US Congress rolls back family planning funding protections

Miranda GreerApr 03, 2017

Senate Republicans needed Vice President Mike Pence to cast the tie-breaking vote on a bill that will allow states to withhold federal funds from Planned Parenthood. Of those five Republican senators, Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) voted with the Democrats to uphold the rule, leaving a tie.

However, Planned Parenthood and other clinics already can not receive federal money for abortions. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa). They, along with other Republicans, argued that family planning funding and policy should be handled by the states. Every single Democrat voted against the bill, and every Republican, with the exception of two women, voted for it. FYI, there are now only 21 women in the U.S. Senate.

Women's marches across the country have protested cuts to reproductive health care services. In an unusual move, Vice President Mike Pence came in to cast the tie-breaking vote.

The Republicans claim the organization uses taxpayer money to provide abortions, which is just not true, considering most patients pay for such services out of their own pockets unless their health insurance covers it.

Planned Parenthood slammed the bill, saying it could potentially encourage states to discriminate against family planning healthcare providers that provide abortions.

Divisions over Planned Parenthood could also be a major sticking point in upcoming negotiations to fund the government, which is set to run out of money at the end of April. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) tweeted as the procedural vote happened Thursday morning.

"I want Senate Republicans who are about to take this vote, and Vice President Pence, to be very clear on what they are about to do", Washington Democrat Sen. But the GOP is moving forward with efforts to defund the provider, and President Donald Trump is expected to sign the Title X resolution into law. And guess who helped pass that bill?

The measure, which is a priority for groups that oppose abortion, would give a thumbs-up to Tennessee and other conservative states to resume policies blocking Planned Parenthood clinics from getting federal funding through the Title X family planning program.

The Title X grant of the Public Health Service Act is the only federal program focused exclusively on providing family planning.

The House voted on Former President Obama's rule in February, voting 230-188 to reject the rule under the Congressional Review Act, which allows Congress to overturn recently enacted regulations, according to USA Today.

Isakson said he thought he'd be back this week to vote on the big Obamacare repeal bill that ended up not making it out of the House.

"President Trump and our administration, I promise you, are gonna work tirelessly to empower women to be able to climb the ladder of opportunity", he said at the time.

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