Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Ocala (right) with Gov. Rick Scott (Pic via stearns.house.gov)

A reproductive rights group plans to deliver more than 130,000 signatures today to Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Ocala, petitioning him to halt his recently launched investigation into Planned Parenthood, a national chain of women’s health clinics.

The group, CREDO Action plans, has joined members of Congress and women’s health advocates in opposing the investigation.

Stearns has asked Planned Parenthood to turn over information on its policies and finances as part of a congressional investigation. The congressman began the investigation after an anti-abortion group, Americans United for Life, released a contentious report about the clinics. Planned Parenthood has called the report false and “ideologically driven.” Americans United says it is using the economic crisis to gather support for defunding the clinics.

Kaiser Health News reports:

The group CREDO Action plans to deliver the petitions to Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.), the chairman of the Energy and Commerce oversight subcommittee.

“Anti-choice members of Congress are using this investigation to launch yet another attack on Planned Parenthood,” said Becky Bond, political director of CREDO Action.   “If they can’t defund the organization, they want to tie up its staff and resources in a politically motivated investigation. This is an unfair and unjust political assault, and we can’t let them win.”

A slew of congresspeople have condemned Stearn’s investigation. Members have called it “needless and politically motivated,” “an abusive witch hunt by Republicans,” “an unconscionable waste of taxpayer dollars” and “harassment,” among other things.

Democratic National Committee chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston, said the “scope and nature of this investigation is unprecedented, invasive and the big-brother equivalent of a modern day denial-of-service attack.”

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