U.S. House renews attack on Planned Parenthood funding
WASHINGTON, DC, October 3, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - House Republicans are making another attempt to strip taxpayer funding from Planned Parenthood, writing the organization out of a draft budget that funds the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education.
Rep. Denny Rehberg of Montana, chairman of the House Labor, Health, and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee, proposed an appropriations act last week that would prevent the use of any funds for those Departments from being channeled to any Planned Parenthood affiliate or clinic that performs abortions.
To receive funds, an affiliate or clinic would have to certify that it neither performs abortions nor provides funds to any organization that does. The act includes exceptions for abortions performed due to rape, incest, or threat to the mother’s life.
The provision drew immediate criticism from Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards, who claimed in a statement released last week that it would “result in millions of women across the country losing access to basic primary and preventive health care.”
Rehberg defended his budget proposal in a statement published on his website last Thursday.
“By spending tax dollars strategically, we can balance critical funding for programs that actually help people and families with the real need to rein in government over-spending,” he wrote.
His statement directly addressed another controversial provision of the plan: the denial of funds for implementation of the new healthcare law, which, Rehburg notes, “has been found unconstitutional in multiple courts.”
He added that his budget would save taxpayers $27.5 billion compared with the President’s 2012 budget.
The proposal has been posted online to solicit public comment.
Political observers are predicting that Republicans championing the plan are headed for another showdown with Senate Democrats, who successfully blocked a House attempt to defund Planned Parenthood earlier this year.
Rehberg’s legislation is not the only attack on Planned Parenthood that came from Capital Hill last week. As LifeSiteNews reported previously, another House Committee has launched an investigation into the abortion provider to investigate allegations of criminal behavior and financial misconduct.