End Planned Parenthood Funding

Over the past few weeks, Americans have seen a series of videos come out of Planned Parenthood that are nothing short of horrifying. The footage shows senior Planned Parenthood officials laughing, swilling chardonnay and casually, callously, heartlessly discussing killing unborn children in order to sell their body parts. These videos also force Americans to face the grim reality of what happens to the babies' remains.

While the sheer candor of these Planned Parenthood officials has shocked most, what is more disturbing is the admission that these barbaric actions are standard practice in some abortion clinics. Worse still, Americans are currently forced to fund the organization that commits these acts. This must end. An organization that generates a large part of its revenue from terminating innocent human life should not receive one penny of taxpayer money and those who engage in what may be criminal activity must be held to account.

For this reason, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should not schedule or facilitate the consideration of any legislation that gives federal money to Planned Parenthood. Instead, the Department of Justice needs to investigate and prosecute Planned Parenthood for any potential criminal actions of commercial trafficking of fetal organs.

It is mind-boggling that any individual who has seen or knows the details of these videos could support continued taxpayer funding of the abortion industry. Yet still, the billion-dollar Planned Parenthood receives about 45% of its funding from government sources. Planned Parenthood has performed more than a million abortions over the past three years, and its work accounts for nearly one-third of all abortions in the United States.

For far too long, Planned Parenthood has hidden behind the well-crafted charade that that it exists to protect women's health. In reality, it is in the business of killing unborn children on an industrial scale. Despite what Planned Parenthood contends, abortion procedures, not women's health, are its lifeblood. Hundreds of thousands of annual abortions generate nearly 40% of Planned Parenthood's clinic revenues. Simply put, Planned Parenthood is the nation's largest abortion profiteer. For every woman who gets prenatal care at Planned Parenthood, the organization reports more than 15 abortions. For every woman who is referred for adoption assistance, there are more than 150 abortions.

Despite Planned Parenthood's propaganda, ending taxpayer funding of abortion providers will have little impact on a woman's access to healthcare. Community health centers, charities, state health departments and other government entities all provide women's health services without also providing abortions. And as The Washington Post recently highlighted, community health centers outnumber Planned Parenthood facilities almost 14 to 1 across the country. Let's fund these women's health providers, not Planned Parenthood.

Even our president, who believes abortions should be legal and widely available at all stages of pregnancy, acknowledges that there is a "tradition in this town, historically, of not financing abortions as part of government-funded health care." What I propose is simple acknowledgement of the fact that funding abortion providers in any way ultimately amounts to taxpayer support for abortion itself, regardless of accounting rules put in place to obscure the facts.

The abortion industry places more value on killing babies than it does on the sanctity of human life, and under no circumstance should it receive taxpayer funds. This is more than a mere fiscal matter - this is a moral issue. How we handle this issue reflects who we are as Americans and what we value most - either the lives of the most innocent and the health of our nation's mothers, daughters and sisters or the fiscal solvency of an industry that exists to abort babies.

For these reasons, I intend to lead the fight in the United States Senate to defund Planned Parenthood, even while investigations continue. The time for show votes is over. Funding the federal government does not require funding Planned Parenthood. But basic decency and our commitment to the right to life does require that we stop taxpayer funding of abortions and any trade in baby parts.

Originally posted in USA Today.


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