In a statement published on May 22nd, Planned Parenthood criticized the adoption of a House amendment that would deny taxpayer funding for the abortions of illegal immigrants.
Referring to the amendment as “another attack on women’s health,” the press release states:
Planned Parenthood today strongly condemned the adoption of an amendment to limit access to women’s health care by banning the use of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement funds for abortion except in cases of rape, incest and life endangerment. The amendment also goes one step beyond current ICE policy to allow non-medical personnel to interfere with immigrant women’s access to care, without any exceptions.
This amendment to House Homeland Security Appropriations Committee bill, sponsored by Rep. John Carter (R-TX) and Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL), is unnecessary and an obvious effort to continue the attack on women’s health issues.
“It is disappointing that some members of Congress continue to play politics and attack women’s health–even during an unrelated national security debate,” stated Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood. “This amendment prevents immigrant women, who often already face terrible circumstances in federal immigration custody, from making extremely personal, medical decisions.”
Richards added, “Abortion has no business being debated as part of a Homeland Security funding bill.”
However, according to Tony Perkins of Family Research Council (FRC) writing at LifeSiteNews, the amendment was prompted by an attempt by the office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to extend numerous benefits to illegal aliens:
The issue boiled over last spring when the office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) tried to slip new guidelines past Congress that would have extended a host of benefits to illegal aliens that rival the average citizens’! And these aren’t your garden variety detainees. Most of the immigrants in ICE’s care are convicted criminals who were transferred out of prison, where they were serving time for other charges. Even so, the Left has fought to give these detainees the best care that (taxpayers’) money can offer. Before FRC drew attention to the issue last March, ICE was even prepared to offer government-sponsored hormone therapy for transgenders!
Perkins goes on to observe that, in February, DHS began releasing hundreds of illegal immigrants in anticipation of automatic sequester budget cuts. Yet, the same DHS which said it did not have enough funding for detention beds “is ready to finance abortions.”
Rep. John Carter (R-TX), Chairman of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, introduced the amendment that would block the Department of Homeland Security from receiving taxpayer funding to pay for the abortions of illegal immigrants.
A Homeland Security spending bill, approved by the House last June, also included a provision to ban ICE from providing abortions to illegal immigrant detainees.
According to Fox News, the measure, proposed by Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL), would prevent ICE from using agency funds to provide abortions to illegal immigrants except in the case of rape, incest, or if the life of the mother would be endangered.
The measure was added to a $46 billion Department of Homeland Security (DHS) spending bill approved by the House on a party-line vote of 234-182. According to Perkins, the amendment “didn’t carry over from the 2013 funding bill.”
Regarding Planned Parenthood, Perkins said the organization’s statement is a distortion of the truth. The amendment, he stated, does not prevent abortion; it prevents taxpayer funding of abortion:
Women in ICE’s custody are not only free to abort at outside clinics–they’re assigned government “escorts” for the trip. All House leaders have done is bring Homeland Security in line with the other federal appropriations provisions that block taxpayer dollars for abortion. So it’s more than a little ironic when Planned Parenthood complains, “Abortion has no business being debated as a part of a Homeland Security funding bill.” We agree! In fact, abortion has no business being debated as part of any government funding bill. That’s why FRC supports the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act (H.R. 7 and S. 946), just introduced by Rep. Chris Smith and Sen. Roger Wicker. And if Planned Parenthood were sincere about women’s health, they’d join us.