GOP Moves to Defund Planned Parenthood

Bill would pull millions in taxpayer dollars from nation’s largest abortionist

Planned Parenthood rally

Planned Parenthood rally / AP

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Congressional Republicans are moving to pull millions in taxpayer funding from Planned Parenthood in the wake of investigative videos showing workers discussing the sale of baby organs.

Rep. Diane Black (R., Tenn.) introduced the Defund Planned Parenthood Act on Tuesday night just hours after a second undercover video was released showing a Planned Parenthood official pricing out baby organs. The bill would strip the nation’s largest abortionist of taxpayer dollars.

Planned Parenthood, which conducts about 300,000 abortions, has collected about $200 million from taxpayers since 2012, including about $30 million in grants in 2015.

"Over the last week, we’ve seen multiple videos showing its employees brazenly discussing the harvesting of aborted babies’ tissue and organs. But the truth is, Planned Parenthood’s culture of depravity runs much deeper than a couple of videos," Black said. "The one-sided relationship between Planned Parenthood’s ever-growing bank account and American taxpayers must be severed."

The non-profit Center for Medical Progress has released two undercover videos featuring actors representing prospective organ buyers having lunch with high-ranking Planned Parenthood officials.

The first video featured Dr. Deborah Nucatolasipping wine as she elaborated on how "we’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not going to crush that part, I’m going to basically crush below, I’m going to crush above, and I’m going to see if I can get it all intact."

Nucatola is a senior director of medical services at the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and has cashed taxpayer checks as an Obama administration consultant, according to the Federalist. The second video, released on Tuesday, showed Dr. Mary Gatter discussing the pricing of fetal body parts and "less crunchy" techniques used to retrieve them. 

Black said her four decades as a professional nurse motivated her to introduce the legislation. She is a member of the Pro-Life Caucus and has previously worked to remove government funding from the organization. The new legislation would "would enact an immediate moratorium on all federal funding for Planned Parenthood."

"As a nurse, I’ve seen the big-abortion-industry’s shameful tactics with my own eyes. That is why, for two years now, I’ve sponsored the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act to address one of Planned Parenthood’s largest government revenue streams. I continue to urge passage of this legislation, but in light of these latest videos, we must take the fight a step further," she said. 

The first video sparked two congressional committee investigations into Planned Parenthood operations. Nucatola delved into how Planned Parenthood doctors altered their methods of abortion to preserve organs and that its local affiliates look to "do a little better than break even" on organ sales, which could run afoul federal law. Black said lawmakers should be proactive in denying taxpayer support to a billion dollar organization that derives its revenue stream primarily through abortion.

"I eagerly await the findings of this forthcoming investigation, but you know what, Mister Speaker? No matter, what it reveals, here’s the truth—Planned Parenthood has made a business out of destroying that which God has created," she said.

Planned Parenthood did not return Washington Free Beacon request for comment.

The legislation drew applause from pro-life organizations, including former Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave, who now serves as a vice president at the Susan B. Anthony List, a 501(c)(4) group that helps support pro-life political candidates.

"Two of Planned Parenthood’s doctors have made clear that abortions can be manipulated, for example by strategically ‘crushing’ or using a ‘less crunchy’ procedure, to harvest the organs of children in the womb. Their candid admission of vivisection illustrates the brutality of late term abortion. It also illustrates the level at which Planned Parenthood seeks to commodify unborn babies," Musgrave said. "It is outrageous that Planned Parenthood—already a thriving abortion business—wants to profit off of the parts of these children and the same time they also receive $1.4 million in taxpayer dollars per day. We stand with Rep. Black in urging Congress to defund them immediately—along with extensive investigations."

Bill McMorris   Email Bill | Full Bio | RSS
Bill McMorris is a staff writer for the Washington Free Beacon. He joins the Beacon from the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, where he was managing editor of Old Dominion Watchdog. He was a 2010 Robert Novak Fellow with the Phillips Foundation, where he studied state pension shortfalls. His work has been featured on CNN, Fox News, The Economist, Colbert Report, and numerous print publications and radio stations. He lives in Alexandria, Va, with his wife and three daughters. His Twitter handle is @FBillMcMorris. His email address is mcmorris@freebeacon.com.