I am committed to defending life, because protecting the most vulnerable is an important measure of any society... The American taxpayers should not be asked to fund an organization like Planned Parenthood that has shown a sheer distain for human dignity and complete disregard for women and their babies.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) delivered remarks on the Senate Floor in support of S. 1881 a bill to prohibit federal funding of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, in the wake of gruesome footage depicting Planned Parenthood’s role in harvesting the organs of unborn babies. 

This legislation led by Senators Joni Ernst, James Lankford (R-OK), Rand Paul (R-KY), along with more than 40 co-sponsors redirects federal funding taken from Planned Parenthood to other eligible entities that provide health services for women, and guarantees that there is absolutely no reduction in overall federal funding available to support women’s health. 

Senator Ernst released the following statement after today’s vote failed to proceed but received a majority of support, as well as bipartisan support, in the Senate:

“I want to thank my colleagues for their efforts to redirect federal funding taken from Planned Parenthood to other eligible entities that provide health services for women. The footage depicting Planned Parenthood employees discussing in gruesome detail the organization’s role in the harvesting of the organs of unborn babies is morally reprehensible and raises a number of questions that taxpayers deserve answers to. I will continue to press the Department of Health and Human Services to cooperate with all current and future investigations. I remain committed to getting these answers because protecting our most vulnerable is an important measure of any society.”

Senator Ernst recently led a bipartisan group of 49 of her fellow senators in a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell. In the letter, the senators drew attention to the issues raised by the footage and called on HHS Secretary Burwell to cooperate with ongoing and future investigations into these questions. The senators are still awaiting a response from HHS.

Click here or on the image below to watch Sen. Ernst’s remarks on the floor.

TRANSCRIPT:

Mr. President, I rise today to speak on an issue that has shaken the moral compass of our society.  

The phrase “it’s a boy!” is one we often use when celebrating new life. Instead, this was spoken by a Planned Parenthood employee as the body of an unborn baby boy was picked apart and harvested for organs like a liver, kidneys and heart. We’ve watched as other Planned Parenthood employees talked about “less crunchy” techniques to preserve baby organs for buyers, and grumbled about “war torn” unborn babies before being sold for parts.  

While it would be easier to ignore these videos, today, we are standing up and shining a light on what is really happening. This is human life and Planned Parenthood – the nation’s single largest provider of abortion services – is harvesting baby body parts. 

The American people are shocked and horrified by the utter lack of compassion and disregard shown by Planned Parenthood for these women and their babies. 

This gruesome footage resonates within our collective conscious as it goes against the very principles that we stand for. 

As a mother and grandmother, the gravity of Planned Parenthood’s callous and morally reprehensible behavior cannot be ignored. I am committed to defending life, because protecting the most vulnerable is an important measure of any society.

I am proud to stand before you today - with 45 co-sponsors - and offer legislation that will defund Planned Parenthood, while safeguarding funding for women’s health services.  

This legislation:

  • Prohibits federal funding for Planned Parenthood.
  • Protects federal funding for women’s health services like prenatal and postpartum care, cervical and breast cancer screenings, diagnostic laboratory and radiology services.
  • And guarantees there is no reduction in overall federal funding available to support women’s health.

This legislation redirects federal funding taken from Planned Parenthood to other eligible entities that provide health services for women, like community health centers and hospitals. 

There would be absolutely no reduction in overall federal funding available to support women’s health. 

Community health centers provide more comprehensive primary and preventative health care services – except abortion – regardless of a person’s ability to pay. Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood facilities do not perform in-house mammograms.

The American taxpayers should not be asked to fund an organization like Planned Parenthood that has shown a sheer distain for human dignity and complete disregard for women and their babies.

These videos are hard for anyone to defend and pull back the curtain on Planned Parenthood’s careless practice of rummaging for unborn baby organs to be harvested and sold at a price.

I leave you with this one question: who do we want to be as a nation? 

Before us today is an opportunity to vote for legislation that will protect the most vulnerable and women’s health. 

Thank you Mr. President, I yield the floor. 

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