Rep. Wagner Urges Congress to Defund Planned Parenthood
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-MO-O2) took to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives to urge her colleagues to vote in favor of defunding Planned Parenthood. Later today, the House will vote on the Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015, which includes a provision to defund the organization.
Watch the Congresswoman’s floor speech below.
“Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of life and in firm opposition to Planned Parenthood’s unconscionable activities.
“But as I begin my remarks, I want to be very clear about one thing: The vote that the House will take today is a victory for women’s health, while also serving as a cry to end the monstrous actions of an organization that continually attacks our precious, vulnerable unborn children.
“There are more than 13,500 publicly supported alternatives for women’s health care in this country and 588 in Missouri – alternatives that treat women without performing abortions. Alternatives that will have more access to federal money for women’s health care. This means that in Missouri alone, there are 45 health clinics for every Planned Parenthood clinic in the state. So please don’t be distracted by political rhetoric.
“We are strengthening our support for women’s health; we are stripping federal taxpayer dollars from an organization that performs more than 327,000 abortions a year.
“While I have long fought to stop this atrocious practice, I was especially shocked this summer by videos of Planned Parenthood’s cold indifference to the barbaric murder of society’s most vulnerable members.
“It is our duty as lawmakers, as citizens of this great nation – as friends, as neighbors, as family members – to protect those who cannot protect themselves, and it is a tragic shame to watch employees of Planned Parenthood so willingly sell the body parts of unborn babies.
“These are truly some of the most horrifying and heartbreaking videos I have ever seen – even through my work in combating sex trafficking, sexual assault and abuse.
“The United States is a nation that seeks to protect the least among us in numerous ways, from medical research, assistance for the needy, to elderly care. It’s time that we do the same for our precious unborn children.
“Mr. Speaker, today is an historic day when we will finally stop taxpayer dollars from funding Planned Parenthood’s abortions. Surely no Member of Congress can in good conscience claim that we should fund these heinous activities with your hard-earned dollars.
“After seeing those horrible videos, I was compelled to take action. I joined Congressmen Sean Duffy and Chris Smith in sending a letter to Chairmen Fred Upton and Bob Goodlatte, requesting an immediate investigation into Planned Parenthood’s actions.
“I’d like to thank House Leadership and the Committee Chairmen for granting our request and for the work that they and their committees have already done.
“Planned Parenthood has shamelessly tried to defend the indefensible before these committees. They have shown no remorse for the actions described in these videos, apologizing only for the ‘tone’ of them. In response, they have effectively dared Congress to act.
“And today we do. Today, Congress says enough is enough. Today, we pass legislation that will give the President a very stark choice - continue paying for acts that are so disgusting, so horrifying and so disturbing that they required a Congressional investigation, or simply respect life. And respect the taxpayers' hard earned dollars.
“Mr. Speaker, the heart of my team’s mission, which currently hangs in my office, is to confront injustice and serve as a voice for the most vulnerable in our society.
“Defunding Planned Parenthood is the right thing to do. Today I will give voice to the voiceless. I will proudly cast my vote for life – for these innocent angels.
“And, I will continue to fight for the day when abortion is not only illegal, but is unthinkable.
“I yield back the remainder of my time.”