(CNSNews.com) – Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) has introduced a bill in the House of Representatives that would prohibit abortion providers from receiving federal funds through Title X of the Public Health Service Act, including Planned Parenthood, which received more than $360 million in government grants and contracts in Fiscal Year 2008-2009.
“The largest abortion provider in America should not also be the largest recipient of federal funding under Title X,” Pence said from the House floor when he introduced the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act today, Jan. 7.
“Federal funding should reflect the priorities and the values of the majority of the American people,” Pence said. “Whatever people think about abortion across this country since Roe versus Wade, survey after survey has shown that an overwhelming majority of Americans oppose the use of taxpayer dollars to support, subsidize, or promote abortion at home or abroad.”
Pence pointed out that although federal law prohibits federal funds from being used to pay for abortions, Planned Parenthood receives millions of dollars each year from government grants and contracts, including federal funds, for its family planning clinics, many of which also provide abortion services.
“Planned Parenthood and their defenders will claim that the money they received has not been used to fund abortions,” Pence said. “That is only technically true. Current law prohibits the use of Title X family planning funds – quote ‘programs where abortion is a method of family planning’ closed quote.
“Therein lies the loophole,” Pence said. “While Title X money cannot directly be used to fund abortions, common sense says there’s no question that taxpayer dollars received by Planned Parenthood are used to cover allowed expenses like overhead operational costs, thus freeing up other money for the clinics that do provide abortion.”
“In many of our largest cities, Title X clinics, run by Planned Parenthood, are literally just steps away from abortion clinics operated by Planned Parenthood, many times in the same building,” Pence said.
“This legislation would close that loophole that’s forced millions of pro-life Americans to subsidize the nation’s leading abortion provider; sustaining and underwriting this nefarious trade,” Pence said.
As reported earlier by CNSNews.com, Planned Parenthood received $363.2 million in government grants and contracts during its 2008-2009 fiscal year, according to the organization's annual report. That was up from $349.6 million in FY2007-08.
According to a fact sheet on Planned Parenthood's Web site, the organization performed 324,008 abortions in calendar year 2008. That was up from 305,310 in 2007 and 289,750 in 2006.
Pence said that cutting taxpayer dollars for abortion providers will not stop the “important work” done by health clinics across the country that get funding from Title X.
“This legislation does not cut one penny from Title X family planning funding,” he said. “I applaud much of the important work that’s done at Title X clinics across this country – breast cancer screening, HIV protection, education, counseling, pregnancy diagnosis. This legislation simply prevents family planning funding from aiding organizations that profit from the abortion industry.”
Pence said the timing is right for getting the bill passed.
“I urge our new majority to bring this legislation forward with all deliberate speed,” Pence said, noting the impact its passage would have.
“For the sake of American taxpayers; for the sake of the important work being done at Title X clinics across this country; and, most importantly, for the sake of the defenseless unborn and vulnerable young women who find themselves in a crisis pregnancy, we must enact the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act and end the day of taxpayer support for these organizations,” Pence said.
Representative Pence announced that there are 122 co-sponsors of the bill.