On January 26th, the Union Theological Seminary hosted a new event called the Congressional Faith Orientation on Capitol Hill. At the event, five democrat legislators spoke about how their faith influences their work in the legislature. According to the Christian Post, the representatives included, Sheila Jackson Lee, R-Texas, Emanuel Cleaver, D-Missouri, and James Clyburn, D-South Carolina.
In the past, these lawmakers have opposed pro- life legislation, and at the orientation a few of them argued against cutting funding of Planned Parenthood. In their opinion, it is ok for Christians to collaborate with the abortion giant because they are dedicated to helping poor women.
Rep. Cleaver said, “When you debate the allocation to Planned Parenthood, the debate on the floor is going to be about abortion, in spite of the fact that abortion is not in the bill and that we can’t give federal money for abortion. The money when we debate that is on the services for women, or for poor women who can’t get the services elsewhere, not abortions. But if you tune in, the debate will be about abortions. Why? Because they can get some votes.”
However, the Planned Parenthood debate has everything to do with abortion. According to their 2013-2014 annual report, they performed 327,653 abortions this past year, maintaining their title as the nation’s largest abortion business. The “non-profit” also ranked in $305.4 million; and received over a half-billion dollars in taxpayer money, as it took in $540 million in 2012 and $528 million in 2013.
Additionally, although Rep. Cleaver argues that none of this money goes toward abortion, Planned Parenthood has repeatedly lied to Americans about what their funding is used for. In 2012, Karen Reynolds who worked as a “health care assistant” at a Texas Planned Parenthood, filled a whistleblower lawsuit alleging that the abortion business engaged in fraudulently overbilling Medicaid, Title XX, and the Women’s Health Program of tens of millions of dollars over the course of at least a decade.
As a result, Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast had to pay a total of $4.3 million in reimbursements to Medicaid after the state found them guilty. Reynolds also claimed that supervisor’s trained employees to illegally bill government agencies for medical and family planning services as well as abortion related services.
Nonetheless, Rep. Cleaver’s support of Planned Parenthood shouldn’t come as a surprise because in 2012 the abortion giant awarded him for his “tireless work on behalf of millions of women…who faced the most aggressive attacks on women’s health and rights in a generation.”
Unfortunately, Cleaver wasn’t the only one at the orientation who’s openly affiliated with abortion. In 2011, during the debate on The Protect Life Act (HR 358), Representative Lee (D-TX) argued that the law, which would stop taxpayer funding of abortion and strengthen conscience protections under Obamacare, was an “insidious” attack on women. During her floor speech, Rep. Lee mentioned a Texas ultrasound law that “required a doctor to talk first to a woman seeking an abortion and to allow or force them both to listen to, uh, sounds that, uh, might discourage this needed action.”