The House of Representatives will vote on a bill today that would make it easier for states to defund Planned Parenthood. Five states—Utah, Arkansas, Alabama, New Hampshire, and Louisiana—have already done so in the wake of the grotesque undercover videos released by the Center for Medical Progress over the past couple of months. The states, not surprisingly, have faced the wrath of the Obama Administration, which claims that states don’t possess authority under Medicaid to rescind taxpayer funding. So much for that little thing called the Tenth Amendment.
Here’s what the bill, authored by the staunchly pro-life Rep. Sean Duffy, would do, according to Life News:
H.R. 3495, Women’s Public Health and Safety Act: The bill, authored by pro-life Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) amends the Medicaid law to give states the freedom and discretion to exclude abortion providers from Medicaid. States who have sought to end their Medicaid contracts have been blocked from doing so by the Center for Medicaid and Medicaid Services and the bill would give states more latitude to de-fund.
The National Right to Life has embraced Rep. Duffy’s bill. They explain:
According to a Government Accountability Office report released March 20, 2015, PPFA [Planned Parenthood Federation of America] received $344.5 million in federal funds over three fiscal years (2010-2012), and another $1.2 billion in funding from Medicaid (a combination of state and federal funds), for a three-year total of $1.5 billion from federal programs.
PPFA is also the nation’s largest provider of abortions. Over one-third of all abortions in the U.S. are performed at PPFA-affiliated facilities – indeed, one senior Planned Parenthood official boasted in 2014, “We have 40 percent of the [abortion] market in the whole country.” PPFA now defines abortion as a “core” service, which means that PPFA requires every PPFA affiliate to provide abortions.
Longstanding objections to the massive federal funding of PPFA have been reinforced by recent widely publicized undercover videos, which illuminate involvement by some PPFA affiliates and executives in the harvesting and selling of baby body parts. These highly troubling videos have triggered ongoing investigations by multiple congressional committees and by authorities in many states.
H.R. 3495 would make it clear that federal law does not prevent a state from, at its option, excluding organizations that provide elective abortions from the Medicaid program. We urge you to support this vital legislation. NRLC intends to include the roll call on passage of H.R. 3495 in our scorecard of key pro-life roll calls of the 114th Congress.