House Republicans Friday slammed Planned Parenthood after voting to immediately strip it of federal funding
in light of undercover videos showing top medical officials discussing the sale of fetal body parts.
"After watching some of the horrific undercover videos of Planned Parenthood employees laughing and haggling over the prices of precious parts of priceless babies, I was both infuriated and nauseated," said Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert. "It is a tragedy to think federal taxpayer dollars were subsidizing these atrocious crimes. It is unacceptable and morally reprehensible."
Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn referenced Kermit Gosnell, the Philadelphia abortion doctor now serving life in prison for killing babies born alive during botched abortions, in her attack.
"Images of Kermit Gosnell killing babies who were born alive after a botched abortion are sickening and have renewed the demand for accountability," Blackburn said. "New documentation of the heinous practice of harvesting the body parts of babies as part of the abortion process have raised serious questions about the possible systematic and repeated violation of state and federal laws."
Georgia Rep. Tom Price, a physician, said that the vote was "not about party ideology; it is about common, human decency and who we are as a people."
The House voted 241-187 for the legislation, with just three Republicans and two Democrats defecting from their party lines.
Last month, the Senate blocked action on a bill that would strip the funds, though Democrats have enough votes stop any effort to override a promised veto by President Barack Obama.
Several Republicans in both chambers have vowed to carry the fight further into the budget process, raising the possibility of a federal government shutdown.
Sponsored by Rep. Diane Black, Blackburn's Volunteer State colleague, the bill would shift Planned Parenthood's federal payments to the thousands of government-backed community health centers.
Republicans contend those operations would treat the group's displaced patients.
Most of Planned Parenthood's $450 million in annual federal money, a third of its overall budget, comes from Medicaid reimbursements for treating low-income clients, and virtually none of it can be used for abortions.
"No matter our views on abortion, or the party label beside our name, we all should have an interest in ensuring that laws are followed and that taxpayer dollars are spent responsibly," Black, a registered nurse for 40 years, said on the Senate floor before the vote. "If a law is broken, particularly by those receiving government money — that should be remedied.
"That’s not a political statement," she added. "That is, quite literally, our job in Congress."
Arizona Rep. Matt Salmon agreed, saying that the 10 undercover videos released so far by the pro-life Center for Medical Progress prevented Congress from turning "a blind eye" to "this level of brutality."
"Doing so, continuing to give federal dollars to Planned Parenthood in light of this knowledge, would show that we accept and are complicit in the harvesting of organs from these precious, murdered children."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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