Lawsuit Claims Birth Control Fraud by Planned Parenthood of Pacific Northwest
A group called Alliance for Defending Freedom has filed a third lawsuit alleging fraud by Planned Parenthood. This time in Washington state.
Alliance for Defending Freedom (ADF) is a non-profit, faith-based group of attorneys defending Christian values by using the legal system. Their nationwide membership includes 2,200 attorneys.
The lawsuit, filed on behalf of a plaintiff named Jonathan Bloedow, claims Planned Parenthood defrauded Washington taxpayers over the birth control Plan B. According to the suit:
Planned Parenthood would purchase 'emergency contraceptives' (Plan B) under a federal program called 340B that allows non-profit organizations to purchase medications at a subsidized rate. The 340B program exists to help the disadvantaged get access to life-saving drugs.
...however, after purchasing the drugs at a reduced rate and disbursing them to clients who were members of a program called Take Charge, they would seek reimbursement for the prescription drugs from Washington State for amounts far in excess of their actual costs. Medicaid requires reimbursements to reflect the 'actual acquisition cost.'"
The suit, filed under the Federal False Claims Act, alleges at least 25,000 fraudulent claims were filed, with the profits to Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest being in excess of $30 million. The suit was filed in 2011, but details were not released until Thursday of this week. The ADF claims the money was used to expand Planned Parenthood's "enterprise."
A 2011 report from the Governmental Accounting Office claimed oversight of the 340B program was lacking. Earlier this year, a group of 72 members of Congress, led by Representatives Diane Black of Tennessee and Pete Olsen of Texas, demanded an investigation into how Planned Parenthood has spent over $2.3 billion in taxpayer money over the last few years.
In 2011, according to ADF, Washington state increased funding for the Planned Parenthood Take Charge program despite facing a $5 billion dollar deficit, while making significant cuts in social services to mentally and physically disabled individuals.
Similar lawsuits have been filed in the Midwest and Texas, and are preparing to be heard in court. The Washington lawsuit is currently pending in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington.