DEPARTMENTS OF LABOR, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, AND EDUCATION, AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2008 -- (House of Representatives - July 19, 2007)
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Mr. HOLT. Madam Chairman, I rise today to oppose the amendment offered by my colleague from Indiana, Mr. PENCE to the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 2008.
Mr. PENCE's amendment would deny Federal funding under Title X of the Public Health Services Act to Planned Parenthood health facilities throughout the country. As a supporter of Planned Parenthood and the services that it offers to my constituents in my central New Jersey district, I firmly oppose this purely political amendment.
This should not be an anti-choice or pro-choice debate about one of the many services that Planned Parenthood provides. In fact, according to Federal statute, no money from Title X can be used for abortion services. Title X makes grants to public and private nonprofit organizations to provide family planning and basic reproductive health care information and services to low-income women. Therefore this debate should be about prevention. It should be about continuing to provide women with the necessary tools for proper prevention, including contraception and education. It should be about protecting women's health by providing women with access to reproductive health care.
Planned Parenthood's 841 affiliates provide reproductive health care services to 5 million men and women annually including 84,500 in the state of New Jersey. 63 percent of these patients receive reproductive health care services and 37 percent receive family planning services. Through family planning services Planned Parenthood estimates that its services prevent over 631,000 unwanted pregnancies annually.
Cutting Title X funding to Planned Parenthood is nothing short of irresponsible. The low income women who are served through Title X are four times more likely to face an unintended pregnancy. As a safety net provider, Planned Parenthood plays a critical role in serving these women. Title X has proven to be effective and prevents 1 million unwanted pregnancies each year. Planned Parenthood, as the Nation's oldest and largest family planning provider, is responsible for preventing 60 percent of unwanted pregnancies and we should not act to prevent women from getting the reproductive health care they need. I urge my colleagues not to support the Pence amendment.
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