The U.S. House of Representatives has voted 247-183 against an amendment that would stop federal taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood through the Title X Family Planning programs.
The amendment was sponsored by Indiana Republican Rep. Mike Pence.
"The largest abortion provider in America should not also be the largest recipient of federal funds under Title X," Rep. Pence said while introducing the amendment. His proposal would have modified H.R. 3293, the appropriations bill for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education.
The amendment was supported by a majority of Republicans and opposed by a majority of Democrats. According to the web site of the Clerk of the House, 20 of the 258 Democrats who voted on the Pence Amendment voted in its favor, while nine of the 172 voting Republicans opposed it.
Other pro-life amendments had been proposed but the House Rules Committee did not allow them to be considered in a full vote, LifeNews.com reports.
Prior to the vote, Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) spoke in favor of the amendment.
"No child is safe in a Planned Parenthood clinic. That goes equally for the preborn child yearning to be born or the 15 year old pregnant girl being told she’s entitled to a secret abortion – an abortion procured with neither her parents’ knowledge nor consent."
Rep. Smith charged that Planned Parenthood has caused "a staggering loss of children’s lives." He said the organization "aggressively lobbies and litigates against every modest restriction" proven to "significantly reduce" abortions and has even opposed bans on partial-birth abortions.
"Planned Parenthood lobbies and litigates against prohibitions on taxpayer funding of abortion even though Planned Parenthood’s own research shows that funding bans reduce abortion by 20 to 35 percent," Rep. Smith said. "It’s time to understand the irreversible harm Planned Parenthood is doing to the children of America – born and unborn."
According to LifeNews.com, Planned Parenthood received more than $350 million in taxpayer money from federal, state, and local governments in fiscal year 2007-2008.