Press Release

#SubHealth Works to Protect Infant Lives as Investigation into Planned Parenthood Abortion Practices Continues


09.17.15

McMorris Rodgers: “These videos challenge all of us as legislators and as human beings, to reflect and to work towards better protections for women, children and families.”

Blackburn: “It is clear more must be done to protect the lives of these most vulnerable.”

Ellmers: “We are talking about legislation to protect the lives of the youngest and most vulnerable amongst us – babies who have no voice to speak in their own defense.”

WASHINGTON, DC – The House Energy and Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Health today held a hearing to discuss two draft bills authored by full committee Vice Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) to bolster the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act of 2002 and the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 respectively. These bills have been authored as the Energy and Commerce Committee’s investigation into Planned Parenthood’s abortion practices remains ongoing. The House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform Committees have also launched investigations. 

House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) addressed the recent videos that have brought to light questions regarding Planned Parenthood’s abortion practices and sparked the committee’s investigation. McMorris Rodgers said, “These videos challenge all of us as legislators and as human beings, to reflect and to work towards better protections for women, children and families. Today, the president promised he would veto a bill that says babies that survive an abortion deserve life-saving care. It is absolutely unthinkable to me that we live in a country where we let living, breathing babies die simply because they were born during an abortive procedure, rather than by more conventional methods. … This is a radical, extreme departure from what we know to be right.”

Health Subcommittee Chairman Joe Pitts (R-PA) added, “Abortion is not just about an unborn child, it is about each of us. We cannot diminish the value of one category of human life— whether born or unborn—without diminishing the value of all human life. When we talk about abortion, we are talking about two lives—the life of the mother and the life of the unborn child.”

Dr. Charmaine Yoest, the President and CEO of Americans United for Life, testified, “Americans should not be forced to continue to fund individuals and entities that run an inhumane business of infanticide. Further, steps are necessary to truly ensure the enforcement of the most basic human right to life for these infants who survive attempted abortions.”

Speaking about her draft legislation, Blackburn said, “At the time the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act was being debated on the Senate floor, Senator Barbara Boxer said ‘all people deserve protection, from the very tiniest infant to the most elderly among us.’ I could not agree more. It is clear more must be done to protect the lives of these most vulnerable. It is why I have authored the Protecting Infants Born Alive Act which strengthens current law by giving states the authority to exclude providers from Medicaid when they are suspected of violating the law.  Furthermore, if convicted, these providers will be excluded from all federal programs including Medicaid, Medicare, and CHIP.”

Casey Maddox, Senior Counsel for the Alliance for Defending Freedom, testified, “States considering termination of Medicaid Provider Agreements with Planned Parenthood are well within their rights. Actions being considered by Congress may further clarify that it is the states who are empowered to conduct their own Medicaid programs and that the federal government or the courts may not compel them to qualify providers that violate federal or state law, act unethically, or which the state concludes are otherwise not suitable for participation in its Medicaid program.”

Following today’s hearing, the full House of Representatives on Friday will consider two important bills that will also help protect infant lives, taxpayer dollars, and women’s health care choices. Ellmers said, “Today and tomorrow, we are not decreasing access for women. We are talking about legislation to protect the lives of the youngest and most vulnerable amongst us – babies who have no voice to speak in their own defense.” 

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Subcommittees
Health (114th Congress)
Press Release