Washington, D.C. — Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) delivered the following remarks before Rules Committee today on H.R. 8373, the Payouts for Planned Parenthood Act.
Her remarks, as prepared for delivery:
“I want to be very clear. Every woman’s potential journey to motherhood is different.
“I support their access to contraception. If Democrats came to me and asked to work together on a bill, I would have been happy to roll up my sleeves and work with them.
“Going back to more than 5 years, Republicans on both sides of the Capitol have introduced the ‘Allowing Greater Access to Safe and Effective Contraception Act,’ which would help make birth control available over-the-counter.
“Unfortunately, today, rather than work with us, Democrats are again spreading fear and misinformation in an attempt to pass a poorly drafted bill, which opens the door further to their extreme abortion-on-demand agenda.”
THE PAYOUTS FOR PLANNED PARENTHOOD ACT
“We have many concerns about H.R. 8373 and its vague and intentionally broad language.
“Just like the bills last week, it has had no committee or proper legislative process. We first saw this text on Friday, just three days ago.
“First, this bill is a trojan horse for more abortions. It should be called the Payouts for Planned Parenthood Act.
“It defines the term contraception so broadly it includes drugs used for chemical abortions and would permit the use of certain contraceptives to be used off-label for abortions.
“It would send more taxpayer dollars to Planned Parenthood, freeing up more funds for them to provide abortions and end the lives of the most helpless among us.
“Second, this bill endangers the health and safety of women.
“It removes state oversight of Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers who prescribe non-FDA approved drugs and prescribe certain contraceptive drugs for off-label use for abortions without any restrictions.
“Third, H.R. 8373, will continue President Biden’s war on religious liberty and conscience protections.
“It would force health providers to violate their sincerely held beliefs to perform sterilizations, including on minors.
“It would also force organizations like the Little Sisters of the Poor to violate their religion and prescribe contraception.
“For all the fearmongering that’s being spread right now about Supreme Court precedents being threatened, where is the respect for the Little Sisters and their victory for their constitutionally guaranteed religious freedom?
“And finally, this bill undermines laws that protect minors, people who have a mental illness, and incarcerated women from irreversible sterilization procedures.
“This means that under this extreme agenda, a Planned Parenthood can use taxpayer dollars to sterilize a 13-year-old without her parents’ knowledge.
“A Medicaid beneficiary who is has a mental disability can be sterilized without informed consent.”
“The unfortunate reality today is this bill goes too far and defies the most basic safeguards meant to protect women and children.
“Women deserve the truth. Not more fear and misinformation that forces an extreme agenda on the American people.
“These are the facts. Republicans have led to make birth control available over the counter. In 2019, the federal government, under a Republican President, spent $1.8 billion on family planning.
“Contraception is fundamentally different than abortion, a distinction recognized by the pro-life community, doctors, medical professionals, the science, and in Justice Alito’s Dobbs opinion.
“Abortion intentionally ends a human life. Contraception is to prevent conception.
“There is a clear distinction.
“For Democrats to conflate these issues, it’s more fearmongering and scare tactics that are a disservice to women everywhere.”
DEMOCRATS’ EXTREME ABORTION AGENDA
“Last week, Democrats made their intentions known with the Abortion on Demand Until Birth Act and the Ensuring Access to Abortion Act.
“Their agenda, this agenda that’s being driven right now in the House, is not about codifying Roe v. Wade. It goes far beyond that.
“It’s an agenda to nationalize abortion for all nine months of pregnancy.
“It’s for unrestricted abortions based on sex, race, and disability—including Down syndrome.
“It’s the denial of science that allows women and their babies to be treated as patients in the womb.
“There is no part of this agenda that celebrates human rights or the dignity and value of every person.
“But what does Speaker Pelosi call it? She says it is not up for negotiation.
“This is not how I define a free and just society for my daughters and my son.”
“I again ask, how do we want to define the human rights issue of our generation?
“I’ll keep returning to this committee and the floor of the House to ask that very question. Why? Because it’s there that I find hope.
“Hope that we can help the most marginalized in society, especially the weakest and most vulnerable who do not have a voice.
“Hope that we can come together to support every woman’s path to a better life and every mother’s different journey to motherhood.
“Every person’s life is worth living. It’s worthy of our protection.
“That is what can’t be negotiated, the self-evident truth that every person—born and unborn—has value, meaning, and purpose.
“Rather than rushing another poorly drafted and extreme bill through the People’s House, let’s build upon what is the strongest foundation possible, a foundation that is uniquely American for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all.”