House Rejects Bill to Defund Planned Parenthood

The U.S. House on Friday rejected an amendment that sought to strip Planned Parenthood of taxpayer funding.

The Pence Amendment was voted down 247 to 183.

"It's despicable that once again Congress has voted to fund this deadly organization," said Family Research Council President Tony Perkins in a statement. "The vast majority of Americans do not want taxpayers' dollars going to abortion organizations.

Authored by Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), the amendment to the Labor, Health, and Human Services appropriations bill states that none of the funds under Title X (or family planning) of the Public Health Services Act shall be available to Planned Parenthood for any purpose.

Pence pointed out on Friday that Planned Parenthood is the nation's largest abortion provider and also the largest recipient of federal funding under Title X. Their latest annual report shows that the health care and abortion provider received approximately $350 million in government grants and contracts, Pence noted. In that same report, Planned Parenthood recorded more than 300,000 abortions.

"The time has come to deny all federal funding to Planned Parenthood of America," Pence said Friday on the floor of the U.S. House.

Shaun Kenney, executive director of American Life League, contends that "it makes no sense for the federal government to spend millions of dollars killing millions of future taxpayers."

"Planned Parenthood is leeching off our impoverished economy while raking in money hand over first," Kenney says.

On Friday, Pence acknowledged that current law and regulation prevents Title X funds from going directly to fund abortions, but he said there's no question that the money frees up resources that Planned Parenthood can use to provide and promote abortions.

He also stressed that the amendment does not reduce the budget for family planning but he would like to see Title X funding go to other organizations other that do not perform abortions.

Pro-lifers have lauded Pence for taking action to protect the unborn, despite the unfavorable vote by the House.

Following the defeat, the Indiana congressman vowed to keep fighting until abortions are not funded by the federal government.

"How the federal government spends taxpayer money says a great deal about who we are as a nation," he said. "Federal spending should reflect the cherished values of an overwhelming majority of American taxpayers. Even pro-choice advocates oppose taxpayer funding of abortion and it is morally wrong to commit the tax dollars of pro-life Americans to promoting or performing abortions at home and abroad. It is deeply disturbing that this Democrat Congress just defeated the will of a strong majority of the American people who oppose federal funding for abortion.

"While our Democrat colleagues talk about their desire to reduce abortions, today's vote suggests otherwise. You can't reduce abortions by funding abortion providers with taxpayer dollars."

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