Statement on Congressional Actions to Defund Planned Parenthood
Texas Alliance for Life applauds the strong efforts of Republican leadership in Congress to move forward with a strategy of shifting funds from Planned Parenthood to better providers of women's health services -- providers who are not part of the abortion industry. The Texas Legislature and other states have already shown this can be done.
Texas Alliance for Life is not asking for a government shutdown over the issue of defunding Planned Parenthood. Better options exist for achieving success.
President Obama is determined to continue funding Planned Parenthood and has promised to veto any attempt by Congress to defund Planned Parenthood. Moreover, the Senate lacks the 60-vote super-majority required to move such a bill. In fact, the most recent Senate vote on September 24 was 47-52. The required two-thirds majority for a veto override seems even further out of reach.
Texas Alliance for Life also supports the efforts of Republican leadership in Congress to continue to press forward with other critical legislation, including bills to prohibit abortions from being performed after the fifth month of pregnancy and to protect the lives of babies who survive abortion.
Pro-life leaders in the Senate and House continue to pursue other efforts to defund Planned Parenthood and protect mothers and unborn babies from abortion, including:
- Four ongoing committee investigations of Planned Parenthood's sale of baby body parts.
- S. 1881 to prohibit federal funding of Planned Parenthood Federation of America (cloture not invoked, 53-46 on August 3, 2015).
- H.R. 7, No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act (passed House 242-179 on January 22, 2015).
- H.R. 36, Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act to ban abortion after the 5th month (passed House 242-184, May 13, 2015; cloture not invoked in Senate, 54-42, September 22, 2015). H.R 3134, Defund Planned Parenthood Act (passed House 241-187, September 18, 2015).
- H.R. 3504, Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (passed House 248-177, September 18, 2015).
- In coming weeks the Senate and House could use the process of "reconciliation" to remove Planned Parenthood funding from all appropriations through the end of the fiscal year (September 2016). If successful, that process would only require a simple majority in both Houses, not the usual 60-vote margin in the Senate.
Since 2011 the Texas Legislature has shifted $30 of $32 million annually from Planned Parenthood to other organizations.
- The latest biennial budget (2016-17) funds women's health services at historically high levels -- $284.6 million including an additional $50 million compared to the last biennium -- as verified by PolitiFact Texas.
- Planned Parenthood has only 35 facilities in Texas; all provide inadequate care to low-income women and their families.
- Planned Parenthood runs the largest chain of abortion facilities in Texas. The five abortion facilies are located in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio.
- Planned Parenthood's facilities are in urban, not rural, areas of Texas.
- Planned Parenthood fails to offer comprehensive primary and preventative care.
- A woman will not see a physician at Planned Parenthood in Texas unless she is there for an abortion.
- Planned Parenthood provides virtually no pediatric care to minor girls except family planning and abortions.
- Planned Parenthood has no mammogram machines at any of its facilities. A list of 547 mammogram machines licensed by the Texas Department of State Health Services does not include any Planned Parenthood facilities.
- The Texas Women's Health Program (TWHP) has more than 4,600 providers of quality women's health services.
- Many TWHP providers are Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and physicians' offices that offer comprehensive primary and preventative care to low-income women, a standard that Planned Parenthood fails to meet at any of its sites.
- Texas has 71 FQHCs serving patients, operating at more than 300 sites.