Over the last week, Planned Parenthood’s slogan – “Care no matter what” – has become even more of a cruel irony after an undercover video exposed one of the organization’s senior doctors callously describing the process by which she harvests aborted babies’ tissue and organs.
In the video, Dr. Deborah Nucatola can be seen casually sipping a glass of wine while explaining how, in an abortion procedure, she crushes unborn children above and below their heart, liver, and lungs so that the most lucrative organs can be left untouched. She additionally notes that the federal ban on partial birth abortions is “up to interpretation” adding that “what ultimately happens doesn’t matter.”
The video stirred the conscience of Americans and even caught the attention of a few in the mainstream media who realized that perhaps Planned Parenthood – the largest abortion provider in the nation – is not as “caring” as we once thought. For me, the video is proof positive of what I’ve said all along: Planned Parenthood deceives women and devalues life. The one-sided relationship between its ever growing bank account and American taxpayers must be severed.
My beliefs on Planned Parenthood can be traced back to a night 25 years ago when I was an emergency room nurse at Hendersonville Hospital in Tennessee. A 22-year-old woman entered my waiting room after undergoing an incomplete abortion at a nearby clinic. The woman received no answer from the after-hours number at the clinic and had waited at home bleeding for hours before coming to our hospital. By the time she reached us, there was nothing that the doctors or I could do to save her. She died that evening, a victim of a billion-dollar-a-year industry that likely never even knew her name.
Years later, Planned Parenthood, the supposed champion for safe abortions, successfully sued my home state of Tennessee to overturn existing laws that helped prevent other abortion clients from experiencing that woman’s fate, such as mandatory informed consent and routine licensing and inspection of abortion facilities. After I authored an amendment to our Constitution allowing state legislators to reinstate these protections, Planned Parenthood and its allies outspent us by a three-to-one margin in an ill-fated bid to turn Tennessee voters against the measure.
When you understand the culture of depravity that runs rampant within Planned Parenthood, videos like last week’s exposé become less surprising. In 2011, a Planned Parenthood facility manager in New Jersey was fired after being caught aiding an investigator posing as a pimp trying to conceal his underage sex ring. Similarly, a year later, undercover video showed a Planned Parenthood employee advising a woman on how to obtain a sex-selective abortion in the event that their child turned out to be a girl. What’s more, a series of both actual court cases and undercover videos have shown Planned Parenthood employees ignoring mandatory reporting laws in statutory rape cases – so much for “care no matter what.”
But what makes Planned Parenthood’s actions all the more intolerable is the sad truth that you and I helped fund it. A 2015 report from the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office found that Planned Parenthood spends roughly $500 million a year in combined state and federal money, all while performing upwards of 327,000 abortions annually. The organization claims that these dollars do not directly support abortions, but that is an insult to the intelligence of the American taxpayer. We know that government money given to Planned Parenthood for the supposed purpose of cancer screenings, prenatal care, and birth control (all of which are a declining share of Planned Parenthood’s services) means that a greater percentage of each private donation can directly benefit its true mission: abortions.
While Planned Parenthood’s government funding streams are scattered, much of its money comes from what are known as “Title X grants” that are provided by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). According to the HHS website, Title X grants exist to promote “comprehensive family planning and related preventive health services.” It specifically notes that abortion is not an acceptable family planning method under its grant criteria, but the system is clearly not working.
That is why I introduced H.R. 217, the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act. My legislation would withhold Title X grants from Planned Parenthood and any other “health care” provider that performs abortions or that provides funds to organizations that do. The legislation, which I have carried since 2013, has the support of 151 cosponsors in Congress and would effectively defund America’s largest abortion mill once and for all. I am personally urging party leaders to immediately act on the measure in light of these latest news developments.
Planned Parenthood has blood on its hands. It does not empower women, it misleads them at their most vulnerable and difficult moments. It “cares” about little other than its bottom line – least of all the beating hearts of the unborn babies that it denies the fundamental right to be born. It values convenience over truth and profit over life.
Others say to investigate Planned Parenthood, I say that’s a start. But if we end there, Congress is failing to do its job. We already know more than enough to defund Planned Parenthood by passing my legislation today. The only question that remains is whether Washington has the political will needed to act. Time will tell, but the innocent, unborn lives who suffer at the hands of abortionists like Planned Parenthood’s Deborah Nucatola cannot wait much longer.