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Moment of Silence in Remembrance of Members of Armed Forces and Their Families

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. PENCE. Mr. Chairman, I believe that ending an innocent human life is morally wrong. But I rise tonight because I also believe it's morally wrong to take the taxpayer dollars of millions of pro-life Americans and use it to fund organizations that provide and promote abortion--like Planned Parenthood of America. The American people deserve to know that Planned Parenthood is not only the largest abortion provider in America, Planned Parenthood is also the largest recipient of taxpayer funding under title X.

According to their latest annual report, Planned Parenthood received more than $363 million in taxpayer money while boasting of having performed an unprecedented 324,008 abortions during the same period.

The amendment that I bring to the floor tonight would deny any and all funding to Planned Parenthood Federation of America and its affiliates for the rest of the fiscal year. But let me be clear. This amendment would not cut funding for health services. It would simply block those funds already in the bill from subsidizing America's largest abortion provider.

Now I am aware that title X family planning funds are eliminated in this bill. But eliminating title X funding has never been my goal. I support the important work of title X clinics across the country. The reality is that Planned Parenthood receives hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars from Federal funding sources other than title X, and our effort tonight is specifically to focus on denying any and all Federal funding to the largest abortion provider in America.

The reasons for doing so are many. The case for defunding Planned Parenthood has made headlines for years. In 2002, Planned Parenthood was found civilly liable in Arizona for failure to report statutory rape. Since that time, Planned Parenthood affiliates have been found violating reporting laws in Indiana and California, and found to have violated statutory reporting laws in places like Ohio. Recently in California, Washington, New Jersey and New York, Planned Parenthood clinics have been accused of fraudulent accounting over billing practices. And, of course, last week as the Nation watched in horror, new undercover videos were released that showed Planned Parenthood employees in multiple States apparently willing to aid human sex traffickers by coaching them on how to falsify documents to secure secret abortions for underage prostitutes. As the father of two teenage daughters, there are not words strong enough to portray my contempt for this pattern of fraud and abuse against young women by Planned Parenthood, and that's what brings us here today.

Now I know that some consider this amendment to be something of a war on Planned Parenthood. But this is not about Planned Parenthood's right to be in the abortion business. Sadly, abortion on demand is legal in America. This is about who pays for it. Nobody is saying that Planned Parenthood can't be the leading advocate of abortion on demand in America, but why do I have to pay for it? Nobody is saying that Planned Parenthood can't continue to be the largest abortion provider in America. But why do tens of millions of pro-life American taxpayers have to pay for it?

Let me be clear as I come to the floor.

I long for the day that Roe v. Wade is sent to the ash heap of history, when we move past the broken hearts and the broken lives of the past 38 years. But as this debate rages on, I call on my colleagues in both parties:

Let's at least respect what has been the historic and overwhelming consensus of the American people: that we ought not use their taxpayer dollars to provide or promote abortion at home and abroad. Let's end taxpayer support for abortion providers, specifically Planned Parenthood, once and for all.

I urge my colleagues to take a stand for taxpayers and to take a stand for life, to take a stand against a pattern of corruption, and to take a stand for young women in crisis pregnancies, who deserve access to unbiased and compassionate health care services.

Let's end the taxpayer support of Planned Parenthood. The Pence amendment's purpose is to do simply that and, in so doing, to stand with the American people, to stand with the American taxpayer, and to stand without apology for the sanctity of human life.

I yield back the balance of my time.


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