“It has long been troubling to many Americans that the nation’s largest abortion network, performing over a third of all abortions, receives over half a billion taxpayer dollars a year,” said Boston Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley.
“This concern has rightly grown in recent years,” he wrote in a letter to the senators.
“The most recent revelations about Planned Parenthood’s willingness to traffic in fetal tissue from abortions, and to alter abortion methods not for any reason related to women’s health but to obtain more ‘intact’ organs, is the latest demonstration of a callousness toward women and their unborn children that is shocking to many Americans,” he said.
The cardinal is chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities.
He urged senators to support S. 1881, a measure that would defund Planned Parenthood and its affiliates. His letter followed the release in mid-July of videos of the organization’s officials filmed undercover by a nonprofit California-based organization called the Center for Medical Progress.
In two videos, top Planned Parenthood physicians describe how abortions are carried out to best salvage fetal tissue and organs for researchers and described a range of prices paid for different body parts.
A third video was of an interview with a technician talking about harvesting fetal body parts and included graphic footage. A fourth video was about to be released until Los Angeles Superior Court July 28 issued an order blocking its release.
Planned Parenthood receives more than $500 million of its $1.3 billion annual budget from federal and state programs. According to 2013 data, the latest available, Planned Parenthood says abortions represent 3 percent of the total services its facilities provide.
On Capitol Hill, a number of Republicans in the House and Senate have called for an end to federal funding of Planned Parenthood. Several states also have launched investigations into the organization.
Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, in a statement said that “allegations that Planned Parenthood profits in any way from tissue donation is not true.” She later apologized for “the tone” the physicians used in describing abortion procedures and also argued the videos had been heavily edited to distort the truth.
In his letter, Cardinal O’Malley added: “The Catholic Church comes to this issue from a perspective rooted in experience. Catholic charitable agencies and pregnancy help centers have helped countless pregnant women find life-affirming alternatives to abortion.”
Help us keep you informed -- CatholicPhilly.com can't do it without youDuring CatholicPhilly.com's fall donation campaign, you have a way to help us deliver the kind of news you need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live. Every household's costs keep rising, and we're no different. We make sure your dollars in any amount go a long way toward continuing our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month. Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can -- a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Or by credit card here: