Yesterday, the House Appropriations Committee marked up a bill that will funds large federal health programs like the Title X Family Planning Program, Medicare, and Medicaid.
Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) in her opening statement was quick to attack the Trump administration’s recent Protect Life Rule which would ensure separation between abortion clinics and family planning services in the Title X program. She concluded that this rule attacks the doctor-patient relationship by banning doctors from even talking about abortion or abortion services to patients. Clearly Rep. DeLauro did not read the regulation. While the regulation change does prohibit Title X clinics from referring for abortions, it still allows for nondirective pregnancy counseling in which clinics can discuss all available pregnancy options with women. Rep. Martha Roby (R-Ala.) spoke up in defense of the Protect Life Rule saying, “Time and time again Americans have said they do not want their tax dollars paying for abortions.” Rep. DeLauro later claimed that this rule change will limit access to family planning services for women. Family Research Council recently published a brief explaining how the Title X rule change actually expands family planning options for women, not limits them.
The attacks on the president’s policies did not stop there, as Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) celebrated the fact that the spending bill eliminates the “abstinence only until marriage program” and increases funding for comprehensive sex education. What Congresswomen Lee was really referring to is the Sexual Risk-Avoidance Education program (SRA) which received $35 million this year. The SRA program is designed to encourage avoiding risky sexual behavior all together as opposed to simply reducing it. FRC’s Peter Sprigg wrote a brief explaining more about how SRA education helps eliminate sexual risk for teens. While Rep. Lee would make you believe that the only way to educate teens about sex is through her comprehensive sexual education programs, SRA education, which receives far less federal funding, is actually more effective.
Representative Lois Frankel (D-Fla.) followed along with her colleagues when she opposed a Born-Alive amendment offered by Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) that would ensure funding recipients do not allow an infant that is born alive after a failed abortion to be denied lifesaving care. Rep. Frankel couldn’t help herself from making the conversation about abortion access when she claimed that this amendment is a way to keep women from being in charge of their own bodies and intimidating doctors from performing abortions. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.) a mother of two children, responded by saying, “To hide behind the idea that this is about overturning the law of the land, you can say that, but that’s not the truth.” Requiring born-alive protections does not undermine abortion access in any way—it instead treats all infants who survive failed abortions as a patient that deserves the same lifesaving care guaranteed to all Americans. Since Rep. Frankel and other Democrats cannot seem to understand that infants do in fact survive failed abortions, Family Research Council published a blog outlining just the facts about the issue.
To end the mark-up, several Democratic members made lofty promises about the success of fetal tissue research to attack an amendment offered by Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) that would ban federal funding for research using tissue from aborted babies. In defending his amendment, Rep. Harris said, “It’s a straw man argument—Parkinson’s was never cured, Alzheimer’s is not being investigated using fetal cells—these are straw men.” Democrat politicians have little moral boundaries when it comes to achieving supposed medical “breakthroughs”—they will even take tissue from the most vulnerable among us just for a chance at new cures that never come.
Statements like these from Democratic leaders should come as no surprise, as time and time again they fail to read legislation, understand regulations, and listen to the facts. Even as the appropriations process continues with Democrats at the helm, we will continue to speak the truth and advocate for policies that respect the dignity of all human life and allow families to flourish.
Connor Semelsberger is the Legislative Assistant for Family Research Council.