How 72 Republicans Could End Up Stripping Funding For Women’s Health
Recently 72 Republican members of Congress sent a letter to the Government Accountability Office, asking the agency to track how federal funding and taxpayer dollars are used by six pro-choice healthcare providers and advocacy groups.
The organizations in question included the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the International Planned Parenthood Federation, the Population Council, the Guttmacher Institute, Advocates for Youth, and Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States.
This call for information has been made in the name of accountability and transparency, but its motives don’t live up to those principles. Several of the letter’s signers, like Rep. Diane Black, (R-Tenn.) have publicly suggested that access to this information—which is already available to the public—will “successfully mobilize the support needed to de-fund abortion providers, once and for all.”
Kate Stewart, the executive vice president for Public Affairs at Advocates for Youth, told Campus Progress that her organization intended to comply with requests for financial information. "Advocates for Youth will continue, undeterred by baseless political attacks, to ensure young people’s right to lead healthy lives, and to have full access to the information and services they need to make responsible decisions regarding their sexual health,” she said.
Others have suggested that there’s no way to know what organizations like Planned Parenthood use taxpayer dollars for, despite the fact that the Hyde Amendment prohibits the use of federal funding for abortions.
If there’s misinformation and confusion about Planned Parenthood’s budget, it’s more likely to come from members of Congress like Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.)—who famously suggested that the percentage of Planned Parenthood’s budget used for abortions was over 90 percent (in reality, it’s 3 percent), then backtracked by saying his statement was “not intended to be factual”—than the organization itself, which has clearly and repeatedly explained how their budget works.
Pauline Holdsworth is a reporter for Campus Progress. Follow her on Twitter at @holdswo.
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