CongressHouse FloorSenate Floor • U.S. Capitol: 202-224-3121

March 31, 2011

The Truth About the Debate Over Defunding Planned Parenthood

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The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Indiana (Mr. Pence) for 5 minutes.

Mr. PENCE. Mr. Speaker, abortion on demand is an American tragedy, but public funding for abortion and abortion providers is an American disgrace. Fortunately, we have never been closer to denying public funding to abortion providers in America than we are today.

On February 18, 2011, with bipartisan support, the House of Representatives

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passed H.R. 1, which included the Pence amendment ending taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in America. Despite efforts to suggest otherwise, the Pence amendment does not reduce funding for cancer screening or eliminate one dime of funding for other important health services to women. If the Pence amendment becomes law, thousands of women's health centers, clinics and hospitals would still provide assistance to low-income families and women. The Pence amendment would simply deny all Federal funding to Planned Parenthood of America.

Over the past several weeks, Planned Parenthood has used its vast resources to launch slick Madison Avenue television ads portraying the Nation's largest abortion provider as an altruistic organization that provides health care services to the poor with only an incidental interest in the abortion industry. The truth is far afield from the image. The truth is that a major source of Planned Parenthood's clinic income comes from the abortion business.

Despite attempts by advocates for the abortion industry and ideologues on the left to portray efforts to defund Planned Parenthood as some kind of a ``war on women,'' the issue here is big business, and that business is abortion. This legislative battle over the Pence amendment is about Big Abortion versus American taxpayers and American women specifically.

As Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood director, recently said, ``Planned Parenthood's mission, on paper, is to give quality and affordable health care and to protect women's rights. But in reality,'' she said, ``their mission is to increase their abortion numbers and in turn increase their revenue.''

There is no doubt that Planned Parenthood's focus is on making Big Abortion even bigger. In 2009, the group made only 977 adoption referrals and cared for 7,021 prenatal clients, but performed an unprecedented 332,278 abortions. In fact, in 2009, a pregnant woman entering a Planned Parenthood clinic was 42 times more likely to have an abortion than to receive either prenatal care or to be referred to an adoption service.

According to their most recent annual report, the organization raked in $1.1 billion in total revenue. Of that amount, $363.2 million came from taxpayers in the form of government grants and contracts. This is about big business, and that business is abortion.

And for all the talk about how poor women would be harmed if taxpayers stopped subsidizing Big Abortion, it is telling to see how they have been spending their money. According to a June 2008 story in The Wall Street Journal, Planned Parenthood was flush with cash and using its profits to rebrand itself to appeal to more affluent American women. Their rebranding effort was designed to build their business by increasingly targeting wealthy consumers to complement their existing targeting of poor and minority women.

While taxpayers underwrite their operations, Planned Parenthood is building large luxury health centers in shopping centers and malls designed by marketing experts with touches like hardwood floors, muted lighting, large waiting rooms and the like.

And Big Abortion routinely puts profits over women's health and safety. When women testify on behalf of improved safety standards at abortion clinics, Planned Parenthood opposes it and fights them every step of the way. And despite the fact that 88 percent of Americans favor informed consent laws that provide information about the risks and alternatives to abortions for women, Planned Parenthood opposes these efforts and works to keep women in the dark in jurisdictions across the country.

The reality is abortion on demand is an American tragedy, but public funding of abortion providers is an American disgrace. The time has come to deny any and all funding to Planned Parenthood of America and this week, as House Republicans reaffirm our commitment to H.R. 1, to reaffirm our commitment to make a down payment on fiscal responsibility and reform. Let us also seize this moment to reaffirm our commitment to defend the broad mainstream values of the American people in the way we spend the people's money.

I urge continued support by my colleagues on both sides of the aisle of the Pence amendment denying public funding to Planned Parenthood of America.

(House of Representatives - March 30, 2011)

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