Sunday, January 8, 2017
Congress May Finally Block Funding Abortions
RYAN: RECONCILIATION BILL WILL BLOCK PLANNED PARENTHOOD FUNDING
(The Daily Signal) Stopping the stream of federal funding to Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, will be part of the upcoming budget reconciliation package, House Speaker Paul Ryan said during a press briefing Friday.
This important announcement maintains the strong policy stance Congress took in the 2015 reconciliation bill that would have repealed Obamacare and stopped federal Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood.
While that bill was vetoed by President Barack Obama, the outlook is much different now with the inauguration of a new president and the start of a new Congress committed to repealing Obamacare and defunding Planned Parenthood.
If the reconciliation bill is crafted as it was in 2015, it would make Planned Parenthood affiliates ineligible from receiving Medicaid reimbursements for one year after the enactment of the bill. Such federal reimbursements constitute a significant portion of the roughly $500 million in government funds sent to the nation’s largest abortion provider each year.
Federal funding could still flow to the many other qualified health care providers that offer the same services as Planned Parenthood affiliates, plus additional services, without entanglement in abortion. In fact, the last reconciliation bill increased funding for these community health centers.
Taxpayer money should not be used to fund elective abortion providers such as the Planned Parenthood Federation of America affiliates. Ending such tax funding has become even more urgent in light of serious and disturbing press coverage of Planned Parenthood representatives discussing the sale of body parts of aborted babies.
Of course, a reconciliation bill isn’t the only tool at Congress’s disposal with regard to defunding Planned Parenthood. To cut off all federal funding streams to Planned Parenthood, Congress should use the appropriations process to disqualify Planned Parenthood affiliates not only from receiving any federal Medicaid reimbursements, but also from receiving grants under specific discretionary programs, like Title X family planning.
Just this week, the Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives issued its final report, which recommended that Congress defund Planned Parenthood. The Daily Signal’s Kelsey Harkness has highlighted six other disturbing findings in the panel’s report, which further underscores why Planned Parenthood should not receive taxpayer funding.
A reconciliation bill that makes Planned Parenthood affiliates ineligible to receive Medicaid reimbursements is an encouraging step toward ending federal funding for the nation’s largest abortion provider.