Pro-life activists urged grassroots groups Thursday to take action next week and help lawmakers cut off federal funds for Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
The Thursday broadcast, called Exposed Planned Parenthood, was hosted by Live Action founder Lila Rose and Family Research Council president Tony Perkins. It featured activists, human trafficking experts and the author of the Title X bill in an online event urging viewers to pray, call their representatives, and contact law enforcement to stop taxpayer money from going to PPFA.
During the webcast, Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) reported having watched the Live Action video of clinic managers in Virginia and New Jersey giving a pimp advice on fudging forms. He called the action "deplorable" and declared "the time has come to deny any and all funding to Planned Parenthood of America."
Pence, who videotaped his response for the program, informed viewers that Planned Parenthood is the largest recipient of federal Title X funds. According to Pence, about a third of PPFA's $1 billon+ budget comes from Medicare's Title X program.
Title X provides federal funding through Medicare for family planning services such as STI testing and screenings for breast and prostate cancer.
According to the Hyde Amendment, Title X recipients are prohibited from using federal fund for abortion except in the cases of rape, incest or if the life of the mother is at risk. However, Pence and others lamented that abortion providers are still benefiting from the funds because they also provide screenings and tests.
Tom McClusky, vice president of FRC government affairs, said in a telephone interview that "taxpayers are paying for the same receptionist that schedules abortions; their paying for the lights and the building" when abortions are taking place.
Pence, author the HR 217 Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act, made it clear that he wants to do away with funding for Planned Parenthood, not providers of STI tests and cancer screenings.
"We shouldn't have the leading abortion provider in America or any organization that also provides abortions be in the business of operating and doing the important work of Title 10 clinics," he stated.
The program also tried to draw a clear, straight line between Planned Parenthood and negligent handling of sexual abuse.
Several guests testified on the broadcast about the organization's repeated shows of shady dealings. Pro-life activist Alveda King spoke of Live Action recordings where Planned Parenthood staff assured callers that they would use their donations to abort African America babies.
Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser also recalled previous Live Action cases where Planned Parenthood staff helped undercover actors cover up sexual abuse where a minor is impregnated by a 31-year-old man.
Former director of the human trafficking program at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Steve Wagner, was on hand to connect abortion providers to what he called an "epidemic of juvenile sexual exploitation" in America.
Wagner said clinic workers in the video appeared to be facilitating sex trafficking, a federal crime punishable with jail time.
He also pointed out three areas where Planned Parenthood appeared to be negligent. He said the manager made no effort to rescue the supposed prostitute in the room or the others the pimp claimed to manage. Instead, the managers seemed eager to facilitate in coercing the women to receive an abortion.
Lastly, Wagner said the managers' action perpetuates a false image that prostitution can be legitimate way to earn a living. The reality, he said, of the sex industry is that it is "a series of rapes."
"Agencies that are health care providers have an obligation to report abuse. How can you not consider prostitution of a child anything other than abuse?" he marveled.
In addition to urging cutting federal funds for abortion providers, Perkins said he is lobbying law enforcement officials in Virginia and New Jersey to investigate the clinics in the videos. He encourages residents of those two states to do the same.
After talking with guest speakers and watching clips of three recent videos, both Perkins and Rose urged viewers to take action.
Dannenfelser called next week "a key week" and urged viewer to send emails, make calls and convince their lawmakers to support pro-life reforms in the U.S. House of Representatives.
"The momentum is with us," she encouraged. "Now we need the grassroots to speak."
McClusky asked viewers to contact their state legislatures and visit state hearings to urge lawmakers to stop giving state funds to abortion clinics. Lastly, Perkins urged viewers to pray.
"We need to be praying for this. This is clearly a spiritual battle of life and death," he stated.