During the recent Congressional hearing featuring Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards, several Republican elected officials shared personal testimonies of why they are Pro-Life. Among the most touching was Florida Representative John Mica’s. Rep. Mica appeared emotional as he recalled the event that catalyzed his move from “pro-choice” to Pro-Life: he and his wife lost their first child. In his own words:
I guess we’re all products of our personal experience. We heard the chairman, we heard the ranking member, how their lives were affected. I guess when I was young I had a different opinion, but when my wife and I lost our first child, your life and your philosophy change, and from that time I tried to be a champion for the unborn. They don’t have advocates. A lot of groups get a lot of money advocating, but they don’t have a very good lobby.
Rep. Mica noted that, while the preborn do not have a very good lobby, Cecile Richards works every day to lobby for abortion: “You are an advocate for abortion and your organization provides a significant number of abortions,” he said, continuing: “There are many people I represent myself who object to any public money going into abortions.” Richards attempted to argue that this would depend on the views of Rep. Mica’s specific Florida constituency, but the Representative noted that the revelations about Planned Parenthood that came to light through the Center for Medical Progress’ videos speak to an issue that surpasses constituencies and speaks, rather, to federal funding at large:
“Your most recent controversy raised questions about public money going to your organization,” he said, noting that Planned Parenthood’s federal funding accounts for a staggering portion of their income: “I looked at it and I was kind of stunned – about 41% of your total money is federal money. It’s not just a small amount. Because if you add the money you get from different programs, grants, etc., it’s 41% — and I’ve had that figure confirmed. That’s a significant amount of money.”
Rep. Mica then called the Planned Parenthood exec out for disingenuous claims about Planned Parenthood’s role in promoting “women’s health,” saying: “Your breast exams are actually down significantly, and I’ve got the numbers from your reports: from 830,312 in 2009 to 487,029 in 2013,” he said. “So you’re getting more money, you’re not spending it there [on women’s health]… when 41% of the money is coming out of the public treasury, people become concerned.”
Throughout the hearing, Richards insisted that federal moneys do not support the commission of abortion in any way. But Rep. Mica and many other elected officials would not buy the lie. Planned Parenthood has been definitively exposed as an organization that cares about increasing profit and decreasing health care, “And there are people,” said Rep. Mica, “who—their religion, their principles—they feel very strongly that, as do I, that no public money should go into this.”
Watch the full footage of Rep. Mica: