by Steven Ertelt | Memphis, TN | LifeNews.com | 7/5/12 1:41 PM
The Obama administration has sent a family planning grant of $395,000 to a Planned Parenthood abortion business in Memphis, Tennessee. The move is drawing strong condemnation from pro-life advocates in the Volunteer State who are unhappy taxpayer funds are going to the nation’s biggest abortion business.
Congressman Steve Cohen today announced that Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region (PPGMR) has received $395,000 for the Title X Family Planning Services Program from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Grants Management.
“Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region has been helping Memphis and Shelby County residents get the health care they need to lead happier, healthier lives for years,” said Congressman Cohen. “These new federal funds will help ensure the Title X Family Planning Program reaches those who need help the most in underserved communities.”
But Tennessee Right to Life officials tell LifeNews the funding comes in opposition to the majority of Tennesseans, who oppose public funding for Planned Parenthood.
“While we are disappointed that any tax funding would be directed to private organizations promoting and profiting from the killing of unborn children, this end run around the people of Tennessee will serve to underscore the urgent need to elect a pro-life president, Senate and Congress in November,” said Brian Harris, president of Tennessee Right to Life.
Although Harris is disappointed about the funding, the TRTL president said the federal grant represents a significant decrease in tax-funding the abortion giant previously received, which once amounted to more than $727,000 annually.
Harris said the taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood follows successful efforts by pro-life Governor Bill Haslam and the Tennessee Legislature to redirect public health funds in Tennessee to ethical providers in Memphis and Nashville which do not promote, perform or profit from the killing of unborn children.
In 2011, state legislators passed a budget which was believed to have effectively defunded Planned Parenthood. Following the Legislature’s adjournment, lawmakers realized that pro-abortion language had also been included which nullified the effort to remove funding. In response, the Haslam Administration took action to direct available Title X funds to public health departments in both Davidson and Shelby counties where required family planning services were already being provided. Neither Davidson nor Shelby county health departments perform abortion.
“The stakes for pro-life Tennesseans in the upcoming elections have just been heightened,” said Harris. “We’ve done good work here in Tennessee electing pro-life majorities to the Legislature and Congress. But all of that can apparently be undone unless we have a pro-life president and a pro-life senate solidly committed to defending the weakest and most vulnerable of all.”