House votes to strike-down Obama-era rule preventing states from defunding Planned Parenthood

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Thursday, February 16, 2017, the US House of Representative passed a House Joint Resolution striking dowm a last-minute Obama Administration rule that attempted to force states to direct their Title X public health dollars to abortion providers.

Speaking on the House floor, US Representative Martha Roby (R-Montgomery) voiced her support for House Joint Resolution, which would nullify a December 2016 Department of Health and Human Services rule mandating that no state stop Title X public health dollars from flowing to abortion providers.

Congresswoman Roby said, “I rise in support of House Joint Resolution 43. Congress must use its authority to strike this rule and stop the Federal government from forcing states to funnel taxpayer money to abortion providers.”

Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-Montrose) also supported H.J.R. Representative Byrne said, “If a state wants to cut off funding for Planned Parenthood, then they should have the ability to do so. Today, I voted in favor of a bill to block an Obama Administration rule designed to protect Planned Parenthood. Some have called the last second rule “Obama’s parting gift to Planned Parenthood.”

Rep. Roby said, “This rule is wrong on process and wrong on policy. First of all, states have every right to put in place reasonable guidelines for how their federal dollars are spent. For Washington to attempt to coerce states in this way would be bad enough, but for unelected bureaucrats in the Department of Health and Human Services to go around Congress at the 11th hour of the Obama Administration was just outrageous.”

US Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) said, “I was pleased to support continued work in the House today to dismantle Obama-era regulations by voting for legislation to nullify a rule which forces states to provide Title X federal grants to abortion providers. The regulation was a parting gift from the Obama Administration to Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider. Further, the rule undermines the 10th Amendment by eliminating the ability of states to prioritize Title X funds in the way that best serves their communities.”

Rep. Roby continued, “Madame Speaker, I think we all agree that low-income women should have access to essential health services, but why is it necessary for those services to be funded at the nation’s largest provider of abortion? It isn’t, of course, but the abortion industry and its supporters want us to think it is. When it comes to funding, they like to pretend abortion doesn’t exist and that Planned Parenthood is the only place where women can get health care. That’s not true. The truth is there are more than 13,000 Federally Qualified and Rural Health Centers that offer low-cost health care to women. These centers outnumber Planned Parenthood clinics 20-1. They just don’t perform abortions.”

Congresswoman Roby said, “Understanding this, some states have rightly enacted laws and policies redirecting Title Ten dollars away from abortion providers and toward these non-controversial clinics. If the true goal here was to ensure women’s health care, nobody should have a problem with that, but that wasn’t the goal, and everybody knows it. There’s a reason people called this rule “President Obama’s parting gift to Planned Parenthood.” It was a blatant, transparent attempt to preserve the pipeline of funding to the nation’s largest abortion business. It was wrong, and I urge my colleagues to vote to nullify it today.”

Rep. Byrne said, “Some have called the last second rule “Obama’s parting gift to Planned Parenthood.” I’m pleased to report the bill passed by a vote of 230 to 188.”

H.J. Res. 43, if passed by the Senate and signed by President Trump, would mean that states can choose to redirect Title X funds away from the largest abortion provider in the United States.

The Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel, Mat Staver said in his own statement, “Today’s decision by the House toward defunding Planned Parenthood is another significant step in the battle to make the womb a safe place again,.”

Chairman Staver said, ‘Taxpayers should not be forced to fund human genocide and foot the bill for an organization, like Planned Parenthood, that profits from the sale of baby body parts. We have to diligently work to reverse the horrific damage from the Obama administration that has already ended so many innocent children’s lives. I encourage the Senate to pass H.J. Res. 43 quickly so that President Trump can put his signature on it.”

New York Bishop Edward Scharfenberger said on social media, “Planned Parenthood provides some morally unobjectionable health services to women. However, this statement is not unlike saying that a man who beats his wife sometimes gives her flowers.”

Planned Parenthood performed 323,999 abortion procedures during 2014-2015 alone. In recent years, several states receiving Title X family planning grants have opted to direct those funds to county health departments, community health centers, or other types of providers, instead of organizations such as Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards said in a statement, “Extremists in Congress are trying to make it easier for state politicians to take away people’s health care – specifically, the 4 million people who rely on Title X for birth control and other care. This is wrong, and it’s not what the American people want. When Congress goes home next week, they can count on hearing from people at their offices, the corner store, and every town hall.”

H. J. Res. 43 was passed by the House of Representatives by a vote of 230 to188.

(Original reporting by Church Militant’s Max Douglas contributed to this report)

 

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