Among the billions of cuts in the continuing resolution before the House today was a cost-saving amendment that may also save priceless lives. Representative Mike Pence (R–IN), who has fought to end Planned Parenthood’s federal grant subsidies, introduced an amendment to H.R. 1 that would prohibit the abortion provider from receiving any taxpayer dollars. The amendment passed the House of Representatives this afternoon by a vote of 240–185.
The amendment to the continuing resolution, which Congress needs to pass in order to keep the federal government in business, eliminates federal funding of Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) and its local affiliates. PPFA receives taxpayer funds through a variety of grants, government contracts, and reimbursements. According to a 2010 GAO report, PPFA receives close to a quarter of the $317 million Title X funding earmarked for projects like HIV testing, breast exams, and family planning services. In total, federal funding floats almost a third of Planned Parenthood’s $1 billion budget, providing over $360 million to the abortion provider in 2008–2009 alone.
Unlike the hard economic times faced by American families and the burgeoning national deficit looming over congressional budget talks, Planned Parenthood has ridden the waves of taxpayer funding to millions of dollars in annual surpluses. In 2008–2009 (the latest year for which financial information is available), the organization saw over $1 billion in revenue, while performing nearly a quarter of the 1.2 million abortions in the U.S. during 2008. In the shadow of such difficult budget situations, Pence questions the necessity of supporting an organization that appears financially self-sufficient and was recently exposed as willing to be complicit in illegal sex trafficking of minor girls. As he stated on the House floor last night:
I urge my colleagues to take a stand for taxpayers, take a stand against a pattern of corruption, and take a stand for young women in crisis pregnancies who deserve access to unbiased and compassionate health services. Let’s end taxpayer support of Planned Parenthood.
The continuing resolution contains other pro-life amendments as well. The bill would permanently reinstate the Mexico City Policy, which prohibits federal aid to international abortion providers, and eliminate funding to the U.N. Population Fund, which has a history of documented ties to China’s coercive abortion policies. H.R. 1 would also reinstate a ban on using federal and local tax dollars for abortions in the District of Columbia and protect regulations upholding the conscience rights of pro-life medical professionals.
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