(CNSNews.com) - Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.), the chairman of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, wants his committee to examine a report  issued last week by Americans United for Life that raises questions about Planned Parenthood--and possibly hold hearings on the activities of the nation’s largest abortion provider.
“Taxpayers deserve accountability, and the report prepared by Americans United for Life demonstrates egregious abuses of taxpayer funds by Planned Parenthood,” Stearns said in a statement issued last week.
AUL released the 37-page report Thursday and distributed copies to every member of Congress, including Stearns.
“The report outlines Planned Parenthood’s record of violating state sexual assault and child abuse reporting laws, and of encouraging young girls to lie about their ages to circumvent state reporting laws,” he said.
Stearns said the AUL legal team had reviewed “two decades of reports, audits, and financial statements regarding Planned Parenthood.”
“(AUL) also found as government funding of Planned Parenthood rises, so does the number of abortions. They found repeated instances of overbilling government health care programs,” he said.
Stearns did not commit to holding a hearing, but said one may “possibly” be needed to dig into questions and allegations raised by the report.
“I believe my Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee should review the findings of this report and possibly hold a hearing on why taxpayers are funding Planned Parenthood with its record of abuse and violations of state laws,” Stearns said. “The American people deserve a concrete reason for funding Planned Parenthood; a reason I do not believe (exists).”
Stearns’ office, meanwhile, would not confirm for CNSNews.com whether a hearing will actually be scheduled--or when.
Kristi Hamrick, spokeswoman for Americans United for Life, welcomed the possibility of a hearing, explaining why her group did the study.
“The American taxpayer is entangled with the abortion issue, and it’s a bipartisan issue. More than 70 percent of Americans--pro-life and pro-choice--agree that they don’t want their money subsidizing the abortion industry. This came out during the health-care debates which we watched over Obamacare,” Hamrick told CNSNews.com. “And so Americans United for Life decided to take a look at the number one abortion industry provider--Planned Parenthood. They do one-quarter of the abortions in America and receive more than $363 million dollars in taxpayer support.
“The question is: does the abortion industry deserve the generosity of the American taxpayer? What are they doing with the more than $363 million dollars that they receive?”
Hamrick said AUL welcomes congressional scrutiny of its report, which she called “a very thorough, organized analysis of the nation’s largest abortion provider.”
“Planned Parenthood says it’s this benign organization that helps women and girls, and we say, ‘Prove it.’ Let’s take a look at the record.”
Jim Sedlak, vice president of the American Life League in Stafford, Va., called the AUL report groundbreaking and said a congressional look at Planned Parenthood is long overdue. Read more HERE.