*Editor's Note: Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest serves Alaska, Idaho, and western Washington and is not the Spokane affiliate.
A lawsuit made public today alleges Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest filed at least 25,000 false claims with The Health Resources and Services Administration for reimbursements in excess of the amount allowed for oral contraceptive pills and at least another 25,000 for reimbursements in excess of the amount allowed for emergency contraceptive, or Plan B, pills under the federal government’s 340B drug reimbursement program.
Its total damages could be as much as $377,134,130, according to the Alliance Defending Freedom.
Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest serves Alaska, Idaho, and western Washington and is not the Spokane affiliate.
ADF's mission is to, “… keep the door open for the spread of the Gospel by transforming the legal system and advocating for religious liberty, the sanctity of life, and marriage and family,” according to its website.
According to ADF attorneys, who originally filed the lawsuit in 2011, Planned Parenthood submitted, “repeated false, fraudulent, and/or ineligible claims for reimbursement” to the state of Washington’s Department of Social and Health Services.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Jonathan Bloedow, a Washington resident who discovered the alleged frauds through state open records requests.
In a statement Senior Counsel Michael J. Norton, a former U.S. attorney, said, “Compliance with the law should not be sacrificed for the sake of Planned Parenthood’s bottom line. They have cheated the American taxpayer for too long. It’s time the abortion giant is held accountable.”
The case is currently pending.
Tracy Simmons is an award winning journalist specializing in religion reporting, digital entrepreneurship and social journalism. In her 15 years on the religion beat, Simmons has tucked a notepad in her pocket and found some of her favorite stories aboard cargo ships in New Jersey, on a police chase in Albuquerque, in dusty Texas church bell towers, on the streets of New York and in tent cities in Haiti.
Simmons has worked as a multimedia journalist for newspapers across New Mexico, Texas and Connecticut. Currently she serves as the executive director of SpokaneFAVS.com, a digital journalism start-up covering religion news and commentary in Spokane, Wash. She is also a Scholarly Assistant Professor at Washington State University.