Defunding Planned Parenthood not a hard budget choice

WASHINGTON (CNS) — At a time when federal budget decisions “involve hard choices and much shared sacrifice,” a decision on whether to fund the Planned Parenthood Federation of America “is not one of those hard choices,” the chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities told members of Congress.

Calling the federation “by far the largest provider and promoter of abortions nationwide,” Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston in an April 13 letter urged support for House Concurrent Resolution, which would amend federal appropriations bills for the current fiscal year to exclude any funding for Planned Parenthood or its affiliates.

The concurrent resolution, sponsored by Republican Reps. Diane Black of Tennessee and Martha Roby of Alabama, passed in the House by a 241-185 vote April 14 but was defeated in the Senate, 58-42, later that day.

Cardinal DiNardo said more than 5 million children have been aborted at Planned Parenthood facilities since 1970. “The organization’s involvement in abortion (now including chemical abortions using RU-486) has substantially increased in recent years, and its provision of other services such as prenatal care and adoption referrals has declined markedly,” he added.

Planned Parenthood also has opposed “any meaningful limits on abortion, including modest measures such as public funding bans, informed consent provisions and parental notice requirements on unemancipated minors,” the cardinal said, noting that one of the organization’s legislative priorities “is to oppose conscience clauses (which it call ‘refusal clauses’), so that hospitals, physicians and nurses will not be allowed to serve the health care needs of women without taking part in abortion.”

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