WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) today cosponsored legislation to defund Planned Parenthood. The bill (S.1881), introduced by Senators Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), and James Lankford (R-Okla.), follows the release of disturbing video footage showing Planned Parenthood’s role in harvesting the organs of unborn babies.
“Like so many Tennesseans, I am deeply disturbed not only by the alarming content of the video footage showing Planned Parenthood’s role in harvesting the organs of unborn babies, but also the organization’s casual disregard for human life,” said Corker. “I am a cosponsor of this legislation and hope the Senate will act swiftly to defund the organization and ensure no taxpayer dollars are being used in this manner.”
In addition to defunding Planned Parenthood, the legislation ensures the preservation of federal funding for women’s health services, including relevant diagnostic laboratory and radiology services, well-child care, prenatal and postpartum care, immunization, family planning services, including contraception, sexually transmitted disease testing, cervical and breast cancer screenings, and referrals. Funds no longer available to Planned Parenthood will continue to be offered to other eligible entities to provide such women’s health care services.
“Additionally, I have called on HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell to fully cooperate with ongoing and future investigations,” added Corker.
Last week, Corker joined a bipartisan group of 49 senators in a letter to Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Burwell drawing attention to the legal, ethical, and policy issues raised by the video footage and calling on the secretary to cooperate with ongoing and future investigations.
Corker is pro-life and has consistently opposed the use of taxpayer dollars to fund abortions. He has voted for measures to defund Planned Parenthood in the past and is an original cosponsor of legislation that would prohibit abortion after 20 weeks.