(CNSNews.com) – President Barack Obama told campaign contributors that he favored taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood in part so his two daughters could “control their own health care choices.”
Speaking at a gathering at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Ore., the president criticized his Republican opponent Mitt Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, for wanting to eliminate federal subsidies to the nation’s largest abortion provider.
“Mr. Romney wants to get rid of funding for Planned Parenthood. I think that is a bad idea,” Obama said. “I’ve got two daughters. I want them to control their own health care choices. We’re not going backwards, we’re going forwards.”
Obama’s two daughters, Malia and Sasha are ages 14 and 11, respectively.
Obama spoke first to a closed press fundraising roundtable of 25 donors contributing $30,000 per head, according to the White House press pool report. He delivered the public remarks to a room full of donors with tickets starting at $500.
In fiscal year 2010, Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) got $487.4 million from the federal and state governments, up from $363.2 million the previous year, making taxpayer funding about one-third of the organization’s $1 billion in assets. According to its fact sheet, Planned Parenthood performed 329,445 abortions in 2010.
Though federal law prohibits tax dollars from directly funding abortions, Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations is conducting the investigation, said the money is fungible.
The House oversight subcommittee asked Planned Parenthood to produce internal audits from 1998 to 2010 showing how much federal money Planned Parenthood received and how it was spent, including if the government had to be reimbursed for improper billing to Medicaid; state audits of the group going back 20 years; policy statements certifying whether there was co-mingling of federal dollars in programs that fund abortions; explanations that convey the group’s procedures for reporting “criminal conduct” to include statutory rape, sexual abuse, and suspected sex trafficking.