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Chairman Smith Opening Statement – Floor Debate on the Supporting Pregnant and Parenting Women and Families Act

January 18, 2024

“The President is making it harder for moms to choose life for their unborn child so his Administration can funnel even more resources to organizations like Planned Parenthood.”

As prepared for delivery.

“Right after the Dobbs Supreme Court decision, nearly 100 pregnancy resource centers, pro-life organizations, and churches were smashed, ransacked, vandalized with graffiti, and even firebombed. 

“While the violence has subsided, pregnancy resource centers around the country are still under attack – this time by the Biden Administration. 

“Last year, the Biden Administration proposed a rule at the Department of Health and Human Services that blocks states from funding pregnancy resource centers through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families block grant program. 

“These centers exist to provide care and support for pregnant women looking for an alternative to abortion. Mothers can receive help for themselves and the health of their unborn child, including everything from diapers and prenatal vitamins to transportation and parenting classes. 

“The Biden Administration’s proposed rule has the potential to impact over 2,700 such centers around the country that in 2019 alone provided medical and material support to over 2 million women and families. 

“Nothing in the bipartisan law that created TANF gives the Biden Administration the authority to unfairly target pregnancy resource centers. In fact, it prohibits the government from restricting TANF funds, yet that’s exactly what the Biden Administration is trying to do. 

“This funding is critical to keeping the doors open and providing care to women seeking help. For example: In my home state of Missouri, TANF provides three of every four dollars the state provides to pregnancy resource centers, where expecting moms can get everything from diapers and food to transportation, parenting skills classes, and prenatal care. These are services that every single expecting mother needs for a healthy pregnancy, and pregnancy resource centers have stepped in to fill these basic needs. 

“The hypocrisy on the part of the Biden Administration could not be more clear. They claim to support a woman’s right to choose their own health care. While at the same time, the President is making it harder for moms to choose life for their unborn child so his Administration can funnel even more resources to organizations like Planned Parenthood. 

“If this rule takes effect, pregnant women in America will have fewer health care options and less access to care. 

“As tomorrow’s March for Life will remind us all: the rights of mothers and the unborn must be protected. 

“I want to thank Representative Fischbach for introducing this bill that would end the Biden Administration’s misguided rule targeting Pregnancy Resource Centers, and for her unwavering support of women and the unborn. I’d also like to thank Representatives Tenney and Chris Smith for co-sponsoring the bill and for their leadership on this issue. Each one has been a tireless fighter to advance the right to life for decades. 

“I hope that each one of my colleagues will support this legislation and stand up for mothers and protect the right to life.”