Sandy Hook

Sandy Hook

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Planned Parenthood Under Attack Again

Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.)

In an act chillingly reminiscent of the House Un-American Activities Committee, Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee chairman Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.), has called for a far-reaching investigation into Planned Parenthood and its handling of federal funding.
After Republican lawmakers tried and failed to defund Planned Parenthood during federal budget negotiations in February, the anti-abortion activist group Americans United for Life released a 30-page report that accused the family planning provider of misusing federal funds, failing to report child sex abuse, assisting sex traffickers and a host of other illegal activities, though similar accusations were made against Planned Parenthood and debunked earlier this year. The purpose of AUL's report was to convince Congress to investigate Planned Parenthood and revoke its taxpayer funds.

Facts, however, don't stop the AUL's knight in tarnished armor from riding to their rescue. He too is staunchly pro-life. Stearns has generously given Planned Parenthood and its 83 affiliates two whole weeks to provide a full 12 years of audit reports and other documentation. How magnanimous of him.
Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) wrote a letter to Stearns on Tuesday expressing their opposition to the investigation, which they say is "unwarranted" and "designed to harass and shut down an organization simply because Republicans disagree with the work that it does."
"We are aware of no predicate that would justify this sweeping and invasive request to Planned Parenthood," Waxman and DeGette wrote in the letter. "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."
I know we're all very weary and even a little leery of petitions, but please go to Planned Parenthood and sign this one. But don't stop there. Make phone calls. Don't bother writing letters, sending emails or faxing. 

U.S. House Of Representatives
2306 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone (202) 225-5744 
Fax (202) 225-3973


  1. "misusing federal funds, failing to report child sex abuse, assisting sex traffickers and a host of other illegal activities" -- seems like many if not all of those allegations could be against any number of Stearns' colleagues, too, but I don't see calls for an inquest into congress's behavior. Can we start one?

  2. @John: Probably you'd only get a staff member, but they keep a log with issues, pros and cons. What I think is a major turn-off for them is when they get hundreds and thousands of letters/emails with the exact same message.

    @intelli: Good point and why not.

  3. It's more red meat for the fundie base (as if they hadn't had enough thrown to them already), but I can hardly believe most middle-of-the-road voters don't resent Congress wasting its time with such nonsense. Perhaps even more than HUAC, it reminds me of Ken Starr's anti-Clinton fishing expedition, another waste of resources on a crusade to find something, anything, to take down a symbol of the cultural enemy.

  4. @Infidel: It's not only a waste of time but it's a waste of money. I like the Ken Starr analysis. I was just thinking about the sweep of the investigation - two weeks to produce documents going back for 12 years!!!

  5. It reminds me of Ken Starr too, but more recently, what the Right did to ACORN. The Religious Right is on a mission and is taking it all down like a line of dominoes...

  6. This so-called investigation is nothing but harrassment. It's meant to tarnish PP's name in the eyes of headline skimmers, who will read or hear enough to know the organization is under investigation, assume there must be something to it, and go on about their business. This sets the stage for the public to be complacent when, down the line, Republicans go after PP again, with something even more outrageous and potentially destructive.

    Then too, there's the chance that complying with the subcommittee's demands and paying for extra lawyers to advise and represent PP could just bankrupt the organization.

    This is exactly the kind of thing to expect when Republicans get control of even one body of Congress. It should be a strong incentive to do whatever we can to wrest control of the House from the SOB's, and keep them from controlling the Senate.

    The most worrisome thing is, times are difficult for so many that the political donations to do those things might not be forthcoming. Especially in tough times, Republicans have a marked money advantage going in.

  7. @SW: It is harassment, as you say, and politics. I totally agree that by forcing them to once again have to pay for lawyers is a major part of their motivation as well as their strategy.

    And now the GOP has just unveiled a plan to cut funding to heating subsidies and grants to better-performing schools.

    "The draft measure for labor, health and education programs also seeks to block implementation of President Barack Obama's signature health care law, cut off federal funds for National Public Radio and Planned Parenthood, and reduce eligibility for grants for low-income college students."

    The bastards just don't quit.

  8. Planned Parenthood has been in the sights of the Republicans since Roe v Wade and now they smell blood. I guess they want all those poor teenagers to have lots of babies. Unintended consequences will be so tragic for so many, but they don't care. Cruel !!!!

  9. @Darlene: Cruel and self-righteous and ignorant as hell.

    I still can't get on your blog and neither can Nance. She said she had this problem once before on another blog and had to jump through loops to get it corrected - took forever. I will try to do something about it but I haven't had time recently. I miss you.