Fight Over Planned Parenthood Intensifies
WASHINGTON, D.C. —
The fight over Planned Parenthood intensified Tuesday as the group's CEO testified on Capitol Hill amid a nasty back and forth over funding.
The group defended its role of providing care to nearly 3 million women each year.
Armed with 2 million petitions pleading for congress not to defund it, Planned Parenthood advocates arrived on the hill ready for a fight.
"Disrespect, the misogyny, rampant here today, tells us what is really going on here," said Representative Gerry Connolly. "This isn't about some bogus video!"
He's referring to those controversial, secretly recorded videos which show officials talking prices for selling aborted fetuses to medical research.
While in itself not illegal, it re-energized the debate.
Should the government provide it $350 million a year or redirect it to clinics that don't provide abortions.
Republicans also questioned if Planned Parenthood profits millions, why should taxpayers contribute.
"If you want to be a private entity, you don't need federal dollars to do this," said Representative Jason Chaffetz.
"For many of them, Planned Parenthood is the only family planning provider that will see them in their area," said Cecile Richards, Planned Parenthood CEO. "Half of our health centers are in medically underserved communities."
All aspects, under the microscope.
"The way they spend their money, the amount they spend on travel, the amount they spend on salaries," said Representative Cynthia Lummis.
Furious democrats labeled it nothing more than a war on women.
"My objection to the Chairman for beating up on a woman for making a good salary," said Representative Carolyn Maloney.
Republicans insist it's not about cutting services and they can shift that money to some 13,000 already existing women's clinics.
Planned Parenthood supporters say those organizations aren't equipped to handle the added workload and don't always exist in some critical communities around the country.