An attorney for the group partially responsible for a recent congressional investigation into Planned Parenthood says the group has targeted the chain of health clinics as part of a strategy to end abortion.
Kellie Fiedorek, a staff attorney for Americans United for Life, tells The Florida Independent the group is pleased that a report she helped craft about Planned Parenthood has led to congressional action. The report was given to members of Congress in the hopes that lawmakers vote to defund Planned Parenthood. Fiedorek says Americans United sought to “document fraud and abuse” in Planned Parenthood as a tool for Congress to look into a possible investigation.
Planned Parenthood is frequently under attack by anti-abortion groups because some of the clinics provide legal abortions. Planned Parenthood has called Americans United’s report “ideologically driven.” The group has also said that many of the claims are either misleading or inaccurate.
Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Ocala, who chairs a subcommittee on oversight and investigations, recently followed through with Americans United’s request and launched an investigation into Planned Parenthood’s finances and policies.
Women’s health advocates and members of Congress are condemning his actions. This week, Democratic National Committee chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz “accused Republican colleagues on Wednesday of launching a ‘burdensome and politically motivated, big-government investigation’ of Planned Parenthood.” Reps. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., a ranking member of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, and Henry Waxman, D-Calif., have stated that the investigation is part of a “Republican vendetta.”
Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., issued a press release calling the investigation “needless and politically motivated.” She said that “instead of attacking unemployment, Republicans are waging a war against women.” Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., called the investigation an “abusive witch hunt by Republicans” that is “an unconscionable waste of taxpayer dollars, and harassment of a trusted healthcare provider for millions of women and families in Connecticut and across the country,” in a recent press release.
Americans United’s Fiedorek says these abuses “have been going on for 20 years,” and that Planned Parenthood is “ridden with abuse.” She claims the group has been “over-billing the government” for years.
“There are so many red flags,” she says.
In a recent email to supporters, Planned Parenthood Federation of America President Cecile Richards called the investigation “harassment and intimidation.” Richards said the investigation is “an effort to undercut Planned Parenthood and undermine Planned Parenthood health centers’ ability to provide essential care to the women, men, and teens who rely on them.”
This week, Planned Parenthood received another blow from Congress. The House GOP unveiled a spending bill on Thursday that would “eliminate the Title X family-planning program, ban federal funding to Planned Parenthood Federation of America (unless the organization ends its abortion services), redirect teen-pregnancy-prevention programming funds to abstinence-only sex-education programs and ban private insurance companies from covering abortion,” The American Independent reports.
Fiedorek attended the Care Net conference this week in Orlando, where she was among several voices expressing excitement over the recent anti-Planned Parenthood measures. Abby Johnson, also an attendee, even went as far as to say that Planned Parenthood was “working with the devil.”