Rep. Black on Morning Joe: Planned Parenthood Should Stop Performing Abortions Until Investigations are Complete

Sep 30, 2015 Issues: Defunding Planned Parenthood, Pro-Life

To watch Congressman Black's MSNBC interview click HERE or the image above

Washington, DC– Today Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06), a nurse for more than 40 years and author of the House-passed Defund Planned Parenthood Act of 2015 joined MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” to discuss the latest developments in the fight against Planned Parenthood. The interview followed Rep. Black’s questioning of Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards yesterday in a House Oversight Committee Hearing. To watch a video of Rep. Black’s interview, click here. A partial transcript of the interview is provided below:

On yesterday’s Oversight Committee hearing with Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards:

“Once again we saw the face of Planned Parenthood. As you all know, in my bill, what I have said is that we would defund Planned Parenthood until the investigations were done in the next year. And we do see on those films that clearly there are questions about activities that are happening behind those closed doors that are illegal activities. And what I said to Ms. Richards yesterday is that if you claim that what you are doing for women’s’ health care services are your main mission, which is what she said in her testimony, and only 3 percent of your services are provided for abortions services, why not just suspend your abortion services so you can provide what you claim to be your main mission and that is taking care of women’s health?”

On claims that defunding Planned Parenthood would reduce access to preventive care services:

For every one Planned Parenthood facility there are 20 federally qualified health centers [and rural health clinics]. I am a nurse, I know this, I have worked in this field for a long time, and Planned Parenthood is trying to put a message out there that ‘Oh my goodness if they went away all these women would not have care provided,’ and that is not true at all. As a matter of fact, my bill even provides that we would add an additional $235 million to those services that can then be given to all these other clinics that are providing these services, which by the way, are services that are even more broad and beyond what is being provided at Planned Parenthood.”

On Planned Parenthood’s federal funding streams:

“One of the things I want to point out to you all is to take a look at the Government Accountability Office (GAO) report that came out earlier this year. In that report it does talk about how it is very difficult to say how they are getting their money and how they are expending their money. As a matter of fact, American taxpayer dollars are going overseas to Planned Parenthood affiliates in other countries. Is that really helping the women in this country? If we want to help the women in this country, let’s make sure that the money that is being provided by taxpayer dollars are going to the source that are really helping the women. That is what I want to do. Look, if they [Planned Parenthood] believe that [women’s health] is their number one mission, then suspend your abortion services until we can verify that what is happening there is not illegal activity, which is very suspicious on these films.”

On questions at yesterday’s hearing regarding Cecile Richards’ annual salary of nearly $600,000:

“That is part of what we do as a Congress. Our responsibility is investigations, and that is our role and responsibility to do that, especially when taxpayer dollars are being used to fund something. We have to make sure that we are doing what we need to do for hardworking taxpayers to be reassured that their money is being spent in the most appropriate way.”

On next steps forward to defund Planned Parenthood:

“We will try any method that we can at this point in time. Of course, my bill passed on the House floor. It has still not been taken up yet as a single, stand-alone bill in the Senate. I can never say what the Senate is going to do. But we still have other methods that we can do to get this to the desk of the President so that we can show the President that we are serious about this in Congress, and [to ask the question] what is he going to do to hold Planned Parenthood accountable for their activities – their potentially illegal activities?

Rep. Black’s House-passed Defund Planned Parenthood Act of 2015 would place a one year moratorium on all federal funding of Planned Parenthood – including both mandatory and discretionary spending streams – while Congress investigates the abortion provider for potentially illegal activities. The legislation would redirect funding to the more than 13,500 community health centers providing preventive care to underserved and low-income women nationwide. The bill further increases the funding levels for these facilities by $235 million. Rep. Black’s legislation also stipulates that Planned Parenthood’s federal funding can be reinstated if the organization fully commits to women’s health and ceases to perform elective abortions.

Rep. Black Grills Cecile Richards on False Claims about Pro-Life Efforts in Oversight Committee Hearing
Rep. Black’s National Review Op-Ed: “Prioritize Women’s Health Over Abortion by Defunding Planned Parenthood”


Congressman Diane Black represents Tennessee’s 6th Congressional District. She has been a registered nurse for more than 40 years and serves on the House Ways and Means and Budget Committees