Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, has described 2011 as “the most difficult year in [Planned Parenthood’s] history.” Well, welcome to 2012.
The Alliance Defense Fund, in conjunction with the Susan B. Anthony List, released its summary report on publicly available federal and state audits that identify waste, abuse, and potential fraud by Planned Parenthood and state family planning programs and reveal systemic misuse of nearly $100 million taxpayer dollars.
The audits speak for themselves in detailing Planned Parenthood’s misuse of the money that’s been funneled to state family planning programs and Planned Parenthood affiliates. Ten state audits of Planned Parenthood affiliates in California, New York State, Texas, and Washington reveal waste and abuse totaling nearly $8 million. Moreover, 38 federal audits of 19 states across the country uncovered $88-99 million of waste and abuse in “family planning” programs. Two of these audits, in New York and New Jersey, specifically identified Planned Parenthood, and only Planned Parenthood, as a source of overbilling in the family planning programs; the combined waste in these two audits alone was over $1.5 million.
The seven federal audits of the New York State family planning program – which found overpayments in excess of $32 million – appear to have led New York to try to recover some of those funds from the only provider identified as a bad actor by the federal government. Thirteen months later after the audit that identified “especially Planned Parenthoods” as the problem, New York State released the first of its seven known audits of Planned Parenthood affiliates.
According to the audits, Planned Parenthood affiliates nationwide are committing twelve types of waste, abuse, and potential fraud, including illegally billing for drugs and/or services provided in connection with an abortion, overbilling for prescription drugs, improperly claiming services were family planning-related, and billing for medically unnecessary services. Alliance Defense Fund’s own confidential sources confirm these practices.
So Planned Parenthood gets nearly half a billion dollars each year in annual taxpayer-funded bailouts, and still it wants more – apparently enough to cheat the system to get it. But if Planned Parenthood threw a tantrum, saying it was entitled to Susan G. Komen’s $680,000 grant funding, just imagine how taxpayers will react when they find out they’ve milked the system for millions.
Planned Parenthood’s waste and abuse is anything but an isolated incident. Between the state and federal audits and two federal whistle-blower lawsuits against Planned Parenthood affiliates in California and Texas, extensive waste, abuse, and potential fraud have been identified to date in one in five Planned Parenthood affiliates. Since Planned Parenthood Federation of America exercises extensive operational command and control over the policies and fiscal affairs of its affiliates, and also imposes an ongoing requirement that each of its affiliates avoid deficits in its expendable net assets, we can look directly to Planned Parenthood Federation of America for festering a culture of waste, abuse, and potential fraud, and possibly even directing the overbilling itself, straight from New York City.
So in the wake of the numerous instances of misappropriation uncovered by state audits, and with government audits pointing the finger directly at Planned Parenthood, how does the abortion giant respond? In defense to a 2009 New York State audit’s findings of gross overbilling, one Planned Parenthood affiliate objected to the draft audit report, claiming that it was “unfair” for the state to request repayment or documentation “four to five years after the fact.” No apology, no shame – they just pointed the finger back at the very government that gives them almost half of their annual budget, saying that we shouldn’t expect them to follow the law.
Planned Parenthood may think it doesn’t have to play by the rules, but they need to get a lesson on the principle that separates the American legal system from the third world – that no one is above the law.
That principle should not be sacrificed based on the misinformed notion that abortionists enjoy special constitutional status (they don’t), or out of fear that Planned Parenthood’s recent mafia-style shakedown of Susan G. Komen for the Cure will be turned on Congressmen who insist on public accountability for the half a billion dollars it receives annually from taxpayers. They have deceived women and girls and cheated the American taxpayer for far too long. It’s time to hold the abortion giant accountable for every penny of our hard-earned tax dollars.
And keep in mind that in the midst of all their supposed financial hardships, Planned Parenthood’s net assets topped $1,000,000,000 last year. Woe is me.
LifeNews Note: Catherine Glenn Foster is the Litigation Counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund.