Three Women in Congress Introduce Bills to Defund Planned Parenthood

Rep. Virginia Foxx, Rep. Vicky Hartzler, Sen. Marsha Blackburn
AP Photo/Cliff Owen/Susan Walsh/Mark Humphrey

Three Republican women in Congress — two in the House and one in the Senate — have introduced bills to eliminate taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood.

On Wednesday, Rep. Virginia Foxx of North Carolina introduced H.R. 296, the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act:

The bill would codify President Donald Trump’s Protect Life Rule that excludes abortion providers, including Planned Parenthood, from receiving Title X funding. The legislation would ban taxpayer-funded family planning grants to groups that perform elective abortions and would also expand reporting requirements for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for more transparency and accountability.

Foxx said in a statement:

When the Title X Family Planning Program was created in 1970, Congress made it clear that abortion was not an acceptable form of family planning, stating, “None of the funds appropriated under this title shall be used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning.” Since then, the original intent of the law has been undermined as Title X funds have routinely contributed to employee salaries, facility costs, and medical supplies for abortion providers. The Protect Life Rule was an important step to end this exploitation of the law, and the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act will make sure taxpayer dollars don’t subsidize abortion providers under any future Administrations.

On Thursday, Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee also introduced the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act — S. 105, her first bill in the Senate — that would eliminate all federal funding for abortion providers, including Planned Parenthood.

“Tennesseans and the American people do not want their tax dollars funding abortions,” Blackburn said. “They have made this position clear time and again. Hardworking taxpayers do not want to subsidize the business of abortion providers and entities such as Planned Parenthood.”

On Wednesday, Rep. Vicky Hartzler of Missouri introduced the Defund Planned Parenthood Act of 2019. H.R. 369 would place a one-year moratorium on federal funding to Planned Parenthood Federation of America, while it also would increase funding to community healthcare centers that do not perform abortions but provide more comprehensive care.

“There are over 13,500 Federally Qualified Health Centers nationwide and only 650 Planned Parenthood clinics,” said Hartzler, chair of the House Values Action Team (VAT), in a statement. “That is 20 federal health centers for every one Planned Parenthood facility.”

“Taxpayers should not have to pay for Planned Parenthood’s abortion industry,” the congresswoman continued, adding:

Abortion is not healthcare, yet it is the foundation of Planned Parenthood’s mission. In its latest annual report, Planned Parenthood boasts performing more than 321,000 abortions while receiving over half a billion dollars a year from the taxpayer. These staggering numbers represent the lives of children who no longer are with us, and Americans are forced to support it.

Planned Parenthood President Dr. Leana Wen confirmed on Tuesday that her organization’s “core mission” is abortion and to provide access to it:

For years, Planned Parenthood had attempted to minimize the number of abortions it performs with its debunked “three percent” statistic. The organization and its political allies claimed abortion represented only three percent of its services, while the remainder of those services were supposedly related to basic health care. That figure was found to be a contrived number and even left-leaning media such as the Washington Post and Slate exposed Planned Parenthood’s manipulation.

Following an interview with BuzzFeed News that presented Wen as leading Planned Parenthood in an effort to develop its “non-abortion” services, Wen reacted to the published story with a tweet affirming Planned Parenthood’s “core mission is providing, protecting and expanding access to abortion and reproductive health care.”

With Wen’s confirmation of the primary goal of Planned Parenthood, American taxpayers are essentially funding an organization that is mainly interested in promoting abortion.

It is unclear whether House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — an avid champion of abortion rights — will allow a floor vote on the pro-life measures in that chamber. One of the first bills passed by the Democrat-led House to end the partial government shutdown actually attempted to expand abortion as well by repeal a provision instituted by President Donald Trump that bans federally-funded non-governmental organizations — such as International Planned Parenthood — from performing or promoting abortions overseas.

The Senate, however, did not take up the bill.

Trump instituted the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance Policy shortly after his inauguration in January 2017.

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