By Chuck Donovan
A new report from the General Accounting Office that was released on Capitol Hill last week has found that more than $1 billion in federal funds were expended from 2002-2009 by six controversial nonprofits, including the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), the Population Council, and the Sex Information and Education Council of the United States. The first two of these nonprofits received more than $941 million of this total, and the International Planned Parenthood Federation received another $3.9 million. The GAO notes that these amounts likely understate the federal expenditures made by the nonprofits because, among other reasons, the report excludes funds sent to entities with annual federal expenditures below a certain threshold ($300,000 until 2004, and $500,000 afterward).
Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana commented, “This report confirms that the largest abortion provider in America is being bankrolled by American taxpayers. In these tough economic times, there is simply no reason why taxpayer money should go to fund the activities of abortion providers and equip them with the resources they need to end innocent human life.” Pence was among the 31 members of Congress, including Pete Olson of Texas, who requested the GAO analysis.
Pence’s point is especially strong when one considers the fact that the nonprofit Pence is referring to, PPFA, regularly runs an enormous annual surplus. For example, PPFA’s net income (revenue over expense) during the period 2002-2007 was more than a third of a billion dollars — $388 million. In 2006 and 2007 alone, the last years for which information is available, the organization ran a $197 million surplus. The surplus could easily derive from abortion clinic revenue and/or private donations to the organization. But the essential point is that the PPFA has enormous resources in surplus funding that call into question why taxpayers should endure soaring deficits while financing an entity that has such a large imbalance between receipts and expenditures.
Policy makers looking for entities capable of self-funding more of their activities without taxpayer grants and opponents of federal subsidies for the nation’s largest abortion provider have an interest in common. The GAO report underscores why reducing grants for one of the nation’s most controversial nonprofits makes sense from both a budgetary and ethical perspective. Instead, the new programs established under ObamaCare will almost certainly increase the PPFA’s funding.