Since I entered the working world as a nurse more than 40 years ago, women have broken through unthinkable barriers. Today, more women than men are graduating from college; a record number of women are serving in Congress; and the percentage of businesses owned by women is fast approaching 50 percent. While we have made significant progress toward gender equality, a new form of injustice has taken root in our society -- injustice masked by the façade of empowerment and freedom. Forty years after Roe v. Wade, the reality is, one third of my daughters' and granddaughters' peers are not here to benefit from the progress we have made and share in our hopes and dreams for the future. As Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
Whether you view abortion as a radical injustice or a means of liberation, I urge you to ask yourself and others -- what does 55 million aborted babies in 40 years communicate about what we as a society value? Do we value women, families, children, life? Or do we prefer convenience, short-term solutions and moral relativity?
From delivery rooms to emergency rooms to crisis pregnancy centers, throughout my career, I have had the privilege countless times to see life brought into this world, and lives saved from the edge of death. These experiences have informed and emboldened my commitment to fight for the sanctity and dignity of every human life. We cannot stand by and allow human life to be treated conditionally based on its usefulness to society or other individuals.
In the past two decades, through legislation, education and outreach, we have seen that pro-life efforts are making a difference, as the number of abortions performed in America has steadily declined; from 2010 to 2011, 400,000 fewer abortions were performed. Nevertheless, we clearly have a lot more work to do with still over 1 million abortions occurring each year.
Last year, the largest abortion provider in America administered approximately one-fourth of all abortions -- and taxpayers unwittingly helped foot the bill. This organization receives more than half a billion taxpayer dollars, but it badly misuses these dollars to subsidize its big abortion business. According to its most recent annual report, the organization provided 333,964 abortions last year, in other words, one abortion every 94 seconds. In total, abortion services accounted for more than 92 percent of its pregnancy services. Additionally, news reports in recent years have detailed the organization's numerous legal problems, including several incidents in which its employees showed an appalling willingness to cover up sex trafficking crimes.
This organization is Planned Parenthood. Thanks to the "generosity" of the federal government, Planned Parenthood has made a business out of abusing its privileges as health care providers with its disturbing willingness to destroy life, violate federal laws, and limit the freedoms women fought for at the dawn of Roe v. Wade by reducing access to essential health services, all while providing a record number of abortions.
While the Hyde Amendment technically makes taxpayer funding for abortions illegal, Planned Parenthood is circumventing the law through Title X federally funded grants and purposely misusing taxpayer dollars to subsidize its abortion services. We cannot allow this abuse to continue. That is why at the start of the new year, with the blessing of my good friend former Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), I reintroduced his legislation, H.R. 217, the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act, which would stop all taxpayer funding for abortion providers, such as Planned Parenthood, to ensure that these taxpayer dollars are used for its intended purpose: women's health.
Last year, Planned Parenthood waged an all-out war against anyone who questioned its self-proclaimed entitlement to taxpayer dollars. Planned Parenthood's sleight-of-hand accounting and dishonest PR campaign led much of the public to believe that women's health care is its primary function, which could not be further from reality. A study from the Chiaroscuro Foundation found that Planned Parenthood provides primary care to about only 19,700 of its 3 million clients. Abortion is not health care. Abortion is an attack on life and a threat to women's health that robs society and the next generation.
In order to combat the heinous injustice of abortion, we must renew our commitment to communicate the real impact of abortion, improve education, expand adoption opportunities and prenatal care as well as help to strengthen families and advance anti-abortion legislation. I want my grandchildren to grow up in a country where each and every life -- both born and unborn -- is respected, valued and given the chance to pursue his or her own dreams. At the very minimum, isn't that the least we should do for the next generation?