Pence, Planned Parenthood Duel Over Abortion Biz De-Funding Bill

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 14, 2011   |   1:57PM   |   Washington, DC

Congressman Mike Pence is gaining more support for his bill to de-fund Planned Parenthood, but the head of the nation’s biggest abortion business is pushing back and defending it from criticism over videos showing its staff helping sex traffickers victimize young girls with abortions.

In a Friday morning interview with American Family Radio’s Financial Issues program, Pence said members of both parties are signing on to his bill to ensure the abortion business is not eligible for millions of dollars in family planning grants from the federal government.

“There are now more than 160 co-sponsors — Republicans and some Democrats — who are coming together to say that no more public funding will flow into Title X clinics,” he said.  “I believe we’re reaching a point where we can end public funding for Planned Parenthood once and for all.”

He complained that Planned Parenthood receives $363 million annually in federal, state and local government grants even though it does more than one-quarter, over 324,000, of the nation’s abortions.

Pence also told AP the videos have played a role in pushing more lawmakers to support the de-funding effort — which would strip Planned Parenthood of more than $70 million in federal taxpayer funding.

“Every American should be shocked that an employee of the largest recipient of federal funds under Title X has been recorded aiding and abetting underage sex trafficking,” Pence said. “The time to deny any and all funding to Planned Parenthood is now.”

But Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards told AP the abortion business is not giving up on its government funding without a fight.

“We’ve been here for the past 95 years, and we’ll be here for the next 95,” she said. “This would roll back decades of progress for women’s health care.”

“We are a safe place where people can go and ask difficult questions about sex,” Richards said. “We do this for teens and adults, gays and straights, and that really irritates some people who believe sex is only for procreation.”

In an emergency email to its members that obtained, Richards said she is expecting a vote this week on the Pence measure, which she called “the most dangerous legislative assault on women’s health in Planned Parenthood’s 95-year history.”

“That’s not an exaggeration, it is a simple fact — and if they succeed, the consequences for women will be catastrophic. We need everyone who cares about women’s health to join together to oppose this attack on Planned Parenthood and those we serve,” she said. “Anti-choice House leadership wants to completely eliminate this crucial funding — particularly for Planned Parenthood. Tell your representative to vote NO.”

“This attack on family planning funding is not an isolated incident. It’s part of a coordinated campaign meant to shut down Planned Parenthood health centers and deny women access to basic health care,” she claimed. “We can’t afford to let them get away with it. Speak out now — make it clear to Congress that the services that doctors, nurses, and other medical staff provide in Planned Parenthood health centers are too important to be turned into just another political issue.”

But Tim Wildmon, the president of the American Family Association, says Americans need to tell their members of Congress to support the bill.

“Mike Pence has crafted legislation that will end taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider,” he said. “Last year, Planned Parenthood received over $363 million, lifted from your wallet and mine, and performed 324,00 abortions along the way.”

“Live Action films has released seven undercover videos in the last two weeks alone showing the eagerness of Planned Parenthood clinics in Virginia, New York and New Jersey to help sex traffickers get birth control and illegal abortions for 14-year-old illegal alien prostitutes. They offered to help them avoid legally mandated reporting and parental consent requirements,’ he added. “This is the best opportunity the pro-family community has had in decades to end subsidies for the largest abortion provider in the United States.”

“Send an email to your representative and either thank him for co-sponsoring H.R. 217, the “Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act” or urge him to add his name to the list of sponsors,” he said.