Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Defunding Planned Parenthood and The Pence Amendment

Wednesday STOPP Report                                                                    July 25, 2007


  • The Pence Amendment
  • Sign the petition



The Pence Amendment


In the U.S. House on July 19, Rep. Mike Pence offered an amendment to the appropriations bill that funds the Departments of Labor and Health and Human Services. The amendment was designed to prohibit taxpayer dollars from being used to fund Planned Parenthood. The Pence Amendment stated in very clear terms “that no funds under Title X may be granted to Planned Parenthood.”


Last year Planned Parenthood received over $300 million dollars from government grants and contracts. However, Title X is the biggest piece of the pie as it makes up approximately 23 percent of Planned Parenthood’s total government funding. In other words, last year an estimated $70 million was given to PP though Title X, more than any other single organization in the country.


Supporting opinions


Before the amendment was voted on, there was approximately 15 minutes of debate among the members of Congress. The full text of this debate can be found here. Supporters of the bill were clear in explaining the ramifications of what financial support of Planned Parenthood on the federal level meant to the country as well as to the individual taxpayer:


  • Rep. Mike Pence: “My point in offering this amendment today is that millions of pro-life Americans should not be asked to fund the leading abortion provider in the United States.”


  • Rep. Todd Akin: “Planned Parenthood is the biggest abortion provider in America. Is it reasonable to compel some of our constituents who believe that this is killing to take part in that?”


  • Rep. Marsha Blackburn: “What this amendment does is to state that Planned Parenthood cannot receive those funds. Planned Parenthood in 2005 did perform 260,000 abortions. That is something that we know. I think it is also important for us to note that it was Planned Parenthood who was the lead plaintiff in the legal challenge against the partial-birth abortion ban legislation that is now the law of the land. This is the right move. I commend the gentleman from Indiana for bringing the amendment forward and for bringing to our attention the need to make certain that taxpayer dollars are not used in abortion clinics around this nation.”


  • Rep. Trent Franks: “It has been said that a government is what it spends. For this government to appropriate one penny of the taxpayers' money to an organization that kills unborn children and emotionally impoverishes their mothers is a disgrace that undermines the core essence of the United States of America and betrays everything that our soldiers lying out in Arlington National Cemetery died to preserve.”


  • Rep. Joseph Pitts: “Planned Parenthood claims to work to reduce abortions, but happens to be the number one abortion provider in this country. This raises an obvious question: Why are taxpayer dollars being used to subsidize the largest abortion supplier in the United States? Planned Parenthood clinics receive funding in the name of their family planning services; however, there are many clinics in which family planning and abortion services are co-located in the same building, share a common set of basic resources, out one door and into the other. Abortion services generate more net revenue when clinics can rely on federal dollars to pay for lighting, heating, building maintenance, and even rent. Planned Parenthood receives a record-breaking $305 million in taxpayer funding … Planned Parenthood performed 265,000 abortions, the most ever in a year.”


Rep. Pence is to be congratulated for introducing this amendment. As far as can be determined, this is the first time Congress has ever voted specifically against the funding of Planned Parenthood as an entity. In addition, we are thrilled to hear congressmen clearly proclaim the message that communities across the country have been saying for years: Planned Parenthood is bad for our communities and we refuse to be forced to fund its evil operations.


Defending Planned Parenthood


While supporters clearly explained that the amendment was intended to affect only Planned Parenthood and its operations, the comments of those who opposed the amendment were quite misleading. Much of the opposing comments were based on the straw man fallacy that this amendment was an attack on all “family planning” operations across the country and did not address the actual nature of removing Title X funding from PP.


However, several members of Congress were clear in their support of Planned Parenthood and its operations:


  • Rep. Christopher Shays: Planned Parenthood is the nation's leading reproductive health care provider. For over 90 years Planned Parenthood has provided low-income, uninsured and underinsured women with vital reproductive health care services they need. I'll conclude by pointing out Planned Parenthood operates health care centers in every state in the nation, serving over five million men, women and teens and their communities each year. The services Planned Parenthood provides are needed and to deprive them of this funding, I think, would be a colossal mistake.”
  • Rep. Tim Ryan: “I would like to just say, I have voted for the ban on partial-birth abortion. I consider myself a pro-life Democrat. But I will say that this amendment will increase the number of abortions that are performed.”
  • Rep. Rosa DeLauro: “If we truly do value, if we value, as we say we do, women's health, we cannot sabotage Title X, we cannot strip Planned Parenthood of funding, and we cannot pass this amendment.”
  • Rep. Jim Moran: “I oppose this amendment, which is nothing less than an attack on the nation's most trusted source of reproductive health services and information. …Title X helps 575 Planned Parenthood clinics to provide over 3 million women with family planning services each year.”


Clearly these members of congress do not understand what Planned Parenthood really is.


An important vote


After the 15 minutes of debate, Congress did vote on the Pence Amendment and the amendment failed by a vote of 189-231. While we certainly were praying that the amendment would pass, yet the mere fact that this vote occurred is very important.

First of all, while the amendment failed, keep in mind that there are 435 total congressmen. That means an amendment needs 218 votes to pass if all members were present. In other words, if the Pence Amendment had a mere 29 more votes it would have passed.


In addition to the fact that there is a large amount of support in Congress for removing funding from Planned Parenthood, the votes of every member of Congress on this amendment were recorded and can be viewed here. The Pence Amendment is the first straight forward, up and down vote regarding Planned Parenthood perhaps ever.

By analyzing how each member of Congress voted we can see which members are truly dedicated to fighting Planned Parenthood and those who still need to be more educated on the need to fight PP. As Representative Ryan’s comments indicate, it is not sufficient to rely on whether or not a politician claims to be “pro-life” because he or she can just as easily buy into Planned Parenthood’s lies and support the evil work of this abortion giant nevertheless.


ACTION: We encourage you to find out how your congressman voted and contact him or her. If your representative supported this amendment, thank him or her for fighting Planned Parenthood. If your congressman did not support the amendment, please contact him or her and educate him or her about why you oppose Planned Parenthood. Also encourage your representative to take away all government funding of this abortion giant’s deadly and perverse operations. Find the contact information for your representative here.



Sign the petition


We thank Rep. Pence for having the fortitude to submit this amendment and work directly to de-fund Planned Parenthood on the national scale.


We should note that, as with all aspects in the fight to defeat Planned Parenthood, we can never neglect removing the government funding of PP at the local level. We encourage you to contact government officials in your own city and insist that Planned Parenthood receives not a single penny of your tax money.


American Life League has a petition to help de-fund Planned Parenthood. It is directed to officials at all levels of government and it states, “We, the undersigned, ask all elected officials to ensure that Planned Parenthood receives absolutely no taxpayer dollars.”


To sign this petition and be kept up to date on the work to defeat Planned Parenthood’s tax funding, please visit




Behold the Lord, Jesus Christ, who tries so hard to get our attention




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