Planned Parenthood Prez: Most Difficult Year in Our History

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 28, 2011   |   12:57PM   |   Washington, DC

Last week, Cecile Richards, the president of the Planned Parenthood abortion business, sent a fundraising plea to the pro-abortion activists that support the organization. She complained the last year has been the “most difficult year in our history.”

“I’ve been thinking about just how to say thanks to you for standing with the Planned Parenthood family during the most difficult year in our history,” Richards said in the fundraising email LifeNews obtained last week.

“I send a message like this every year around the holidays, but this year…this year is, well, different. This year more people spoke up, donated, and acted on behalf of Planned Parenthood and the women, men, and teens we serve than ever before. And this year, I understood just what it means to be part of the strong, active, and unbelievably dedicated Planned Parenthood family,” Richards continued. “We know that the challenges ahead are real, and that the work of protecting access to reproductive health care will be difficult. We will need you with us, and I can’t tell you how much it means to me and to everyone at Planned Parenthood to know that we have you with us.”

Richards didn’t expand on what makes this year the most difficult, but the Congressional investigation the abortion business faces based on allegation of fraud and improper spending of federal taxpayer funds is certainly a part of it.

Congressman Cliff Stearns (R-FL), Chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, recently launched an investigation into Planned Parenthood — which Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser says is a great thing.

Dannenfelser said: “How has Planned Parenthood and their allies in Washington responded? They are viciously attacking Rep. Stearns and calling the investigation “harassment” and a “witch hunt.”

“Planned Parenthood will do whatever they deem necessary to stop the courageous efforts of Rep. Stearns and his pro-life colleagues, including viciously attacking him,” Dannenfelser, the head of the pro-life women’s group, said. “Planned Parenthood is scared. Rep. Stearns has begun the process of exposing Planned Parenthood for what it truly is: a billion dollar business centered on abortion and an unapologetic partner of those who exploit young girls.”

“Planned Parenthood performed over 330,000 abortions in 2009. 98 percent of their services to pregnant women are abortions,” Dannenfelser continued. “And as Abby Johnson, former director of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Texas, said: “I have personally witnessed and can testify to the validity of specific concerns raised by Stearns… As this investigation continues, Congress, and the general public, will begin to see how the organization misleads women and girls in order to fulfill its goal, not of providing comprehensive health care, but of remaining America’s abortion giant.”

In a September 15 letter obtained, Rep. Cliff Stearns, a Florida Republican who is the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Investigations, writes to Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood.

“Pursuant to Rules X and XI of the United States House of Representatives, the Committee on Energy and Commerce is examining the institutional practices and policies of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) and its affiliates, and its handing of federal funding,” Stearns writes. “That Committee has questions about the politics in place and actions undertaken by PPFA and its affiliates relating to its use of federal funding and its compliance with federal restrictions on the funding of abortion.”

The letter asks Richards to comply with current federal regulations and legal obligations by providing Congress with a wide range of documents within two weeks of the date of the letter.

“Please provide all internal audit reports conducted by PPFA and its affiliates from 1998 to 2010. If not clearly indicated in the audit reports, please detail how much PPFA and each affiliate expended and received in Title XIX Medicaid funding, Title X family planning, and any other federal funding,” the letter says.

The letter requests any information related to improper billing related to federally-funded programs, proof that federal funds are not being improperly used to pay for abortions by PPFA or its affiliates, audits by state agencies of any Planned Parenthood affiliate, and documentation of how many affiliates currently receive Title X family planning funding.

The Stearns letter also requests documents on standards and practices related to billing issues, written policies and procedures, and it requests information on how the abortion giant keeps its family planning abortion monies separate and segregated.

Planned Parenthood has come under heavy criticism in recent years for covering up cases of statutory rape by failing to report abortions done on unborn children of teen girls who have been victimized to authorities and by aiding and assisting alleged sex traffickers in obtaining abortions and other “services” for the women and girls they victimize. As such, as the Stearns letter asks for information related to those concerns.

The letter follows a request from AUL, members of Congress, and other pro-life groups urging an investigation. Americans United for Life issued a report featuring a groundbreaking analysis of the nation’s largest abortion business and saying it has uncovered evidence of systemic financial irregularities within the abortion giant, which receives more than $363 million in federal and state taxpayer funding, and that Congress should investigate.

AUL staff combed through 20 years of Planned Parenthood financial data and the report documents the known and alleged abuses by Planned Parenthood, including the misuse of federal health care and family planning funds, failure to report criminal child sexual abuse, failure to comply with parental involvement laws, assisting those engaged in prostitution and/or sex trafficking, and dangerous misuse of the abortion drug RU-486.