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Workers may testify against P. Parenthood

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
WASHINGTON (BP) -- Seven former Planned Parenthood employees have volunteered to assist in the congressional investigation of the country's largest abortion provider.

The one-time workers for affiliates of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) told leaders of the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee they would testify to illegal or unethical behavior by the abortion giant's employees or clinics.

They commended the committee's examination of PPFA, which was announced in September by the subcommittee on oversight and investigations, and said the probe "is long overdue."

PPFA "has operated as a law unto itself, gladly accepting tens of millions of dollars in taxpayer support while using the rubric of 'reproductive rights' to claim exemption form the normal standards of accountability that every other recipient of public funds is expected to meet," the former employees wrote in a letter Dec. 7.

Planned Parenthood and its affiliates received more than $363 million in government grants and contracts from federal, state and local sources in 2008-09. While Planned Parenthood's affiliates provide contraceptives and some health care services, their performance and advocacy of abortion is a well-recognized part of their work.

Planned Parenthood's number of abortions and share of the abortion market has increased as government funding has increased over the years. Planned Parenthood's affiliates performed more than 332,000 abortions in 2009.

While Planned Parenthood's annual abortion totals have grown, the number of abortions in the United States has decreased by about one-fourth since 1990. Planned Parenthood signaled last year its apparent intention to continue to increase its abortion business when it issued a requirement that each of its affiliates have at least one clinic performing the procedure by 2013.


Though the law bars federal family planning funds from being used for abortions, the ex-employees said, "We can state categorically, from personal experience, that abortion is indeed deployed as a means of family planning according to the mission" of Planned Parenthood.

They cited these among the incidents they have observed in which a PPFA affiliate or employee failed to:

-- "Properly account for and maintain separation between government funds prohibited from use for elective abortions and those funds derived from other sources that are not subject to such limitations;

-- "Notify parents when a vulnerable girl is seeking an abortion, including instances when the minor girl is the victim of an act of statutory rape under applicable state law;

-- "Detect and act upon instances where a girl or woman was brought to the clinic under some degree of coercion, up to and including instances where the girl or woman was subjected to human trafficking and was a victim of crime."

They said, "e are of one mind that the extent of these problems with the organization is not fully understood by the American people, who are underwriting the growth of Planned Parenthood and its potent outreach to the young and the poor."

The seven former Planned Parenthood employees who signed the letter and the locations of the affiliates at which they worked are Catherine Adair, Boston; Patti Giebink, Sioux Falls, S.D.; Abby Johnson, Bryan, Texas; Luis Maldonado, San Jose, Calif.; Sue Thayer, Storm Lake, Iowa; Ramona Trevino, Sherman, Texas; and Patricia Sandoval, Sacramento, Calif.


Undercover investigations by pro-life organizations in recent years have shown Planned Parenthood employees demonstrating a willingness to aid self-professed sex traffickers whose prostitutes supposedly were in their early teens, seeking to cover up alleged child sex abuse and agreeing to receive donations designated for abortions of African American babies.

Tom Strode is Washington bureau chief of Baptist Press.

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