WASHINGTON — 30 U.S. senators have co-sponsored federal legislation that was recently reintroduced in an effort to defund the abortion and contraception giant Planned Parenthood.
The “Protect Funding for Women’s Health Care Act” has been re-filed by Sens. Joni Ernst, R-IA, and James Lankford, R-OK. It prohibits federal funds from being granted to Planned Parenthood and re-directs the funding to women’s healthcare providers that do not perform abortions.
“State and county health departments, community health centers, hospitals, physicians offices, and other entities currently provide, and will continue to provide, health services to women,” the bill outlines. “Such health services include relevant diagnostic laboratory and radiology services, well-child care, prenatal and postpartum care, immunization, family planning services including contraception, sexually transmitted disease testing, cervical and breast cancer screenings, and referrals.”
“Many such entities provide services to all persons, regardless of the person’s ability to pay, and provide services in medically underserved areas and to medically underserved populations,” it explains.
Lankford and Ernst note that according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), these locations served 25 million patients in 2015, compared to the 2.4 million who utilized Planned Parenthood.
As previously reported, according to Planned Parenthood’s latest annual report, the entity received $563 million in the 2017-2018 fiscal year, up from $543 million in 2016-2017. It also received $630 million from private donors.
With all the sources of income combined, Planned Parenthood generated over $1.66 billion in revenue throughout the fiscal year.
And despite its expenditures, which included $115 million for “advocacy,” $48 million for sexual education, and $40 million on public policy—that is to influence legislation nationwide, the abortion giant still garnered a $244 million dollar profit, labeled as “excess of revenue.”
Planned Parenthood’s report provided a tally of 332,757 babies that were aborted at its facilities in 2017-2018, up over 11,000 from the year prior.
“This important bill helps ensure women have numerous options to receive quality and affordable health care while preventing federal dollars from going to Planned Parenthood,” Lankford said in a press release.
“By redirecting federal dollars away from abortion-providers and shifting them to thousands of other eligible women’s health care providers that do not perform abortions but do provide critical screenings and health care, we can ensure taxpayers do not have to choose between valuing life and protecting women’s health care.”
In 2015, Lankford delivered an impassioned speech on the Senate floor after learning that Planned Parenthood had been partnering with biomedical companies to harvest aborted babies’ organs for research or resale. He noted that while the rhetoric from some is that the unborn aren’t babies and are just “tissue,” how then are their kidneys, liver, lungs and other body parts being harvested as human commodities?
“You can’t say in one moment that’s not a human, and then sell it for the next moment as a human organ and say now suddenly it is. It was a human all the way through,” Lankford declared. “… [E]very single adult that can hear me right now was once 20 weeks old in the womb, and we can look at each other and understand the difference between that child in the womb and any of us now is time. That’s a human being we’re talking about.”
“[W]e have hard questions to deal with as a nation. Budget, regulations, future direction… Why don’t we add to the list: Do we really care about children or not?” he asked. “And on a day that we passed an education bill, before we pat ourselves on the back saying how much we care about children, let’s make sure we’re dealing with a compassion for children at every age, not just at certain ages. Have we really become this numb?”
Among those who have co-sponsored Ernst and Lankford’s bill include Sens. Ben Sasse, R-NE; Ted Cruz, R-TX; Marsha Blackburn, R-TN; Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-MS; Tim Scott, R-SC; Marco Rubio, FL; John Thune, SD; Tom Cotton, IL; Charles Grassley, IA; and Josh Hawley, R-MO.