Published: Sun, April 02, 2017
Markets | By Erika Turner

States Could Soon Choose To Block Some Funding For Planned Parenthood

States Could Soon Choose To Block Some Funding For Planned Parenthood

Noting the recent collapse of the Republican healthcare bill in the U.S. House of Representatives, Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said Thursday's votes were close because "people are sick and exhausted of politicians making it even harder for them to access healthcare". Despite the fact that Title X provides pregnant women with essential health care services, the fact that some of the clinics also provide abortion services was apparently enough to justify the anti-choice vice president to cast his vote.

There is already a ban on using federal funds for abortion except for rare instances.

"We think reconciliation is the tool, because that gets it into law", Ryan told reporters in response to a question about Planned Parenthood funding. The tally had been tied after two GOP senators, Alaska's Lisa Murkowski and Maine's Susan Collins, joined Democrats opposing the measure.

The majority of women who benefit from these essential screening services are defined as low-income (further data from the Planned Parenthood website indicated that 90 percent of these patients have incomes 250 percent below the federal poverty level), and would not otherwise be able to afford these screening services on their own.

With the defection of Republican Senators Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, the party was barely able to even eke out a tie vote.

In Congress' latest clash mixing the politics of abortion, women's health and states' rights, Pence cast the decisive vote in a 51-50 roll call.

Under Senate rules, the vice president can cast tie breaking votes.

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Guess who casted the tiebreaking vote?

"This approach effectively excludes providers focused on reproductive health from receiving funds, even though they have been shown to provide higher quality services, such as preconception", Obama administration officials said in December. Although abortion is a legal medical procedure, federal dollars can not be used to pay for it, except in restricted circumstances.

According to Kristi Hamrick of Americans United for Life, federal defunding will be a step-by-step effort that involves shutting off one form of funding at a time.

Some of the clinics offer abortion services.

Passage gives Republicans and anti-abortion groups a needed victory just six days after the party's highly touted health care overhaul disintegrated in the House due to GOP divisions. Six in 10 say the program's services are their only or most frequent source of health care.

In the most glaring example, the state of Missouri recently voted to reject all federal family planning assistance, instead opting to provide the lost funds with their state budget.

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