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Komen, Planned Parenthood and Congress: What's the status?

February 01, 2012|By Noam Levey and Rosie Mestel, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog

What's the status of the congressional investigation of Planned Parenthood?

Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s decision to pull funding from Planned Parenthood was based on the fact that Planned Parenthood is under congressional investigation and Komen has a newly adopted policy of not awarding funds to any organization that’s being investigated by local, state or federal authorities, Komen spokeswoman Leslie Aun told the Associated Press.

The congressional inquiry was launched in September by Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) to determine, among other things, whether Planned Parenthood has used public money to fund abortions. Although Planned Parenthood receives federal money, that money can't be used to provide abortions.

Here are two statements from Stearns on the status of the congressional investigation:

“As Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, I am leading a formal investigation into taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood, which receives over $1 million a day in taxpayer money.  Repeated cases of Planned Parenthood ignoring state and local reporting requirements, many involving minors, and allegations of financial abuse led to this investigation – the first ever oversight conducted on this group.  We are still working with Planned Parenthood on getting the records and documents for the investigation, and I’m interested in holding a hearing depending on what the investigation discovers.”  


“This investigation of Planned Parenthood’s finances and use of taxpayer dollars is ongoing, and we are continuing to work with Planned Parenthood in getting the requested record and documents.  I was not contacted by anyone at the Susan G. Komen for the Cure and this decision was solely up to them.”

A spokesman for Stearns said on Wednesday that the congressman had not been in contact with anyone at the Komen foundation. That includes Karen Handel, who was hired as Komen's senior vice president of public policy last year; Handel ran for governor of Georgia in 2010 and has a strong anti-abortion position, leading some critics of Komen's move to speculate that Handel may have influenced the foundation's decision.

“He doesn’t know her and hasn’t spoken with her,” Stearns' spokesman Paul Flusche said.

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