Friday, February 17, 2017
Federal Planned Parenthood Money Blocked By House. Next Step The Senate
House Votes Down Obama Order Forcing States to Fund Planned Parenthood
(Katie J. Read, Liberty Headlines) The House of Representatives rejected a last-minute order from the Obama administration on Thursday that would have required states to funnel tax dollars to Planned Parenthood. The vote passed 230-188.
According to the administration’s ruling, any state receiving funds from the Department of Health and Human Services’ Title X Family Planning Program would have to direct a proportion of the resources to state-selected family planning projects.
Thanks to the Congressional Review Act, however, these new regulations may not have any effect upon the division of Title X funds. If the resolution passes in the Senate , states will continue to allocate the grants to public family planning institutions and exclude Planned Parenthood, if they choose to do so.
“States have always had the freedom to direct funds away from abortion providers,” Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) said from the House floor. “Not only does this regulation ignore the American people’s wish that their tax dollars be directed away from abortion providers, it also denies states the flexibility to choose to allocate Title X funds in a way that meets the needs of their citizens.”
Before the Obama administration amended Title X, conservatives in some state legislatures worked to prohibit federal grants from reaching Planned Parenthood by redirecting funds or blocking them altogether. These states included Arizona, Indiana, Kansas, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas, according to data compiled by the Alliance Defending Freedom.
Despite these efforts, Planned Parenthood still receives more than $500 million in federal funds every year, according to the family planning agency’s annual report. Obama’s recent measure specified that Planned Parenthood and similar organizations warrant this money – 25 percent of which comes from Title X subsidies – because they provide services such as contraceptive handouts, pregnancy diagnoses and counseling, STD screening, and other “youth friendly services.” Furthermore, federal law prohibits these grants from financing abortions.
But as House Speaker Rep. Paul Ryan pointed out last month on CNN, this stipulation doesn’t mean taxpayer dollars stay out of abortion budgets: “[Planned Parenthood gets] a lot of money and, you know, money’s fungible and it effectively floats these organizations which then use other money.”
That isn’t the only reason representatives voted to obstruct Obama’s changes to Title X. Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH) said he affirmed the resolution in the House because of the scandals that exposed Planned Parenthood.
“As I have said before, Planned Parenthood should not receive a dime of federal funding,” Davidson said. “As the congressional investigation found, they traffic baby parts for profit. The Washington Postdebunked the myth that Planned Parenthood provides mammograms. As a recent Live Action investigation showed, Planned Parenthood claims to offer prenatal care enticing women to visit their offices and then won’t offer an ultrasound unless the woman commits to killing their child.”
Other than this resolution, this week the House also passed five resolutions that negate acts from the Obama administration, in addition to the eight it had already passed during the beginning weeks of the 115th Congress.