State Lawmakers Target Planned Parenthood

Thursday, 26 May 2011 01:13 PM

By Andra Varin

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Social conservatives in Congress failed in their efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, but that mission has moved to the state level. Legislators in several states, including Tennessee, Texas, Kansas, Wisconsin, and North Carolina, have proposed measures that would cut funds to the organization, USA Today reported Thursday.

Planned Parenthood, states, defundIn Indiana, Gov. Mitch Daniels signed a law this month barring any entity that performs abortions, including Planned Parenthood, from contracting with Medicaid to provide health services, the newspaper said. Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union are suing.

Federal law says federal money can’t be used to fund abortions. Planned Parenthood insists that it does not use federal money for abortions and that it provides many other women’s health services. Anti-abortion groups say that, although the money may not fund abortions directly, it still helps agencies that provide them.

An effort in Congress to cut funding for Planned Parenthood brought budget negotiations to a standstill and nearly led to a federal government shutdown before the provision was removed from the table.

Roger Evans, Planned Parenthood’s litigation direction, told USA Today that the state-level groundswell to cut the organization’s funds is unprecedented.

"This is really . . . an effort by the states to punish Planned Parenthood because of what we do with our private funds," he said. "None of this money is supporting abortion services."

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