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Tony Perkins: 'Every State Should Be Free to Decide How to Spend Its Dollars'

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins applauded the U.S. Senate after it voted to allow states to determine whether or not they want to "defund" Planned Parenthood. (FRC photo)

Following Thursday's vote in the Senate to adopt a resolution of disapproval, proposing to wipe away an Obama administration rule that required states to provide Title X funding to abortion providers—mainly Planned Parenthood—Family Research Council president Tony Perkins issued the following statement:

I applaud the Congress and President Trump for working together to restore a culture of life in America. Every state should be free to decide how it spends its dollars—especially if they're choosing positive alternatives to the 'abortion-as-health-care' model. Obama's HHS rule on Title X is an executive overreach and a handout to the abortion industry that has no basis in law.

Planned Parenthood's political arm spent more than $38 million in this past November's election. An organization that directly receives taxpayer funding should not be able to spend money to influence the outcome of elections. Furthermore, Planned Parenthood and its allies have been repeatedly exposed in their horrifying trafficking of aborted babies' tissues and organs. As a nation, we are without excuse in subsidizing Planned Parenthood's gruesome trafficking of baby body parts and its inhumane treatment of mothers and their unborn children.

I am grateful to Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and U.S. Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.) for their leadership on passing the first pro-life legislation in this new Congress. We now call on Congress to take the next step to end the forced partnership between taxpayers and a group that exalts cash over care.

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FRC had issued an "action alert" prior to the vote to get its supporters to urge their senators to vote in favor of the measure. Ultimately, Vice President Mike Pence broke a 50-50 tie to ensure the resolution would be adopted.

Title X is a federal grant program that provides funds for family planning services through the state Medicaid programs. Under the Congressional Review Act, Congress has 60 legislative days to overturn agency rules like this one, and it requires only 51 votes in the Senate.

Many states have passed laws to exclude such funds from going to abortion providers like Planned Parenthood, realizing that money is fungible—that it can be swapped around to pay for things it was never intended to pay for. When Planned Parenthood or other abortion clinics receive Title X family planning funding, it frees resources for them to spend more on abortion, even though the Title X law itself prevents funds from being used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning.

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