Republicans are investigating Planned Parenthood’s funding and on Tuesday, Democrats fought back against the GOP agenda.
Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) wrote a letter on Tuesday to Oversight subcommittee Chairman Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) slamming the Republicans for launching an investigation without merit. They said Republicans “singled out” the Planned Parenthood Federation of America “as part of a Republican vendetta against an organization that provides family planning and other medical care to low-income women and men.”
Republicans not only in Washington D.C. but also throughout the country have constantly tried to limit funding for Planned Parenthood, if not trying to do away with its funding all together. They have gone after the organization because it provides roughly 3 percent of its services to abortions. Even at that, none of the federal funding it receives goes toward those abortion services because current law prohibits federal funding for abortions. Instead, any patient who gets an abortion at Planned Parenthood must pay for it out of pocket.
Still, their attempts have galvanized Democrats’ efforts to try and not only protect the right of a woman to choose but also the ability for low-income or uninsured men and women to receive vital healthcare services including but not limited to breast cancer screenings, prostate cancer screenings, family planning counseling and screenings for HIV/AIDS. Democrats have insisted that the organization does not use federal funding for abortion and what Republicans have done this year alone is unwarranted.
“The [Health and Human Services] Inspector General and state Medicaid programs regularly audit Planned Parenthood and report publicly on their findings,” Waxman and DeGette wrote. “These audits have not identified any pattern of misuse of federal funds, illegal activity or other abuse that would justify a broad and invasive congressional investigation. It would be an abuse of the oversight process if you are now using the committee’s investigative powers to harass Planned Parenthood again. Your fervent ideological opposition to Planned Parenthood does not justify launching this intrusive investigation.”
Stearns began the investigation earlier this month and gave Planned Parenthood and its 83 affiliates two weeks to provide the subcommittee a full 12 years of audit reports and other documentation. Cecile Richards, Planned Parenthood Federation president, said the organization and its affiliates would comply with the chairman’s request; however, he also said the investigation was a “clear political motivation” and not what the American people cared most about right now.
“At a time when American people need jobs, some members of Congress are instead misusing political power to go after health care access for the most vulnerable women in this country, and that’s a shame,” Richards said.
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