Amidst a major national media campaign by Planned Parenthood and its allies, Congressman Pence issued the following essay to address several misconceptions being promoted about his effort to deny all federal funding to Planned Parenthood:
"I believe that ending an innocent human life is morally wrong. I also believe it is morally wrong to take the taxpayer dollars of millions of pro-life Americans and use them to fund organizations that provide and promote abortions, like Planned Parenthood of America.
"It is for that reason that I offered an amendment to the recent Continuing Resolution that would deny any and all federal funding to Planned Parenthood for the rest of the fiscal year. It passed with bipartisan support.
"Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in America. In 2008, Planned Parenthood performed 324,008 abortions, and a recently released fact sheet shows that their abortion procedures increased to a staggering 332,278 in 2009.
"According to their latest annual report, Planned Parenthood received more than $363 million in taxpayer funds, and it was the largest recipient of taxpayer funding under Title X.
"While Planned Parenthood asserts that no federal funds are used to provide or promote abortion, a woman entering a Planned Parenthood clinic in 2009 was 42 times more likely to have an abortion than to receive either prenatal care or be referred for adoption.
"Also, as recent headlines have shown, Planned Parenthood clinics have faced allegations of violating reporting laws in several states, instructing young women to lie about their age to get an abortion without their parents' knowledge, and have been found civilly liable for failure to report statutory rape.
"Planned Parenthood clinics have also been accused of fraudulent accounting or overbilling practices and in recent weeks, undercover videos showed Planned Parenthood employees apparently willing to aid human sex traffickers by coaching them on how to falsify documents and secure secret abortions for underage prostitutes.
"Especially with this the pattern of apparent fraud and abuse, the largest abortion provider in America should not also be the largest recipient of federal tax dollars under Title X.
"After the passage of my legislation, some misconceptions have arisen that bear clarification.
"First, the Pence Amendment does not cut any funding for women's health services under Title X. It would simply block those funds already in the bill from subsidizing America's largest abortion provider.
"In fact, it has never been my ambition to reduce funding for Title X services. I applaud the important work done at Title X clinics, such as pregnancy diagnosis, breast cancer screening and HIV testing. I support young women getting the access to care they need and deserve. My legislation would help protect women who find themselves in crisis pregnancies by ensuring they receive access to unbiased and compassionate health services.
"Second, critics have asserted that if Planned Parenthood is denied funding there would be no other organizations available to provide these services to women in our larger cities. This too is incorrect.
"There are literally thousands of clinics across the country -- other than Planned Parenthood -- that receive federal funding and offer access to health care for low-income women and families.
"In Indiana, for instance, some of these clinics include: Open Door clinics in both Anderson and Muncie; Lafayette Street Clinic in Fort Wayne; Women's Urgent Visit Center in Indianapolis, and Tri-Cap Family Health Services in Evansville. Around the country, clinics from Maine to Florida and New Mexico to Washington serve the needs of women, such as the Augusta Family Planning Clinic, the Children's Hospital Adolescent Clinic, the Lake Worth Teen Time Clinic, Healthcare for the Homeless, and the Forks Women's Clinic -- just to name a few.
"The passage of the Pence Amendment was a victory for taxpayers and a victory for life, and I am hopeful our colleagues in the Senate will join us in ending federal funding for Planned Parenthood once and for all."