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Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. VITTER. Mr. President, I thank my colleague. As Congress tries to get serious about cutting wasteful and reckless spending, I believe taxpayer subsidy of abortion providers should be among the first things to go. I personally believe it is morally wrong to end an innocent human life through abortion. I also believe it is morally reprehensible to take the dollars of millions of pro-life Americans in order to fund organizations that do that. That is a view held by the great majority of Americans. Americans should not be forced to subsidize abortion, much less fund our Nation's largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood.

When the House passed its continuing resolution before us today, it adopted a provision that cuts funding to this abortion giant, and it did it with significant bipartisan support. Unfortunately, that language was stripped by Senate leadership behind closed doors. But I believe Senators should have a chance to vote directly on that measure following a full and open debate.

Again, I do not personally believe abortion is a right guaranteed by the Constitution. I believe that it is morally wrong. But this issue is even beyond that. This is not about abortion on demand in this country. This debate is about whether taxpayer dollars, including those billions of taxpayer dollars from pro-life Americans, should be sent to organizations such as Planned Parenthood, which performs millions of abortions in this country.

According to their latest annual report, Planned Parenthood boasted more than $363 million in taxpayer funding, $363 million. By the way, that is the same year it performed an unprecedented 324,008 abortions. Every year since 2000 the government has increased taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood, on average over a $22 million-a-year increase. And guess what. The number of abortions Planned Parenthood has performed has also steadily increased, even though the overall abortion rate in the United States has declined since 2008.

Planned Parenthood's abortion rate massively outpaces its adoption referrals. In 2008, a woman entering a Planned Parenthood clinic was 134 times more likely to have an abortion than to be referred for an adoption.

Planned Parenthood has also made a profit every year since 1987, including over a $63 million return profit in 2009. There is no justification for subsidizing Planned Parenthood's profit-making venture with taxpayer dollars.

There has been a recent onslaught of ads that claim Planned Parenthood is simply a leading provider of women's health services. But abortions, not other health services, not true health services--abortions account for roughly one-third of the $1 billion income generated by its affiliated clinics.

Let me be clear. This provision would not cut all title X funding for health services such as breast cancer screenings, HIV testing, counseling, valuable family planning services. It would simply block funds, taxpayer dollars, from subsidizing America's largest abortion provider.

That has the support of the American people, even well beyond America's prolife numbers. I believe the sanctity of human life is a principle that Congress should proclaim at every opportunity. Again, this goes even beyond that.

The time has come to respect the wishes of the great majority of Americans, pro-life and many pro-choice, who say using taxpayer dollars to fund huge abortion providers--Planned Parenthood is the biggest--simply is not right. We have to cut. We have to get responsible. This is certainly a key place to start.

I yield the floor.

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