U.S. Congressman Mike Pence, Chairman of the House Republican Conference, gave the following speech on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives today regarding his amendment to defund Planned Parenthood:
I rise in support of the Pence amendment and I welcome the opportunity to debate my distinguished colleague on the topic on the floor and will do so respectfully in an effort to alleviate what he described as his ‘confusion’ about the bill. A couple of basic facts: Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in America. According to their annual report, most recently, they boasted of having performed more than 300,000 abortions in this country. Another fact: Planned Parenthood is the largest recipient of federal funding under Title X. According to that same annual report, Planned Parenthood received approximately $350 million in government grants and contracts.
The Pence amendment before the Congress today simply states none of the funds made available under this act shall be available to Planned Parenthood for any purpose under Title X of the Public Health Services Act.
The largest abortion provider in America should not also be the largest recipient of federal funding under Title X, as I believe a majority of the American people would attest. The time has come to deny all federal funding to Planned Parenthood of America.
And now the case for that: The Public Health Services Act was first enacted in 1946 and in 1970. It included the creation of Title X. Title X is the only federal grant program that provides Americans with comprehensive family planning and related preventive health care services. As my colleague just said, let me echo, Title X does provide a broad range of important and quality services to the underserved community in this country. Over four million Americans are served every year, 67 percent of whom are low-income. Approximately 600,000 abortions are prevented by Title X family planning funding, and it's reassuring to many of us that abstinence education is required at all clinics.
First, the Pence amendment does not cut or reduce the budget for family planning by one penny. Let me say that again to my colleagues in the majority, to whom I am grateful today to have been extended the opportunity to bring this amendment. The Pence amendment does not cut one penny from the budget of Title X. Also, let me make a very clear point: I understand that current law and regulation prevents Title X funds from going directly to fund abortions, as my colleague just said. But there's no question that money that Planned Parenthood receives for its operational expenses from the federal government free up resources that can be used to provide and promote abortions through its abortion clinics. Common sense teaches no other idea.
So these are important points as I rise and urge what I believe will be bipartisan support for this amendment. I believe it echoes the views of millions of Americans on the point, as well. We could talk about the role Planned Parenthood plays in the abortion trade in this country. We could talk about the real scandal of the fact that one out of every two African American pregnancies end in abortion. We could talk about the allegations of fraud and investigation. But let me just say to my colleagues, the time has come to deny all federal funding to Planned Parenthood. We have the opportunity to do it today. I urge adoption of the Pence amendment.