House Passes Misguided Amendment To Defund Planned Parenthood

February 18, 2011 12:00 am

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WASHINGTON – As part of the debate on a continuing resolution to fund the government, the House today passed a misguided amendment that would eliminate all federal funding to Planned Parenthood Federation of America. In so doing, members of Congress voted to deny millions of men and women essential reproductive health care services

The amendment, introduced by Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN), targets Planned Parenthood because its clinics perform abortions, though they do so without federal dollars. The Pence amendment raises constitutional questions because it penalizes an organization for using its own funds to provide constitutionally protected access to abortion.
Planned Parenthood’s services include counseling, contraceptives, abortion and preventive health screenings. It is required by federal regulations to demonstrate that any abortion-related activities are separate and distinct from its activities that are funded by federal dollars.

The following can be attributed to Vania Leveille, American Civil Liberties Union Senior Legislative Counsel:

“Rep. Pence’s amendment is yet another example of the current assault on women’s health on Capitol Hill. Defunding Planned Parenthood jeopardizes women’s health, and the burden of this lost funding would fall most heavily on vulnerable populations. Planned Parenthood provides a range of family planning services to women and men who would otherwise be unable to afford them and the government should support rather than take away access to this critical care.

“Rep. Pence’s amendment is deeply misguided and its adoption endangers women’s access to safe, reliable family planning services and reproductive health care. Should this amendment make it to the Senate, we hope cooler heads will prevail.”

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