CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Friday, September 18, 2015, the House will consider H.R. 3134, the Defund Planned Parenthood Act of 2015, under a closed rule. H.R. 3134 was introduced on July 21, 2015 by Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) and was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce.
H.R. 3134 precludes any federal funds from being authorized or appropriated for one-year, for any purpose, to Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc., or any affiliate or clinic of that organization, unless such entities certify that those affiliates and clinics will not perform, and will not provide any funds to any other entity that performs an abortion during such period.
The bill provides an exception for an abortion if the pregnancy is the result of rape, incest, or in the case where a woman suffers from a physical disorder, physical injury, or physical illness that would, as certified by a physician, place the woman in danger of death unless an abortion is performed, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself.
The bill also requires recoupment of any federal funds received by Planned Parenthood or any of its affiliates or clinics received in violation of the certification process established by the bill during the one-year funding prohibition period. The one-year funding moratorium begins on the date of the bill’s enactment.
The rule provides that the amendment printed in the Rules Committee report shall be considered as adopted. The amendment redirects funding from Planned Parenthood facilities to Federally Qualified Health Centers (Community Health Centers) to provide women’s health services.
A series of undercover videos published by the Center for Medical Progress this summer showed senior Planned Parenthood officials reportedly discussing the sale of body parts from aborted fetuses.
The House Committees on Energy and Commerce, the Judiciary, and Oversight and Government Reform are investigating questions raised by the videos. The questions include: Are abortion providers profiting from the sale of fetal tissue?; Are abortion providers changing procedures in order to maximize the harvesting of fetal tissue?; Are patients giving sufficient informed consent when fetal tissue is donated?; Were federal laws violated and whether federal law sufficiently prohibits these barbaric acts?; What congressional action is necessary to further respond to these horrific acts?; and, Was the Department of Justice aware of these practices and did it properly enforce the laws that prevent these acts? Click here for more information about the House investigation into Planned Parenthood.
Under current law, it is “unlawful for any person to knowingly acquire, receive, or otherwise transfer any human fetal tissue for valuable consideration if the transfer affects interstate commerce.”
Although the law prohibits the sale or purchase of fetal tissue itself, the term ‘valuable consideration’ “does not include reasonable payments associated with the transportation, implantation, processing, preservation, quality control, or storage of human fetal tissue.”
Planned Parenthood Federation of America is a national nonprofit organization that provides support services to more than 60 affiliates that are separately incorporated and independent organizations with their own boards of directors that operate as independent organizations with financial autonomy. These affiliates operate more than 700 health centers across the country, providing a range of services. The organization reported receiving approximately $528 million in government funding in 2014, which constituted 41 percent of its overall budget.
In its Annual Report for 2013-2014, Planned Parenthood reported receiving approximately 41 percent of its funding from government sources, 30 percent of its funding from private donations, 23 percent from non-government health services revenue, and 6 percent from other sources. In March, 2015, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported that Planned Parenthood affiliates expended $344.5 million in federal funding between fiscal years 2010 to 2012. GAO reported that these affiliates provided 327,166 abortion procedures in 2012. Planned Parenthood reported that its affiliates performed 327,653 abortion procedures in 2013.
According to the bill sponsor, “nearly two months ago, a veil was lifted giving Americans a window into the true heart and soul of Planned Parenthood and implicating the organization in the alleged trafficking of aborted babies’ tissue and organs. This callous disrespect for innocent life is heartbreaking and it demands a response from Congress. Investigations are underway now, but there are more than enough lingering questions to stop the money flow to this abortion giant while Congress conducts a full review of its activities.”
 See CRS Report—“Fetal Tissue Research: Frequently Asked Questions,” July 31, 2015 at 3.
 Id. at 3 and 4.
 See GAO Report—“Health Care Funding: Federal Obligations to and Expenditures by Selected Entities Involved in Health-Related Activities, 2010-2012,” March 20, 2015 at 4.
 See Planned Parenthood 2013-2014 Annual Report at 20.
 See GAO Report at 6.
 Id. at 25.
 See Planned Parenthood Annual Report, 2013-2014 at 18.
 See Press Release—“Rep. Black Praises Planned House Vote on the Defund Planned Parenthood Act of 2015,” September 11, 2015.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that implementing H.R. 3134 would result in a reduction in direct spending totaling $235 million over the 2016 to 2025 period. Because enacting this legislation would affect direct spending, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. Enacting the bill would not affect revenues.
For questions or further information please contact Jerry White with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 5-0190.