Politics & Policy

Did You Know Your Tax Dollars Are Paying for Abortion Advocacy?

It’s an open secret in Washington. Despite the best intentions of the longstanding Hyde amendment, tax dollars continue to flow into the coffers of abortion providers and advocacy groups year in and year out.

Need proof? Just look at the latest report from the federal independent watchdog agency, the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

The study found that Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in America, spent $1.5 billion in combined state and federal funding during a three-year window. But it’s not just them: Millions of dollars were also given to pro-abortion groups like the misleadingly named Advocates for Youth, which recently ran a Valentine’s Day campaign urging its followers to “Declare Your Love for Safe Abortion Care.” The report also uncovered $4 million in federal funding for the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, which has railed against commonsense abortion requirements such as mandatory waiting periods and informed-consent laws.

While the study took great pains to avoid explicitly stating that taxpayer dollars directly fund the abortion services and advocacy that occur at these businesses, common sense allows us to read between the lines.

Money is fungible. Take Planned Parenthood: Over 40 percent of the organization’s revenue comes from government grants and reimbursements. Funding given to the group by Uncle Sam for the supposed purpose of “family planning” (e.g., promoting contraceptive use and cervical-cancer screenings) ensures that the company can expend fewer of its own dollars for that purpose and more on their cash cow: abortions. 327,653 of them during its 2013–14 fiscal year alone, to be exact.

What makes this report all the more disturbing is the fact that it easily could have never been published in the first place. This is information that the Obama administration and its allies in the abortion lobby never wanted us to have. The only reason the report exists is because I and more than 60 of my pro-life House and Senate colleagues wrote the GAO calling for this study back in February 2013.

Now that the jig is up on Planned Parenthood’s company line that tax dollars do not support abortions, Congress should right this wrong. For this reason, I have once again introduced the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act, legislation to cut off access to Title X grants for “health care” providers that perform abortions. These grants are a significant funding stream for Planned Parenthood, rounding out $18 million of the organization’s budget during the reporting period used by GAO.

As a nurse for more than 40 years, I hope for the day when each unborn life will be cherished as the God-given gift that it is. But until then, we must take action to respect taxpayers’ conscience rights and restore a measure of fiscal sanity to Washington by ending the giveaway of our hard-earned dollars to abortion providers and advocacy groups.

The truth is on our side in the fight to defund Planned Parenthood and its counterparts. In light of this latest study, Congress should pass my bill without delay so that we can end this egregious misuse of taxpayer dollars once and for all.

— Diane Black represents Tennessee’s sixth district in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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