House Considers Amendment to De-Fund Planned Parenthood

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 18, 2011   |   1:07AM   |   Washington, DC

During a terse debate in which abortion backers attacked pro-life lawmakers as wanting to threaten women’s rights and health — yet ignoring the ways in which the Planned Parenthood abortion business has exploited women — the House of Representatives considered an amendment to de-fund the abortion business.

The House did not ultimately take a vote but rolled a vote on the amendment to Friday.

Congressman Mike Pence of Indiana led the way in fighting for the amendment to ensure that none of the federal funds in any program or department would go to the abortion business, which does more than 324,000 abortions annually and receives more than #363 million in federal, state and local taxpayer funds.

“I believe that ending an innocent human life is morally wrong,” Pence told his colleagues. “I also believe it is morally wrong to take the taxpayer dollars of millions of pro-life Americans and use them to fund organizations that provide and promote abortion-like Planned Parenthood of America.”

Abortion advocates said if Planned Parenthood loses its place at the government trough that women would be hurt.

"Planned Parenthood has provided health services to one in five American women," Rep. Nita Lowey of New york said.

Rep. Barbara lee of California called the amendment a “war on women” and Rep. Jan Schakowsky said Planned Parenthood “saves money and saves lives” by the non-abortion health care it offers and “now it not the time to restrict women’s access to health care.”

And rep. Gwen Moore of Wisconsin went as far as implying that it is better to have an abortion than make a child be forced to live “eating Ramen noodles” and “mayonnaise sandwiches.”

But Pence talked about the myriad of ways in which Planned Parenthood has been proven to exploit women.

“The headlines and years of investigations speak for themselves," he said. “In 2002, Planned Parenthood was found civilly liable in Arizona for failure to report statutory rape. In 2008 it violated reporting laws in Indiana and California. In 2009 it instructed a girl in Tennessee to lie about her age so she could get an abortion without her parents’ knowledge. Recently in California, Washington, New Jersey, and New York, Planned Parenthood clinics have been accused of fraudulent accounting or overbilling practices. And last week, undercover videos showed Planned Parenthood employees apparently willing to aid human sex traffickers by coaching them on how to falsify documents and secure secret abortions for their underage prostitutes."

“As the father of two teenage daughters, there are not words strong enough to portray my contempt of this pattern of apparent fraud and abuse by Planned Parenthood,” he said.

Rep. Jean Schmidt of Ohio said the idea of sexual abuse and Planned Parenthood centers covering up cases is not a potential, and mentioned a case in her state.

“Should we be providing America’s largest abortion provider taxpayer funding so it can keep its lights on so it can provide family planning on one side and abortions on the other?” Schmidt asked.

Rep. Michele Bachmann, a pro-life Republican from Minnesota, defended the Pence amendment and talked about how Planned Parenthood uses govt money to build fancy abortion centers. She noted how it does more abortions than anyone else and complained that Planned Parenthood centers "focus on political activity" at its federal-funded centers.

She also said Planned Parenthood should lose its nonprofit tax status because it is a $1 billion corporation that no longer operates as a nonprofit organization.

Congressman Joe Pitts of Pennsylvania also spoke in favor of the amendment and brought up the horror of the Kermit Gosnell abortion business as an example of what happens in the abortion industry.

The American Center for Law and Justice is one of the many pro-life groups that heavily lobbied members of Congress before the vote to support the amendment.

"There’s no better place to begin the budget cutting process, than putting a stop to funding Planned Parenthood," said Jay Sekulow, the group’s chief counsel, in comment to "It’s stunning that Planned Parenthood receives more than $360 million dollars a year in federal taxpayer funds."

“By receiving this windfall of federal funds, Planned Parenthood is able to free-up other resources enabling them to continue to promote and expand their pro-abortion agenda.  The approval of the Pence Amendment in the House is long overdue and sends a strong message – American taxpayers are no longer willing to subsidize the nation’s largest abortion provider,” he said.

Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America added, "Planned Parenthood portrays itself as a provider of women’s health services and has created an image of community service that is at complete variance with reality. Just in the past couple of weeks, several undercover videos from were released where Planned Parenthood employees were caught on videotape aiding and abetting a "pimp" in human sex trafficking and the exploitation of underage girls"

“Planned Parenthood is also facing 107 criminal charges, including 23 felony charges. It is unconscionable that the nation’s largest abortion provider, performing nearly 324,800 abortions according to its 2008-2009 annual report, receives $363 million of taxpayer monies,” she added.

Catholic Vote added, “Taxpayers provide Planned Parenthood $363 million a year. That means one-third of Planned Parenthood’s annual budget comes from the hard working Americans – including you and me! If our tax money is paying for salaries, or rent or other expenses, that frees up their other money to be spent on abortion.”

"And abortion is what Planned Parenthood does. They are responsible for nearly one-quarter, or over 324,000, abortions in the United States every year. It’s an outrage that taxpayers have to support Planned Parenthood," the group told