Brownback Calls for Suspension of Federal Funding for Abortions

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Sam Brownback (R-KS) and David Vitter (R-LA) Tuesday sent a letter to Senator Tom Harkin, Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations, and Representative David Obey, Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, calling for the suspension of federal funding of abortion.

In addition to Brownback and Vitter, the following senators signed the letter: Senators Jim Bunning (R-KY), John Barrasso (R-WY), Elizabeth Dole (R-NC), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Chuck Hagel (R-NE), James Inhofe (R-OK), Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Trent Lott (R-MS), Mel Martinez (R-FL), Pat Roberts (R-KS), and John Thune (R-SD).

Following is full text of the letter.

“We write to urge you to suspend funding in all future Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bills for organizations that promote abortion. While an amendment to this effect was not adopted in the U.S. Senate last month, we believe recent findings warrant such a suspension pending further investigation.

“One recipient of such funding is the Planned Parenthood Federation of America which receives more than $300 million in taxpayer funding each year. According to a 107-count complaint filed in Kansas’ Johnson County District Court two weeks ago, Planned Parenthood is accused of performing illegal late-term abortions in violation of state law. It is also accused of falsifying documents and failing to comply with medical reporting requirements.

“Unfortunately this is just one example of a troubling trend. Too often we hear about negligent medical practice or inadequate reporting from abortion clinics that lack sufficient oversight. One of the many reasons to withhold federal funding from groups that promote abortion are these troubling accusations of negligent medical practice. Most recently, amendment S.A.3330 to H.R.3043, the Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations bill would have corrected this problem by denying federal funding to groups that promote abortion.

“While amendment S.A.3330 was not adopted by the Senate, we believe an amendment to that effect should be reconsidered in the future given this troubling evidence of wrongdoing and neglectful medical practice. While we continue to have a rigorous debate in this country about abortion, we should be able to come to some fundamental agreements. We should not use tax dollars to subsidize abortion clinics – particularly when there are serious concerns regarding their compliance with state law and medical standards.”

Brownback is a member of the Senate Judiciary and Appropriations Committees.