Bob Goodlatte: Protecting life from the start

goodlattefourinNew life – there is nothing more precious. In the past months, as a series of undercover videos have shed light on Planned Parenthood’s abortion practices, it is even clearer that life is a gift that must be fiercely protected. These videos contain discussions with representatives of Planned Parenthood regarding the exchange of money for the body parts of unborn children to be used in research. The videos are difficult to watch, and it is even more difficult to hear the callousness with which Planned Parenthood representatives speak about the harvesting of fetal body parts and tissue.

Earlier this month, the House Judiciary Committee held the first hearing as part of our ongoing investigation into the atrocities allegedly committed by Planned Parenthood. This hearing was the first opportunity for Members of Congress and the American people to hear from legal experts and abortion survivors alike on the horrors of these alleged practices. As investigations continue, Congress must move immediately to protect any children born alive during the course of a failed abortion.

This week, I voted in the House of Representatives in support of the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. This bill simply says that if a baby is born alive in the course of a failed abortion, it must be brought to a hospital and receive the same medical care any other baby would receive. Failure to do so will result in criminal penalties. It is unfortunate that we even need legislation of this nature, but those who would commit crimes denying these babies a chance at life must be held accountable. Contrary to what opponents would say, this bill is not an attack on women’s health care. This is about preserving the life of a child born alive, and I cannot think of any argument not to protect this innocent life.

The House also approved the Defunding Planned Parenthood Act to bar federal funding of this organization for one year. Planned Parenthood receives over half a billion dollars from the federal government and Congress has an obligation to the American taxpayer to investigate its disturbing activities.

No taxpayer funds should be directed towards organizations that do not respect human life. With the exception of performing abortions, over 13,000 healthcare clinics across the countrycan provide the same services in order to meet the health needs of women. Federally Qualified Health Centers serve nearly eight times more individuals than are served by Planned Parenthood centers per year. In Virginia, there are seven Planned Parenthood clinics compared to 181 health care alternatives available to serve women.

It is an issue that is as stark as it is simple. Any discussion of abortion is inherently difficult, yet these videos force us all to engage in that discussion. I have many more questions for Planned Parenthood, and I will continue efforts to hold them accountable. There is much more to be done in the fight to protect the unborn who have no voice.

Bob Goodlatte represents the Sixth District of Virginia in Congress.


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