Today, U.S. Representative Diane Black (R-TN), introduced her first piece of legislation, HConRes36, which would defund Planned Parenthood in the Continuing Resolution spending bill which cuts $38 billion for the remaining six months of the Fiscal Year 2011.
"Throughout my career in Tennessee, I was known as a pro-life legislator and I am proud that my first bill as a Member of Congress is to defund Planned Parenthood and its affiliates," said Congressman Black. "As a nurse for over 40 years, I spent my career protecting life. Now as a Member of Congress, I will continue to fight for the rights of the unborn through legislation like this; ensuringno federal funds are used for the promotion or performance of abortions."
The Black bill to Defund Planned Parenthood will be brought up for an up or down vote Thursday on the House Floor, followed by a vote on the CR spending bill. The Black bill is a critical part of the agreement forged by Speaker John Boehner, and will guarantee a debate in the U.S. Senate over federal funding for Planned Parenthood and any of its affiliates. If the Black bill passes both the House and the Senate, it will be added to the full CR and sent to the president for his signature.
"There is an urgent need to stop taxpayer dollars from funding abortions," said Black. "The Republican Majority in the House has already made clear our commitment to ending funding for Planned Parenthood, but the Senate has ducked this important discussion for too long. It's time for Senators to debate this in the open, as the House did during H.R. 1, and finally take the vote to end taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood."
Conservative estimates indicate that Planned Parenthood and its affiliates receive $363 million of its nearly $1 billion budget in taxpayer funds. While the national abortion rate continues to decline, the number of abortions provided by Planned Parenthood continues to climb. According to Planned Parenthood's March 2011 year-end report for its 2009 fiscal year, Planned Parenthood served three million clients, of whom 332,278 received abortions contrasted with only 977 adoption referrals and 7,021 prenatal care clients. Since 1977 (the first year for which data is available), Planned Parenthood has conducted 5,493,960 abortions. Finally, new evidence has shown that Planned Parenthood employees are also willing to cover up sex trafficking.
Black has a long history as a pro-life legislator, dating back to her time in the Tennessee General Assembly. As a member of the State Senate, Black worked to deny funding to Planned Parenthood in Tennessee. While serving as a Member of the Tennessee House of Representatives, Black was named Tennessee Right to Life Legislator of the Year in 2004.