Bill Targeting Planned Parenthood Clears Senate

In Healthcare, WOMEN'S ISSUES -- articles only On
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WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans, aided by Vice President Mike Pence and an ailing Georgia colleague who gingerly made his way to the Capitol with the aid of a wheelchair and a walker, voted Thursday to undo an Obama administration rule preventing states from blocking funding for family planning clinics that also provide abortions.“Today, Congress is sending a resolution to President Trump ensuring that states are not forced to fund America’s abortion giant, Planned Parenthood, with Title X tax dollars,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, a prominent anti-abortion group.

Taking money away from Planned Parenthood, the bill’s target, has been a longstanding goal of congressional Republicans, but earlier efforts were blocked by Democrats and President Barack Obama. Even with Republicans in full control of Washington, however, the process was not easy.

The measure fell under a somewhat obscure and, until recently, rarely used Congressional Review Act that allows a new Congress to undo actions of the old Congress during the first few months of the year.

It returns to the states the power to exclude health care centers that perform abortions from receiving Title X money set aside for family planning and related preventive health services for women. Title X grants cover contraception, as well as cancer and other disease screenings and treatments, but they cannot, under current federal law, be used to pay for abortion services.

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