Planned Parenthood is in the news and Republicans in Washington, D.C., are talking about defunding the organization. It currently receives in excess of $500 million from the federal treasury and we believe that should stop.

The organization claims that they provide women’s services. What they really provide, as recent videos have proven, is straight up abortion on demand and the butchering of unborn babies to harvest organs.

The films clearly show how Planned Parenthood employees are carefully and deliberately removing baby organs and body parts and selling them on the open market. They go so far as to remove a fetus from the womb of a woman right up until the last day the law allows, even in the third trimester.

Whether one is pro-life or pro-choice, everyone we talk to agrees that nothing could be more gruesome than the murder of those babies.

Of course, on the national scene, politics trumps everything. The Obama administration passes out the bucks that end up at Planned Parenthood and the only way Republicans can stop the flow of funds, we are told, is to shut down the entire government.

Although in a tongue-in-cheek way, we might be convinced that shutting down the government could be a good thing. But that isn’t going to happen. Defunding Planned Parenthood on the national level will probably have to wait for the next president.

However, Maine people should not be forced to participate in that murder through the use of hard-earned state tax dollars.

The national Democratic party leadership defends the actions of that corrupt and unscrupulous organization and demands that Republicans stop their “war on women.” Yes, the Democratic party defends the murder of unborn babies and calls that horrible harvesting a “service to women.”

They are dead wrong, and we sincerely hope that Maine Democrats do not think that way.

Nothing could be farther from the truth. Any human being of good character and clear conscience should realize that selling baby organs and limbs for money is wrong, and pretending that these videos are “doctored ” or altered in some way is absurd.

Republicans, like ourselves, do indeed believe that society has a responsibility to provide medical care and legal services to women. With that in mind, we are this day asking the Republican leadership in Maine to assist in defunding any and all Planned Parenthood activities in Maine using any Maine taxpayer money from any source.

One hundred percent of the money that can be identified as going to Planned Parenthood should be diverted to other community-based programs providing the same services for women. No money should be taken away from women’s services, only from Planned Parenthood. We will introduce legislation in the next session to accomplish that exact purpose.

In order for our proposal to see the light of day, however, our concept must pass with majority support of the Legislative Council, which consists of the leadership from both parties in the House and the Senate.

We hope the majority of leadership agrees that money to Planned Parenthood must end now. Our bill will be written to make certain that women in Maine continue to receive any needed medical services currently allowed by law.

Second, our bill will ensure that 100 percent of all tax dollars currently spent on health services for women will not be reduced. Our goal is to encourage and assist community-based health organizations in providing safe health care services to all Maine women.

Third, the bill would put a stop to the unlawful use of taxpayer dollars to fund abortion that might result in the harvesting and selling of baby body parts. It will be aimed and fired solely at Planned Parenthood, and not at a woman’s right to choose or the amount of money spent on women’s health services.

Our bill will be designed to encourage community-based health organizations to step up to the plate and provide whatever services are needed.

We hope the Legislative Council will allow this bill to be debated.

We urge those who have not yet had an opportunity to watch those horrible videos to do so. We are confident that people will agree with us. Whether people believe in the right to choose or the right to life, the practices shown in those videos must stop. It is immoral and un-American at its core. It is an issue that should unite all decent Maine people.

Whether this group is harvesting from baby bodies here in Maine or elsewhere matters not. This country does not need to progress down this path. Maine should lead the way and not just follow.

Rep. Richard  Pickett, R-Dixfield, Rep. Mary Anne Kinney, R-Knox, and Rep. Beth P. Turner, R-Burlington, are members of the Maine Legislature.


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