Pence Urges Vote on Amendment to Defund Planned Parenthood
"The Largest Abortion Provider In America Should Not Also Be The Largest Recipient Of Federal Funds Under Title X"
Contact: Daniel Son, Press, Congressman Mike Pence , 202-226-4379
WASHINGTON, July 23 /Standard Newswire/ -- U.S. Congressman Mike Pence gave the following testimony before the Rules Committee today, urging the Committee to allow his amendment to deny federal funding through Title X Family Planning from going to Planned Parenthood to be considered on the House floor during consideration of the Labor/HHS Appropriations Bill. The testimony is as prepared for delivery:
Madame Chairwoman, Ranking Member Dreier and distinguished members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to provide testimony to you today regarding H.R. 3293, the Labor-HHS Appropriations bill for FY2010.
I am here on behalf of not only my amendment but all twelve Republican amendments filed with the Rules Committee. We worked within our Conference to prioritize and limit the number of amendments in order that these important issues can be heard on the House floor. I urge this Committee to pass a rule that will allow for amendments to H.R. 3293, and that such rule provide for consideration of the twelve Republican amendments.
I also want to thank Joseph Cao for cosponsoring my amendment #4 and offering testimony to the Rules Committee today in its support.
The Pence amendment simply states "None of the funds made available under this Act shall be available to Planned Parenthood for any purpose under title X of the Public Health Services Act." The largest abortion provider in America should not also be the largest recipient of federal funds under Title X. Additionally, Planned Parenthood continues to face allegations of fraud and failing to report abuse, and should not be receiving millions of taxpayer dollars every year.
The Public Health Services Act was first enacted in 1946 and amended in 1970 to include the Family Planning Services and Population Research Act which established Title X. Title X is the only federal grant program that provides Americans with comprehensive family planning and related preventive health services. Allow me to say that there are many good things happening in federally funded family planning clinics nationwide: over 4 million Americans are served every year, 67% of whom are low income; approximately 600,000 abortions are prevented by Title X family planning funding; and it is reassuring that abstinence education is required for all clients. There are many family planning clinics that provide valuable services such as patient counseling, HIV testing and prevention education, and pregnancy diagnosis and counseling. My amendment does not cut or reduce the budget for family planning by one penny in this appropriations bill. It simply prevents appropriated funds from reaching an organization that profits from the abortion trade. I understand that current laws and regulations prevent Title X funds from directly funding abortions, but there is no question that these funds are vital to offsetting operational and overhead costs, thus freeing up money for organizations like Planned Parenthood to offer abortions.
The Pence Amendment echoes the view of millions of Americans that taxpayer dollars should not go to organizations that provide or promote abortions. Planned Parenthood is not only the largest recipient of Title X funds, but they are also the largest provider of abortions in America. Last year alone, Planned Parenthood received nearly $350 million of American taxpayer money through government grants and contracts, and they performed 305,310 abortions. At an average cost of $372 per abortion, Planned Parenthood continues to thrive from the abortion trade and received an estimated $114 million dollars in revenue last year from this devastating procedure. It is shocking to me that women who went to a Planned Parenthood clinic in 2007 were 62 times more likely to receive an abortion than to be referred for adoption. Any organization with such a clear prejudice against our unborn should not be receiving 34% of their annual budget from the American taxpayer.
Planned Parenthood claims that abortions constitute only 3% of its services, but this figure is dramatically skewed. Many patients who receive an abortion from Planned Parenthood also receive a related service such as HIV testing, a pregnancy test, or contraception packets. Planned Parenthood includes all these additional services that may be bundled for abortion clients when calculating the role abortion plays as part of the services Planned Parenthood offers. If you eliminate these additional services and look purely at those which were unduplicated, abortions totaled a staggering 10% of services offered by Planned Parenthood last year. This number is up from 8.7% in 2005.
There's an even more ominous component to their enterprises. Dr. Alveda King, niece of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., wrote recently that "racism springs from the lie that certain human beings are less than fully human...so it is with abortion." Abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood have carried out an overwhelming amount of abortions of African American babies; in fact, the abortion rate for African American women is almost five times that for white women. The tragic reality is that abortion has killed more African-Americans than any other source combined: including AIDS and crime.
Planned Parenthood clinics across the country are also being investigated for fraudulent use of Title X funds and allegations of unreported incidences of rape and sexual abuse. In California, a former vice-president for finance and administration in Los Angeles filed a whistleblower lawsuit against Planned Parenthood for knowingly overcharging the state and federal governments by at least $180 million for birth-control pills. In Ohio, a young teen has filed a suit against Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio alleging that employees failed to notify authorities after she disclosed that she was a victim of incest when she sought an abortion in November of 2004. A Planned Parenthood affiliate in Arizona was found civilly liable for failing to report the fact that the clinic had performed an abortion on a 13-year-old girl who had been impregnated by her 23-year-old foster brother. In my home state of Indiana, two separate Planned Parenthood clinics have been charged with violating state reporting laws for sexual abuse. The list goes on, but I will simply say that taxpayers must not continue to fund an organization that abuses and evades both America's moral conscience and legal system.
A Gallup poll released May 15th of this year revealed that 51% of Americans call themselves "pro-life" versus 42% that identify themselves as "pro-choice." It is time this Congress follows the will of the American people and stop funding Planned Parenthood with the taxpayer dollars of millions of pro-life Americans.
Again, I encourage this committee to rule all twelve Republican amendments including the Pence Amendment in order. These important amendments deserve a vote on the floor of the People's House. Thank you.