Pence keeps Planned Parenthood defunding debate alive in U.S. Senate

Pence keeps Planned Parenthood defunding debate alive in U.S. Senate

By Tom Strode
Baptist Press

WASHINGTON (BP) — Planned Parenthood again finds itself in a battle to protect its government funding and tarnished reputation.

The U.S. Senate is expected to vote today (March 30) on a measure that would free states to bar funds for Planned Parenthood. The measure barely reached the Senate floor earlier in the day. Vice President Mike Pence broke a 50–50 tie in favor of a motion for the legislation to proceed.

Members of the House of Representatives, meanwhile, continue to consider what approach to take to slash federal money for the country’s No. 1 abortion provider.

If approved, the proposal would rescind an Obama administration rule issued in December that effectively restricts states from prohibiting funds for Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.

The House voted 230–188 for the proposal, House Joint Resolution 43, in February.

In recent years, at least 12 states have cut money for Planned Parenthood. Courts have blocked those actions in some cases, thereby enabling the organization to continue to receive government funds.

Planned Parenthood affiliates performed 323,999 abortions during 2013–14, the most recent year for which statistics are available. PPFA (Planned Parenthood Federation of America) and its affiliates received $553.7 million in government grants and reimbursements, according to its latest annual financial report (2014–2015).

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