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Congress Responds to CDC’s Decision to Deep-Six Abortion Surveillance Report

In the few hours since RedState originally ran this post, members of Congress have been weighing in on the apparently deep-sixed CDC report, and they are not pleased. As we reported earlier today, freshman Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, who ousted Ike Skelton in MO-4 this year, excoriated the CDC’s decision, saying:

“This is the epitome of hypocrisy being exhibited by the Obama Administration as it hides facts and figures on abortion while claiming to want more transparency in government. This is a pattern that has become all too common with the Obama Administration, ranging from its distortion of the facts on taxpayer funding of abortions under ObamaCare to manipulated information to support repeal of the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. It is time for the Obama White House to put a stop to its disregard for openness in government and to end its practice of distorting data for blatantly political purposes.”

RedState has also obtained a copy of a letter written by Senator Tom Coburn, which you can download here (warning, .pdf). In it, Coburn demands a response from HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius as to the CDC’s future plans regarding the report, and any internal documents touching on the decision to stop producing the report. In the letter, Senator Coburn notes:

Most Americans – regardless of their view on abortion – share the goal of reducing abortions. These statistics play an important role in determining whether our public and private efforts are effective. As long as abortion is legal in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should continue to provide doctors, health care providers, policymakers, and individuals with standard public health information. It is my sincere hope that the CDC does not intend to abdicate this most basic public health role.

I would respectfully request a response to this letter detailing your agency’s future plans regarding the Abortion Surveillance System. If your agency does not intend to collect or publish this data now and in the future, I would also request a detailed explanation as to why the agency has reversed its position on the public health benefits of abortion surveillance and all internal documents discussing this topic, including emails and memoranda.

Additionally, RedState has heard from Congressman Pete Olson (R-TX), who issued a statement saying,

“It strikes me as convenient for the Obama Administration that states are not required to provide data to the federal government on the number of abortions performed each year. It makes it easier to hide the amount of federal funds that go to abortion providers and robs taxpayers of a genuine accounting of the number of abortions performed annually, some by groups that receive federal tax dollars.

“In a GAO report that I requested – one that was completed after years of ignoring other Congressional requests – GAO determined that during a period of 7 years, almost one billion U.S. tax dollars were spent by groups that promote or perform abortions. I urge the President to stand behind his commitment to ensuring scientific data is never distorted or concealed to serve a political agenda and instruct the CDC to complete the report.”

Clearly, Congress does not intend to let this important public health report die quietly. Stay tuned to see how the CDC responds to this barrage.

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