By Claire Chretien
House Speaker Rep. Paul Ryan succinctly and calmly laid out the case for redirecting taxpayer dollars from abortion goliath Planned Parenthood to federal community health centers at a CNN townhall Thursday night.
Ryan, R-WI, explained what pro-lifers have long said about Planned Parenthood: giving it money that doesn’t specifically fund abortions still helps the abortion-centered organization, allowing it to spend taxpayer money on other things that strengthen its business model.
“First of all, I want to make sure you get the care you need. We want to make sure that all women get the kind of care they need, like preventative screening,” Ryan told a George Washington University graduate student who asked where women would go if Planned Parenthood lost its federal funding. “We believe that this can better be done by putting that money in federal community health centers. Federal community health centers, I have a lot of experience with them myself. They’re all throughout Wisconsin; they’re in virtually every community.”
Congress will ensure women will still be able to get healthcare “by putting these dollars in the federal community health centers, which provide the same kinds of services,” Ryan explained. “For every Planned Parenthood…there are 20 federal community health centers. They are vastly bigger in network, there are so many more of them, and they provide these kinds of services without all the controversies surrounding this issue.”
Moderator Jake Tapper interjected, accusing Ryan of “[believing] in providing more choice for people when it comes to health insurance – except for Planned Parenthood.”
“Well, there’s a longstanding principle that we’ve all believed in — and by the way, this is for pro-choice/pro-life people — that we don’t want to commit taxpayer funding for abortion and Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider,” responded Ryan. “So we don’t want to effectively commit taxpayer money to an organization providing abortions but we want to make sure that people get their coverage.”
“That’s why there’s no conflict by making sure that these dollars go to federal community health centers, which provide these services and have a vast, larger network than these Planned Parenthood clinics, which are surrounded by a lot of controversy,” continued Ryan. “And we don’t want to commit people’s taxpayer to effectively funding something that they believe is morally unconscionable. Not everybody believes that – I understand that. But that’s a longstanding principle we’ve had in this country that we wanna maintain.”
“Of course, taxpayer dollars don’t fund abortions, right now, right, because of the Hyde Amendment?” Tapper asked.
“Right, but they get a lot of money and, you know, money’s fungible and it effectively floats these organizations which then use other money,” said Ryan. “You know, money’s fungible. You don’t have this controversy by funding health centers.”
Ryan also promised that repealing Obamacare is a top priority for Republicans. “We’re working on this as fast as possible,” he said. The goal is to repeal and replace Obamacare “at the same time, and in some cases in the same bill.”
Editor’s note. This appeared at Lifesite News and is reposted with permission.