Planned Parenthood faced off with Republicans in Tuesday’s congressional hearing.
The organization has faced much scrutiny after the release of a series of videos, maintaining that Planned Parenthood profited from the sales of fetal tissue. In the wake of these allegations, Congressional Republicans are bringing to question the allocation of federal funds which come in a time of looming budget cuts.
Planned Parenthood’s president, Cecile Richards, defended the morality and necessity of its practices:
“The outrageous accusations leveled against Planned Parenthood, based on heavily doctored videos, are offensive and categorically untrue.”
While debasing the group’s use of resources, one critic, Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) accused Planned Parenthood of lavish spending such as “blowout parties,” stating, “that’s money that’s not going to women’s health care.”
However, the moral backbone of the Republican argument reflects the more divisive issue of reproductive rights, namely abortion. The pro-life movement has long lead a charge against Planned Parenthood, but the debate has recently taken center stage.
Richards fired back, arguing that the group has fallen victim to a “smear campaign” that is ultimately counterproductive to women’s health. She argued that defunding Planned Parenthood would come at a great cost for low-income families.
Of the $500 million in annual government subsidies received by Planned Parenthood, the majority goes towards contraceptive and STI testing and treatment.
Abortion makes up 3 percent of their services provided, although it is against the law for federal funds to go towards that particular operation.