More than $1 billion in federal funds have gone to abortion advocacy organizations over the past eight years, according to a newly released report.
In the first-of-its-kind report, the non-partisan Government Accountability Office details the amount of tax dollars received by six organizations between 2002 and 2009.
Rep. Pete Olson (R-Texas), who ordered the study, called the findings "disturbing."
"A majority of Americans oppose taxpayer funding for groups that promote or perform abortions," Olson said Wednesday at a news conference in Washington, D.C. "Since coming to Congress, I have fought against unnecessary and excessive government spending in all areas. It is disturbing that these organizations spent over a billion dollars over eight years."
He added that tax dollars given to organizations that "offend" most Americans only further shows that such a report is needed.
The GAO report reveals that the Planned Parenthood Federation of America received $657.1 million between 2002 and 2008; Population Council of the United States, $284.3 million (2002-2008); International Planned Parenthood Federation, $93.8 million (2002-2009); the Guttmacher Institute, $12.7 million; Advocates for Youth, $8.7 million (2002-2009); and Sexual Information and Education Council of the United States, $1.6 million (2002-2009).
Pro-life leaders and lawmakers clarified that the federal funds are not used directly to fund elective abortions, which is illegal under the Hyde and Helms amendment. However, the organizations can use the federal funds to support their work in other areas and thus free up private funds to use toward abortion purposes.
"By funding Planned Parenthood and their allies, we are unwittingly supporting an abortion organization and everything they do," said Ken Blackwell, senior fellow for family empowerment at the conservative Family Research Council. "When taxpayer money goes to abortion groups for any reason, it supports the work of the abortion industry."
Presently, FRC is supporting the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act – the only federal grant program that provides people with comprehensive family planning and related preventive health services.
Title X family planning funds accounted for the largest single source of federal money that went to abortion advocacy groups as recorded by the GAO report.
"This report confirms that the largest abortion provide in America is being bankrolled by American taxpayers," said Rep. Mike Pence(R-Ind.), who introduced H.R. 614 . "We must stop providing taxpayer dollars to abortion providers through Title X…. The time has come to deny any and all federal funding to Planned Parenthood by passing the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act."
H.R. 614, which was first introduced in January 2009, would prohibit the distribution of Title X family planning money to groups that use abortion as a method of family planning. The bi-partisan bill has 93 co-sponsors and has been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.