Congress Lets States Block Some Planned Parenthood Money

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03 April, 2017

US Republican lawmakers on Thursday successfully rolled back Obama-era rules protecting funding to clinics that offer abortion services, as Vice President Mike Pence broke a Senate tie on the contentious measure.

If the Trump administration succeeds in overturning the rule, then Republican state legislatures will likely target other money that goes to abortion providers, which could lead to closures.

Although Republicans hold 52 of the 100 seats in the U.S. Senate, two of them - Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of ME, voted against the proposal, resulting in a 50-50 deadlock. For three sessions in a row, as the Governor of in, he introduced legislation to deny any funds to any Title X grantee if they also provide abortion services. They have focused their ire mostly on Planned Parenthood, despite the fact that federal law now prohibits taxpayer funds from going toward financing abortions. But Democrats and other defenders of Planned Parenthood have always gotten around that by allocating funds for other so-called family planning services, and allowing beneficiaries of the funding to choose Planned Parenthood as the provider of the service. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), who is recovering from back surgery, to cast the tying 50-50 vote on the issue after a pair of female Republican senators defected to vote against the bill. "Reversal of this rule could make it easier for state politicians to block a woman's access to contraception and critical preventive care at women's health clinics across the country".

Pence was able to cast the tie-breaking vote, his second since the president's inauguration, after Sen. Using those funds for abortion services is already illegal under federal law. The U.S. Senate voted March 30 to let states cut off funds for Planned Parenthood.

Does Trump administration even realize the devastating affect their personal vendetta against Planned Parenthood would have on American women? "A final vote on getting rid of the Obama-era rule could happen as early as Thursday afternoon".

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Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), who has been recovering from two back surgeries and hasn't voted since February 17, returned to the Senate to cast a vote, creating the tie that led to Pence's vote. The federal funding is used for other health care services - including affordable birth control options, STI/HIV screenings, pap smears and breast cancer exams.

The regulation, enacted under the Obama administration, prevented states from discriminating against programs, like Planned Parenthood, when distributing Title X planning grants to community health centers, according to NBC News.

The measure is now headed to the White House for President Donald Trump's signature. As long as federal money is flowing to Planned Parenthood in any way, Congress is funding abortion.

"It is appalling that 24 hours ago, Vice President Pence was headlining a forum on empowering women, and today, he is leading mostly male politicians to take away women's birth control".

"It substituted Washington's judgment for the needs of real people", Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said of Obama's rule. In 2011, IN slashed funding for Planned Parenthood, shutting down many rural clinics.


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