Sunday, October 11, 2015

Taxpayers Deserve a Fair and Thoughtful Investigation of Planned Parenthood

Phil Roe
by Congressman Phil Row, M.D., 1st District of Tennessee - Last week, we saw history made in the House of Representatives twice – for very different reasons. On Thursday, the Pope addressed Congress for the first time in history. Then on Friday, House Speaker John Boehner announced he would resign at the end of October. The Speaker is a good man and, though I have not always agreed with him, has always tried to do the best he could to fight the President’s liberal policies. Now, House Republicans must choose a new Speaker who can communicate our shared conservative values and renew the fight against ever-expanding government.
Many of my colleagues are putting their names forward for leadership posts. Right now, I’m in the process of meeting with each leadership candidate who has asked for my vote. I will only support a candidate committed to promoting and acting on a positive conservative agenda for House Republicans. We’ve got a lot of work to do within the House Republican Conference, and I’m excited to move forward and continue to get things done for the American people.
As you may know, on Wednesday the House passed a Continuing Resolution that would fund the government through December 11. I voted against this legislation because I believe more needs to be done to investigate Planned Parenthood’s alleged practice of selling the body parts of aborted children. These acts are abhorrent and must be stopped. The House has passed several bills to help address this issue. First, we are in the process of establishing a special investigative committee that will be tasked with determining the extent to which Planned Parenthood violated the law. This week, we passed H.R. 3495, the Women’s Public Health and Safety Act, which give states the authority to withhold Medicaid funding from providers who offer abortion services, a move that has recently been blocked by the Center for Medicaid and Medicaid Services. As I’ve previously mentioned, the House has also acted to defund Planned Parenthood for one year and to further protect newborn babies who survive abortions.
Democrats have called the push for answers an attack on women’s access to health care, and I take great offense to that talking point. As an OB-GYN who spent my entire career caring for women, I believe we should move the funds from Planned Parenthood to other community health centers while Congress completes a thorough investigation into Planned Parenthood’s practices. The allegations against Planned Parenthood – an organization that receives around $500 million in government funding each year – are deeply troubling. It is absolutely shameful that House and Senate Democrats refuse to provide transparency for taxpayers and conduct a fair and thoughtful investigation into these horrific claims.
Over the next two months, we must work in a bipartisan and bicameral way to find an acceptable path forward to address the issues with Planned Parenthood. I’ve heard from many constituents who wished to share their concerns about Planned Parenthood, and I believe this is an issue worth fighting for. You can rest assured I will continue to stand up for the views of East Tennesseans.

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