Why Defunding Planned Parenthood Is a Disaster for Health Care


In top-line reproductive rights news this week, President Donald Trump signed off on legislation that permits states to deny abortion providers Title X funds.

The bill, signed without the usual pomp and circumstance of media cameras, reverses an Obama-era rule barring states from pulling money from clinics that perform abortions but also provide other family planning and medical services, CNN reported.

Under the old law, federal funds couldn't be used for abortion, per se, but were permitted for providers of comprehensive health care - including contraception and pregnancy care - whether or not they also provided abortions.

"We don't want to commit taxpayer dollars to effectively funding something that they think is morally unconscionable", House Speaker Paul Ryan said on CNN in January.

Some 67,293 people in MA rely on the program each year for birth control, cancer screenings, STI testing and treatment, and other preventive care, according to Planned Parenthood.

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Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said the administration should build on the progress that's been made "instead of enacting policies that take us backward".

Less than two hours later, Trump signed another measure to cut a Labor Department regulation that meant to expand retirement savings accounts. However, government money Planned Parenthood receives helps the abortion-centered organization overall. But the bill to unravel this added protection cleared Congress in March after Vice President Mike Pence decided a tie vote in the Senate. "We expect to see Congress continue its efforts to redirect additional taxpayer funding away from Planned Parenthood through pro-life health care reform after the spring recess".

NPR's Scott Horsley reports that - with exceptions for cases of rape, incest or life-threatening situations - federal law already prohibits the use of federal tax money to pay for abortions.

He and Republicans are seeking to regain their legislative footing after suffering a resounding defeat last month in trying to repeal Obama's health care law known as the Affordable Care Act, or, more popularly, as Obamacare. Basically, low-income women in red states are about to lose access to one more health provider.