- The Washington Times - Friday, July 30, 2010

Where’s the money? That’s the question on everyone’s mind after reading the recently released Government Accountability Office (GAO) report. The GAO numbers on money paid out to Planned Parenthood between 2002 and 2008 reveal an unaccounted-for $1.3 billion.

No answers have been forthcoming. In typical Planned Parenthood style, the abortion giant has done nothing to shed light on the question. In fact, it has done just the opposite.

After weeks of investigation by American Life League’s Stop Planned Parenthood project, it appears the reason the GAO was not able to account for the expenditure of the great majority of the government money received is that Planned Parenthood will not produce its internal audits for the GAO to analyze.

Because of this, the GAO had to rely on reports filed by Planned Parenthood affiliates under the Single Audit Act, and those reports grossly underreport the amount of government money expended by Planned Parenthood.

The American taxpayers are left with more questions now than before:

c Why didn’t Planned Parenthood hand over its internal audits to the GAO as it did in 2001 in the face of a similar inquiry into its spending?

c Why is the organization allowed to disregard the request of 31 U.S. senators and representatives to account for its expenditure of government funds? What is Planned Parenthood hiding?

c Why do we continue to fund Planned Parenthood to the tune of $349 million annually and not hold it accountable for how it spends that money?

c Most important, why is an organization that kills more than 300,000 innocent unborn children each year sanctioned and funded by our government?

Can an organization that operates more than 800 facilities in 50 states and has an annual budget of more than $1 billion really be hiding from public view?

Planned Parenthood has a complex organizational structure. It has a national office - Planned Parenthood Federation of America - that is incorporated independently and does not operate any medical facilities. Then there are about 85 separately incorporated affiliates across the country that do, in fact, operate 817 medical facilities. This makes a total of 86 corporations all filing their own documents with government agencies; all except the national office are involved directly in killing pre-born babies.

Planned Parenthood’s national office used to publish two annual documents that gave elected officials and the general public an understanding of its operations. After all, because taxpayers provide at least one-third of Planned Parenthood’s income, it is only right that we should at least know how the money is being used.

The first of those documents was Planned Parenthood’s annual service report. It gave the reader a real inside look at Planned Parenthood’s operation. Although that report has very valuable data and is still used within the organization today, the last time it was released to the public was 1992.

Planned Parenthood likes to portray itself as a trusted health care provider with a loyal following of clients. Yet that 1992 service report revealed that Planned Parenthood lost 43 percent of its customers in 1991. A look at other reports reveals it lost 41.9 percent of its customers in 1990 and 42.2 percent in 1989. This is not the picture of an organization with a loyal client base.

That 1992 report also told us that 42.7 percent of abortions at Planned Parenthood in 1991 were committed on minority women. This was despite the fact that minority women accounted for just 26 percent of the group’s regular customers. In addition, previous service reports showed minorities accounted for 44.5 percent (1990), 40.7 percent (1989), 40.5 percent (1988), and 44.5 percent (1987) of abortions. In other words, Planned Parenthood’s own data show that it targets minorities for abortion.

When these facts about client loyalty and the targeting of minorities for abortions were highlighted by pro-life groups, Planned Parenthood stopped making the service reports public.

Fast-forward to 2010. For the past several years, those opposed to Planned Parenthood have been making public the facts and figures from Planned Parenthood’s annual reports. These facts have shown the ever-increasing number of abortions performed: 244,628 (2003), 255,015 (2004), 264,943 (2005), 289,750 (2006) and 305,310 (2007), and the huge increase in taxpayer funds going to the organization (from $265.2 million in 2004 to $349.6 million in 2008).

In the midst of all the controversy over the GAO report and Planned Parenthood’s underreporting of $1.3 billion in expenditures, it appears that Planned Parenthood is adopting the same tactic it did in 1992. Planned Parenthood apparently has decided simply to stop issuing its annual report.

We don’t know how many abortions Planned Parenthood facilities performed in 2008 or 2009 because it is not releasing the numbers. We don’t know the extent of government funding during its 2008-09 or 2009-10 fiscal years because it is not releasing the numbers.

If Planned Parenthood - a tax-exempt organization bankrolled to a staggering extent by the government - won’t hand over its internal audits or let the public know the details of its operations, our government should stop handing over the taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars to the organization.

With 40 percent of Planned Parenthood’s customers abandoning it every year, the organization is a sinking ship, and that ship has on-board billions in taxpayers’ money. It is better to send billions of dollars directly to the bottom of the sea than to fund Planned Parenthood’s wholesale slaughter of un-born babies.

Rita Diller is the national director of American Life League’s Stop Planned Parenthood project.