National pro-life leaders came together in support of Students for Life of America (SFLA) as the pro-life youth organization launches a national tour just as Congress appears to be poised to pass a healthcare bill that will defund Planned Parenthood.
At the National Press Club Tuesday, SFLA president Kristan Hawkins chastised a GOP-led Congress that claims to be pro-life and vowed to defund Planned Parenthood once a Republican president was in the White House.
“Nothing has been done,” Hawkins criticized. “It’s been almost a year since the election.”
At the press conference, Hawkins stood by a truck filled with 328,348 baby socks, each sock representing a child who has been aborted by Planned Parenthood this year.
The organization – with some 1,100 groups of millennial pro-life activists on college and high school campuses around the country – is launching its #SockIt2PP Truck Tour. The group will travel to six major cities in four days to target the home states of key U.S. senators: Bob Casey, Jr. (PA), Sherrod Brown (OH), Joe Donnelly (IN), Joe Manchin (WV), and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY).
The tour will also make stops on more than 90 college campuses across the nation.
SFLA has come out in support of the Graham-Cassidy healthcare bill that contains a provision to defund Planned Parenthood.
“I commend Senators Graham and Cassidy on introducing a pro-life bill to replace the disaster that is Obamacare,” Hawkins said. “This bill does the right thing by defunding Planned Parenthood and directing funding towards Federally Qualified Health Centers.”
Planned Parenthood has lied to the American public, committed fraud with taxpayer dollars, and has been proven to sell the body parts of babies they abort for profit. Yet, Congress has continually failed to defund Planned Parenthood, despite having a pro-life Congress and President.
“The pro-life generation is sick of being told to wait until another election season has passed,” she said. “We are expecting Congress to uphold their promises and stop subsidizing America’s largest abortion vendor.”
During the tour, SFLA plans to demonstrate that abortion is violence, and will call on members of Congress who have continued to falter in keeping to their promises to defund the abortion industry and to redirect those funds to community health centers that provide comprehensive health care to women and families.
Hawkins was joined by the leaders of other national pro-life groups during the press conference.
Jeanne Mancini, president of March for Life Education and Defense Fund, said the pro-life movement represents the “majority voice” in the United States “that seeks to defend the inherent human dignity of every person from conception.”
“Abortion is the human rights issue of today,” Mancini said.
Catherine Glenn Foster, president and CEO of Americans United for Life, said, “Planned Parenthood has been tried and has been found wanting.” She went on:
We know of Planned Parenthood’s waste, abuse, and potential fraud of millions of taxpayer dollars. We know that they are not providing real women’s health care … they don’t even perform mammograms. They perform less than one percent of the pap smears in our country. And, yet, what are they? They are America’s biggest abortionist, performing one-third of all abortions in America.
Foster added that Planned Parenthood does not need American taxpayer funding because “they are making tens of millions of dollars every year in profit.”
Planned Parenthood – which is funded through Obamacare grants as well as through Medicaid reimbursements and Title X family planning grants – is also mobilizing its supporters to fight against passage of the Graham-Cassidy bill.
In an email to supporters, Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards said:
Mitch McConnell has a deadline at the end of the month to force the latest health care repeal bill into law with only 51 votes. With the clock ticking, he’s pulling out every dishonest trick he has to make it happen, even claiming that this new bill merely gives states more control instead of costing more and taking away health care.
Don’t be fooled: This toxic bill would still rip away health insurance from millions, raise premiums, restrict access to coverage and basic care like maternity care, and “defund” Planned Parenthood.
In its latest annual report released in May, Planned Parenthood increased its number of abortions performed last year to 328,348, but showed 136,244 fewer contraception services than the year before. The organization also reveals a significant drop in many of its other non-abortion services, including cancer screenings and prenatal services.
Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer funding and its profits, however, have increased over the past year.