GAO Finds that More Than $1.5 Billion in Tax Dollars go to Abortion Providers

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06), Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), and Reps. Pete Olson (R-TX-22) and Chris Smith (R-NJ-04), responded to the release of the Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) report on the taxpayer funding levels of three abortion providers: Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), Marie Stopes International (MSI), and International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF).

The study, led by Reps. Black, Olson and Senator Ernst, was requested by more than 120 Members of the House and Senate. GAO found that these three organizations spent $410 million in federal funding between 2013 and 2015, and received $1.2 billion combined federal and state funds under federal health programs that require shared funding. In short, more than $1.5 billion in tax dollars went to abortion providers over a three-year period.

GAO found that four of the five Planned Parenthood affiliates spending the largest amount of funds from federal programs during this period were later subject to referrals to the Department of Justice (DOJ) for possible criminal misconduct regarding fetal tissue transfer. The DOJ confirmed that an investigation is ongoing.

Congressman Black, Senator Ernst, Rep. Olson and Rep. Smith issued the following statements on GAO’s report findings:

"I spent my entire career as a nurse fighting for the dignity of every human being, and I have witnessed the emotional, physical and psychological effects abortion has on mothers. All of us in the healthcare field took an oath to fight for life, and abortion destroys that. Industry giants like Planned Parenthood perform more than 320,000 abortions every year, and this GAO report exposes that these atrocities are done at the expense of taxpayers. No matter our views on abortion, or the party label beside our name, we must ensure that our money is spent responsibly and with integrity," said Congressman Black. "Abortion is not family planning. Abortion is family destruction, and the fact that $1.5 billion in taxpayer dollars is funneled to this industry is sickening. The American people deserve better."

“This report once again illustrates the absurd amount of taxpayer dollars funding the nation’s single largest provider of abortion services, Planned Parenthood, and its international affiliate organizations,” said Senator Ernst. “More than $1.5 billion in tax payer’s dollars should not go to an organization with such blatant disrespect for human life. That is why I introduced legislation to defund Planned Parenthood and redirect those dollars to federally qualified health centers that provide actual comprehensive care and family planning services for women. We have made great strides to protect life under the Trump administration, but there is more work to be done, and we remain committed to protecting the most vulnerable in our society.”

“I thank the GAO for helping to shed a light on how American taxpayer money goes to organizations that promote or perform abortions.  I remain committed to defunding Planned Parenthood and protecting the unborn, and we deserve full transparency on tax dollars for these organizations. The numbers are clear and the taxpayers deserve better. I thank Rep. Black and Sen. Ernst for joining me in this effort on behalf of American taxpayers and the unborn,” said Congressman Olson.

“An audit, released today by a government watchdog, GAO, demonstrates the abortion industry’s push to integrate abortion into primary healthcare services. Thankfully, under President Trump’s Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance Policy, international abortion groups, like MSI and IPPF, must agree to not perform or promote abortion in order to receive taxpayer dollars. This reform ensures that US international aid funds life-affirming care for both women and children. A similar protection should become the standard for all government funding; abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood – responsible for killing more than 7 million unborn children – must no longer be subsidized by the American taxpayer,” said Congressman Smith.

Congressman Black is the author of the Defund Planned Parenthood Act, which would place an immediate moratorium on all federal funding to Planned Parenthood until it certifies that it will no longer perform elective abortions or give funding to entities that do. The bill would also reallocate federal funding to more than 13,500 clinics nationwide that provide primary care to low-income and under-served populations that do not perform abortions.

In 2016, Senator Ernst introduced legislation to redirect federal funds from Planned Parenthood Federation of America and its affiliate organizations to other eligible women's health care providers.

Additionally, Senator Ernst and Congressman Black’s bicameral legislation to overturn an eleventh-hour rule issued by the Obama administration, and restore state choice about how to best distribute Title X grant money was signed into law by President Trump on April 13, 2017. 

Click HERE to read the GAO report.