Roby Urges Colleagues to Strike “Obama’s Parting Gift to Planned Parenthood” on the House Floor

Feb 16, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Martha Roby today called on her colleagues to strike a last-minute Obama Administration rule that attempts to force states to direct their Title X public health dollars to abortion providers.
 
Speaking on the House floor, Roby voiced her ardent support for House Joint Resolution 43, which would nullify a December 2016 Department of Health and Human Services rule mandating that no state stop Title X public health dollars from flowing to abortion providers.
 
Rep. Roby, who has long been outspoken about the need to stop taxpayer dollars from funding abortion clinics, offered her strong support for the measure to disapprove the Obama Administration rule, saying the rule is wrong on process and policy.
 
“Congress must use its authority to strike this rule and stop the federal government from forcing states to funnel taxpayer money to abortion providers,” Roby said. “For Washington to attempt to coerce states into spending their federal dollars in certain ways is bad enough, but the fact that the Obama Administration circumvented Congress with this last-minute rule is outrageous.
 
Roby explained that Federally Qualified and Rural Health Centers are more plentiful and offer a wider range of services than abortion providers like Planned Parenthood. States have every right to redirect their Title X public health dollars to these non-controversial clinics, she said.
 
 “If the true goal here was to ensure women’s health care, nobody should have a problem with that, but that wasn’t the goal, and everybody knows it. This rule is known as ‘President Obama’s parting gift to Planned Parenthood’ for good reason. It was a blatant attempt to preserve the pipeline of funding to the nation’s largest abortion business, and it was wrong.”
 
H. J. Res. 43 was passed by the House of Representatives by a vote of 230-188.
 
The full text of Roby’s remarks as prepared is below.
 
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Madame Speaker,
 
I rise in support of House Joint Resolution 43. Congress must use its authority to strike this rule and stop the federal government from forcing states to funnel taxpayer money to abortion providers.
 
This rule is wrong on process and wrong on policy. First of all, states have every right to put in place reasonable guidelines for how their federal dollars are spent. For Washington to attempt to coerce states in this way would be bad enough, but for unelected bureaucrats in the Department of Health and Human Services to go around Congress at the 11th hour of the Obama Administration was just outrageous.
 
Madame Speaker, I think we all agree that low-income women should have access to essential health services, but why is it necessary for those services to be funded at the nation’s largest provider of abortion? It isn’t, of course, but the abortion industry and its supporters want us to think it is.
 
When it comes to funding, they like to pretend abortion doesn’t exist and that Planned Parenthood is the only place where women can get health care.
 
That’s not true. The truth is there are more than 13,000 Federally Qualified and Rural Health Centers that offer low-cost health care to women. These centers outnumber Planned Parenthood clinics 20-1. They just don’t perform abortions.
 
Understanding this, some states have rightly enacted laws and policies redirecting Title Ten dollars away from abortion providers and toward these non-controversial clinics. If the true goal here was to ensure women’s health care, nobody should have a problem with that, but that wasn’t the goal, and everybody knows it.
 
There’s a reason people called this rule “President Obama’s parting gift to Planned Parenthood.” It was a blatant, transparent attempt to preserve the pipeline of funding to the nation’s largest abortion business. It was wrong, and I urge my colleagues to vote to nullify it today.
 
Thank you, Madame Speaker.