Defunding Planned Parenthood

By: Emily Guiles

On average Planned Parenthood assists 2.7 million people per year. A majority of their patients depend on programs like theirs that accept Medicaid for their health care. Currently there is a nationwide shortage of facilities that accept Medicaid participants in the health care field.

Planned Parenthood has come under fire recently for donating and selling fetal tissue after abortions to be used in research for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other diseases.

The donation or sale of fetal tissue has been illegal since 1993, however it has since been legalized. Despite its legality Planned Parenthood was still getting criticism regarding their practice by the Republican party.

In fact the Republican party recently attempted to pass a new bill that would strip Planned Parenthood of its federal funding and funnel those funds into Community Health Centers. The Democratic party in Congress blocked the bill with a vote of 53-46.

Republicans were concerned about Planned Parenthood and its practices, and said the new bill would help women’s health in the long run by giving Community Health Centers, that do not provide abortions, more funding.

Republican Whip John Cornyn said that he has every confidence that the Community Health Centers could absorb the health care needs of women in the United States.

The issue regarding defunding Planned Parenthood has been escalating since 2011, when Speaker of the House, John Boehner (R- Ohio) threatened to shut down the federal government over the issue. And since the bill failed to pass in this session some of the Republican party are continuing to insist on shutting down the government over the issue.

This is not the first time that the funding of Planned Parenthood has been attacked. When current Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was elected his first state budget for 2011- ’13 was a proposal that wanted to eliminate 1.9 million dollars per year of instate grants for family planning such as contraception services etc. Approximately 1 million dollars of this funding was going to nine of the Planned Parenthood groups in Wisconsin.

The Legislative Fiscal Bureau denied Walker’s proposal and said the potential effects were unclear. However the eliminated amount was reduced to 1.7 million dollars and then went through, and Planned Parenthood lost their 1 million dollars of funding. And state law was also altered so that any agency that provides abortion services could not receive any money.

Over the next three years Planned Parenthood had to close five out of the nine clinics that were receiving funding. The state has continued to fund another program that pays for mammograms, pap smears and other screenings.