Did Planned Parenthood Exploit a Loophole to Get Taxpayer Funds to Build Its Huge New Headquarters?

National   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Jan 18, 2018   |   4:34PM   |   Washington, DC

Two federal lawmakers are trying to find out how deeply the abortion giant Planned Parenthood is reaping the benefits of a federal program meant to help finance the construction of schools and roads.

The Washington Times reports U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger of North Carolina and Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma urged the Government Accountability Office on Thursday to investigate after discovering that the abortion chain received tax-exempt bonds to build its headquarters in New York City. The GAO is non-partisan.

According to their research, at least three other Planned Parenthood facilities were built with help from the federal bonds program as well. Pittenger and Lankford said they want to know if there are more.

“Some cities and states have offered these tax-exempt bonds to abortion providers in order to build abortion clinics or related facilities. Every time one of these tax-exempt bonds is issued, there is a federal tax liability which is not paid,” they said.

Pittenger also introduced legislation late last year to close the loophole and stop the government from supporting the construction of abortion facilities.

Here’s more from the report:

Federal taxpayer money is generally not allowed to be spent on elective abortions, but the two Republicans said the tax-exempt bonds appear to be a loophole.

State and local bonds are generally used to finance schools, roads and other infrastructure. Interest payments are tax-exempt and deemed secure, which make them attractive for investors — meaning lower interest rates.

The two lawmakers said abortion providers seem to go beyond the intent of the bonds.

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They asked the GAO to find out “the total number of bonds issued for abortion providers, the total tax benefits and the effects on the abortion operations,” according to the report.

Last year, Pittenger said he discovered that the abortion chain received two “abortion bonds” to help build its lavish headquarters in New York City. Planned Parenthood’s public financial audit shows two tax-exempt bonds for its headquarters, including a $30 million loan in 2012 from the Public Finance Authority revenue board in Wisconsin, the Times previously reported.

Jennifer Popik, director of federal legislation at National Right to Life, said Planned Parenthood receives taxpayer dollars and other forms of support through numerous government streams, and Pittenger’s legislation would help cut off one avenue of support.

“This is a good small step here,” Popik told the Times. “This isn’t defunding Planned Parenthood, this isn’t defunding large abortion providers, but this is one thing we can show we’re moving in a positive direction.”

Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion business in America, aborting more than 300,000 unborn babies annually, according to its annual reports. It also receives approximately half a billion taxpayer dollars each year, largely through Medicaid.

The abortion group’s own reports show its focus is not on women’s health care but on abortions. Non-abortion services have been dropping steadily at Planned Parenthood in the past decade, but its abortion numbers remain high.

Planned Parenthood could continue to receive tax dollars if it stops its abortion practices and starts focusing on legitimate health care, but it has refused to do so.