Methodist, Catholic, Presbyterian and United Church of Christ Groups Tell Senate to Fund Planned Parenthood

National   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Sep 25, 2017   |   6:44PM   |   Washington, DC

More than a dozen religious groups joined national organizations this week in opposing a U.S. Senate bill to defund the Planned Parenthood abortion business.

Claiming the legislation would be “devastating” to millions of Americans, the groups sent a lengthy letter outlining their opposition to the Graham-Cassidy bill. The legislation would repeal parts of Obamacare and defund the top abortion business in the nation.

Approximately 200 groups signed the letter, delivered Monday, including religious groups that identify as Presbyterian, Methodist, Catholic, United Church of Christ, Jewish and African Episcopal Methodist, according to the Atlanta Daily World.

“This proposal will eliminate affordable quality health care for millions of Americans by gutting the Affordable Care Act … and [defunding] Planned Parenthood health centers,” they wrote in the letter. “Graham-Cassidy would leave tens of millions of people in the United States significantly worse off than under current law.”

They continued:

“In addition, Graham-Cassidy would single out Planned Parenthood by blocking federal Medicaid funds for care at its health centers. The “defunding” of Planned Parenthood would prevent more than half of its patients from getting affordable preventive care, including birth control, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, breast and cervical cancer screenings, and well-women exams at Planned Parenthood health centers, often the only care option in their area. This loss of funds will have a disproportionate effect on low income families and people of color who make up 40 percent of Planned Parenthood patients. Seventy-five percent of Planned Parenthood patients are at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty level and half of their health centers are in rural or underserved areas. One in five women in the United States have relied on Planned Parenthood for healthcare in her lifetime.”

The religious groups that signed the letter include: American Atheists, Bend the Arc Jewish Action, Jewish Council for Public Affairs, Jewish Women International, National Council of Churches, National Council of Jewish Women, Presbyterian Church (USA) member, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, Presbyterian Feminist Agenda Network, Presbyterians Affirming Reproductive Options, The United Methodist Church — General Board of Church and Society, Union for Reform Judaism, United Church of Christ Justice and Witness Ministries, and Women’s Missionary Society African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Nowhere in the letter did they mention abortion – Planned Parenthood’s money-maker. Earlier this year, Planned Parenthood leaders refused an offer to receive an increase in taxpayer funding if they stopped doing abortions. CEO Cecile Richards called the offer “obscene and insulting,” making it very clear that abortions – not women’s health care – are what really are important to Planned Parenthood.

SIGN THE PETITION! Congress Must De-Fund Planned Parenthood Immediately

Planned Parenthood continued to maintain its status as the largest abortion provider in the United States. The abortion group performed 328,348 abortions on unborn babies, 4,349 more than the previous year, according to the report.

At the same time, it saw 2.4 million patients, about 100,000 fewer than the previous year and about 500,000 fewer than five years ago. Contraception services, which the abortion chain touts as its primary service, also dropped from 2.94 million to 2.8 million during the past two years.

Meanwhile, the abortion chain received more taxpayer funding. The report shows Planned Parenthood receiving $554.6 million, up from $553.7 million the previous year. This increase occurred while pro-abortion President Barack Obama was in power.

This pattern is consistent with its annual reports from the past several years. Abortions and taxpayer funding keep going up, while patient numbers and other services go down.

A congressional investigation into the abortion business involving its sales of aborted baby parts concluded with lawmakers recommended that Congress defund it. Planned Parenthood also has been caught in numerous scandals involving Medicaid fraud and failures to report suspected sex trafficking and sexual abuse of minors.

President Donald Trump promised to sign a bill that would defund the Planned Parenthood abortion business.

Recent polls also indicate Americans support the defunding efforts. New polling found 56 percent of Americans in battleground states want Planned Parenthood defunded.