Congressman Makes Bid to Strip Planned Parenthood of Title X Funds
By Peter J. Smith
WASHINGTON, D.C., July 22, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A US Congressman today proposed an amendment that would eliminate millions of dollars in federal funds for Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider, which has lately come under public scrutiny after numerous employees across the country were caught on camera failing to inform law enforcement of child victims of sexual abuse.
U.S. House Representative Mike Pence, (R-Ind.) submitted an amendment to an appropriations bill funding the Department of Health and Human Services, which would make Planned Parenthood ineligible to receive Title X funds for "family planning" services. The Pence Amendment, submitted to the House Rules Committee, 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."
"According to their last annual report, Title X funds helped over 4.7 million women prevent pregnancy by a variety of ethical methods such as abstinence education and birth control," wrote Pence on The Hill's Congress blog. "There are many clinics funded by Title X that offer ethical family planning services - without providing abortions."
Legally a non-profit organization, Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) depends upon $349.6 million in US tax dollars to free up other resources that sustain the financial operation of its abortion facilities. According to PPFA's financial report for 2007-2008, the abortion provider brought in total revenue of $1.038 billion and posted an $85 million profit.
"When Title X money goes to organizations that provide both abortions and family planning services, even though the money cannot directly fund abortions, it can be used to offset operational costs, freeing up money to promote and provide abortions," added Pence, pointing out that Planned Parenthood performed 305,000 abortions in its last fiscal year, which was a 5.3 percent increase from 2006-2007.
However Pence indicated that Congress should withdraw Title X funding from PPFA for the simple fact that the organization appears to have an endemic problem with "fraudulent use of Title X funding." Many of its affiliates, he pointed out, have deliberately failed to report victims of child-rape and have encouraged girls to lie about their age in order to obtain an abortion. These violations of state law have been documented in California, Indiana, Arizona, Kansas, Tennessee, and Alabama.
The undercover sting operation that unearthed these violations, known as the Mona Lisa Project and led by Live Action's 20-year-old president Lila Rose, has prompted the Tennessee legislature to revoke Title X funding from state PPs, and led the Attorneys General of Alabama and Arizona to launch investigations of PPs for violating their state laws.
California Planned Parenthood affiliates are also currently engaged in a multi-million dollar lawsuit over allegations they bilked the federal treasury by tens of millions of dollars by abusing the Title X program. The suit filed July 8 in federal court by the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) contends that the California-based Planned Parenthoods fraudulently marked up the price of a number of birth control drugs far above their actual cost before submitting requests for reimbursement from the government.
In order for Pence's amendment to have the chance for an up-or-down vote on the floor of the House, the House Rules Committee, led by pro-abortion Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) must first give its approval.
"Regardless of your views on abortion, our nation cannot afford to throw millions of dollars at an organization not only shown to misuse tax funds but one that continually puts the lives of men, women and children in danger," said Jim Sedlak, vice president of American Life League, which has given its support to the Pence Amendment.
ALL has urged its supporters to encourage their Congressmen to support giving the measure a fair hearing by the full House.
"Planned Parenthood's agenda is putting our kids in danger from sexual predators on a daily basis," said ALL President Judie Brown. "The gravity of Planned Parenthood's crimes transcends party lines. Any American concerned about keeping our kids safe should support the Pence Amendment."
President Barack Obama has asked Congress to increase funding for the Title X program by $10 million, bringing the program's total annual budget to $317 million.
See related coverage by LifeSiteNews.com:
Alabama Attorney General Calls Undercover Video of Planned Parenthood 'Extremely Troubling', Seeks Investigation
Undercover Videos Prompt Tennessee Lawmakers to End Preferential Treatment for Planned Parenthood
Planned Parenthood Faces Defunding in Kansas after Undercover Tape Released