Rep. Kristi Noem today responded to the release of the Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) report on taxpayer funding levels for abortion advocates. Requested by Noem and more than 120 members of the House and Senate in 2016, the study found that over the course of three years, the top three abortion advocacy groups received $410 million in federal funding, as well as $1.2 billion in combined federal and state funds under federal health programs that require shared funding. The GAO’s report can be viewed here.

“The abortion industry has worked hard to normalize abortion, masking it as a healthcare service,” said Noem. “But abortion is not healthcare. It’s not family planning either, and taxpayers should in no way be liable for funding it, directly or indirectly. The fact that this industry has received a $1.6 billion taxpayer-funded payout in the last three years is sickening. As we fight to end the practice of abortion entirely, we must work simultaneously to defund Planned Parenthood and abortion advocates like them. Taxpayers should not have to bear the abortion industry’s financial burden.”

Collecting approximately $1.5 billion, Planned Parenthood Federation of America was the recipient of the vast majority of this funding, according to the report. Additionally, for the first time, the report provides a breakdown of the amount of funding received by each Planned Parenthood affiliate. Of the top five Planned Parenthood affiliates that received the most funding over the reported period, four were the subject of referrals for possible criminal misconduct regarding fetal tissue transfer, sent by the Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives to the Department of Justice in 2016.

Noem has been a stalwart pro-life advocate. In addition to legislation defining life as beginning at conception and a House-passed bill that bans abortion after 20 weeks, Noem helped introduce H.R.7, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act. This legislation, which passed the House in January 2017, would prohibit taxpayer-funded abortions as well as taxpayer-funded subsidies for healthcare plans covering elective abortions. The bill is awaiting action in the U.S. Senate.

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