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How Did Bush Fund Planned Parenthood? By: Tom Fitton
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, November 21, 2008

President Bush instituted polices that may have saved the lives of many unborn babies. One of his first official acts as President in 2001 was to reinstitute a policy denying federal funding to international groups that provide abortions. He opposed taxpayer funding for most stem cell research. And he signed a bill which outlawed the barbaric practice of partial birth abortion.

So would you be surprised if I told you that the Bush administration, under the auspices of the Department of Health and Human Services, has provided billions of dollars to the pro-abortion group Planned Parenthood?

That's why we decided to find out everything we could about the Bush administration's funding of Planned Parenthood, including what restrictions, if any, have been placed on how this money is spent. On August 14, 2008, Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Department of Health and Human Services. When HHS stonewalled, we filed a lawsuit. (Check it out here.)

Here's what we're after:

  • All records concerning the allocation and distribution of public funds to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc. (henceforth referred to as Planned Parenthood).
  • All records detailing the policies, procedures, and operational practices of Planned Parenthood, including but not limited to records concerning the use of public funds to provide health care or educational services.
  • Any and all records pertaining to the Department of Health and Human Service's decision to provide funding to Planned Parenthood, including but not limited to records detailing the use of government money, and/or any conditions or stipulations regarding the use of said money.

Incredibly, the Bush administration provides approximately $300 million in annual taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood through Title X (Ten), a program run by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Now, pro-abortion advocates and defenders of the Title X policy say that the funds are not to be used directly for abortion-related services, that there is a "strict wall of separation" between funds for "family planning" and funds for "abortion." There is some doubt as to whether or not this is true, which is one reason we filed our FOIA request. Even if you accept this argument at face value, this is a distinction without a difference. Certainly every dollar allocated by the federal government to Planned Parenthood for so-called "family planning" services frees up another dollar to be used by Planned Parenthood to provide abortions.

As President Elect Obama is a fanatic supporter of abortion rights and, among other acts, pledges to reverse the prohibition on taxpayer money for organizations that promote abortion abroad, the issue of taxpayer funding of abortion could reach fever pitch over the next year.

Tom Fitton is president of Judicial Watch.

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