Republican Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin was stunned to hear that many of Planned Parenthood's patients are mothers during a House hearing on Sept. 10 about defunding the health care organization (video below).
Sensenbrenner asked Priscilla Smith, a senior fellow at the Information Society Project at Yale Law School:
"Could you please tell us why Planned Parenthood needs to get over half a billion dollars of federal funding every year when there are other pressing needs, such as feeding hungry children, that maybe we should put that money into?"
Smith reminded Sensenbrenner that federal money is not allowed to pay for abortions, but Sensenbrenner said money was fungible.
Sensenbrenner later asked: "I’d like to know what your priority is, Planned Parenthood or feeding hungry children?"
Sensenbrenner voted to cut food stamps for hungry children and adults in 2013, noted The New York Times.
"My priority, I think funding Planned Parenthood and the services it provides is equal to feeding children. Because what Planned Parenthood does is preserve women’s lives that are the mothers of those children. It provides contraception."
“How can they be the mothers of the children when children are aborted through Planned Parenthood?” Sensenbrenner asked Smith.
"Because many women to go Planned Parenthood who have children and have families. In fact, even women who are obtaining abortions, 60 percent of women obtaining abortions in this country already have at least one, if not more children."
Smith told Sensenbrenner that contraception reduces unwanted pregnancies, which in turn reduces the number of abortions.
“Well, I don’t think there’s statistics that indicate that’s the case,” Sensenbrenner claimed.
"There absolutely are," Smith fired back.
The Washington University School of Medicine In St. Louis, Missouri, released a study in 2012 said that "providing birth control to women at no cost substantially reduces unplanned pregnancies and cuts abortion rates by a range of 62 to 78 percent compared to the national rate."
The Associated Press reported in 2008 that about 60 percent of women seeking an abortion already have one child. While women of all economic levels choose to have abortions, women facing financial hardship were more likely to seek an abortion.
Sources: RightWingWatch.org, The New York Times, Washington University School of Medicine In St. Louis, NBC News (AP) / Photo credit: YouTube Screenshot