Senator David Vitter of Louisiana has filed a new bill in Congress that would revoke taxpayer funding from the Planned Parenthood abortion business that it currently receives under Title X, the part of the budget that funds family planning efforts.
Today, on the first day of this latest session of the U.S. Senate and the first day senators are allowed to officially submit legislation, Vitter reintroduced his bill to amend title X of the Public Health Service Act to prohibit family planning grants from being awarded to entities that perform abortions.
“My Title X amendment would end the practice of allowing taxpayer funds to be used to pay for administrative costs and other services offered by abortion providers, a practice that allows other funds to be used for abortion practices,” he told LifeNews.com.
The bill is the Senate companion to legislation Congressman Mike Pence of Indiana has sponsored in the House that is expected to receive a debate and vote by the pro-life House Republicans that lead the chamber. However, whether pro-abortion Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid will allow a vote on the legislation in the Senate is another question. Vitter may have to attempt to filibuster legislation or attach his anti-funding bill to another measure as an amendment in order to get consideration for it.
The Senate held a vote on Vitter’s bill in December 2008 in the form of an amendment to the fiscal year 2008 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill that would have revoked the family planning funds sent to Planned Parenthood. The Senate voted 52-41 against the amendment Vitter offered.
Vitter also plans to reintroduce the Pregnant Women Health and Safety Act, a bill requiring any abortion practitioner to have admitting privileges to a hospital located within an hour’s travel time of the location where he does abortions. This legislation, if passed into law, could have possibly helped prevent the deplorable actions of an abortion practitioner in Philadelphia that has been highlighted in news reports following his recent arrest, Vitter said.
“Women who undergo abortions are at risk for serious health complications, and it is imperative that abortion doctors be held responsible for providing follow-up care in a timely manner,” Vitter said. “I will continue to fight to preserve the sanctity of life with these and other measures before Congress.”
Vitter will also reintroduce his Abortion Non-Discrimination Act, which would prevent federal, state and local governments from discriminating against all health care providers – including hospitals, provider sponsored organizations, HMOs and health insurance plans – on the basis of their refusal to perform, provide coverage of or pay for abortions.
In his announcement of the new pro-life bills, Vitter applauded the hundreds of thousands of pro-life advocates who participated in the March for Life on Monday.
“Each year, the March for Life solemnly reminds us of the Supreme Court’s infamous decision 38 years ago to legalize abortion nationwide,” said Vitter. “I’m grateful for the many pro-life Americans from across the country, and especially in Louisiana, who continue to gather to express their sorrow over this ongoing tragedy – and to renew our commitment to building a culture where all people, born and unborn, are guaranteed the right to life.”
Vitter was also scheduled to meet with a group of several hundred Louisiana students attending the march later in the day.