GOP renews funding fight against Planned Parenthood

More than 80 House Republicans are again seeking to block federal funding for abortion providers like Planned Parenthood, saying they want to defund "the big abortion industry.”  

"Planned Parenthood and organizations like it that profit off the destruction of innocent life do not deserve one more dime from American taxpayers,” Rep. Diane BlackDiane BlackHouse approves bill to shield anti-abortion healthcare workers Conscience rights under threat in US HHS chief meets with House Republicans on abortion dispute MORE (R-Tenn.) wrote in a release Thursday after reintroducing the bill.

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Black, who spent 40 years as a nurse, said her legislation would "clarify the original intent and spirit of the law” that prevents federal dollars from being used in abortions.

The bill targets a funding program called Title X family planning grants, which give money for services ranging from infertility counseling to STD testing. Planned Parenthood is the country’s largest recipient of the grants.

Providers are already prohibited from using federal money to fund abortions, but the GOP lawmakers argue that the rules should be more strict.

Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), co-chairman of the Pro-Life Caucus, said the federal government should not be supporting Planned Parenthood at all, describing the nonprofit as “Child Abuse, Incorporated.”

“The federal government should not be subsidizing the largest abortion chain in America, Planned Parenthood,” Smith said.

Abortions make up about 3 percent of all Planned Parenthood’s services, according to the group’s 2013 yearly report. About 40 percent of its funding comes from government sources, which also includes Medicaid.

The new measure was immediately condemned by Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood’s advocacy arm.

“Congress has only been back for a couple of days, and already some politicians are trying to take women backwards and restricting their access to the health care that helps them and their families succeed,” she said in a release.

“We need to keep moving forward on women’s health, not go backward,” she wrote.