Today, U.S. Congressman Diane Black (R-TN) released the following statement criticizing the Obama administration for awarding $395,000 in federal taxpayer dollars to Planned Parenthood of the Greater Memphis Area:
"It is very disappointing that the Obama administration has decided to use taxpayer dollars - against the will of state elected leaders - to prop up the Greater Memphis Area's Planned Parenthood clinic. Not only should taxpayer dollars never be used to fund an organization that performs abortions, the administration has blatantly defied the will of the Tennessee legislature and Governor. Time and time again, the president continues to put Planned Parenthood's taxpayer-funded bottom line above human life, women's health and states rights," said Congressman Diane Black.
Last year, Governor Bill Haslam urged local public health departments in Memphis and Nashville to accept all available Title X funds, an effort which successfully ended Title X funding for Tennessee's Planned Parenthood facilities, when Shelby County commissioners ultimately voted to, instead, award its Title X funds to Christ Community Health, which does not provide or promote abortion.
"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 fighting for the rights of the unborn to ensure that no federal funds are used for the promotion or performance of abortions."
The first piece of legislation Rep. Black introduced in Congress was 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. Black's bill passed the House, but it was blocked by the Democrat-controlled Senate.
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. Black is endorsed by the National Right to Life.