with accurate and relevant information regarding the stage of her pregnancy, including the opportunity to view ultrasound imagery that may have made a profound impact on her decision to undergo an abortion."
- "Detect and act upon instances where a girl or woman was brought to the clinic under some degree of coercion, up to and including instances where the girl or woman was subjected to human trafficking and was a victim of crime."
- "Engage in appropriate financial controls and billing practices to ensure compliance with applicable state and federal laws."