Tags: family planning | abortion | contraception | John Esp | Wendy Warburton

Montana GOP Slashes Family-Planning Funds

Thursday, 17 Mar 2011 11:32 AM

Making personal responsibility more of a priority in the state, Montana Republican lawmakers have cut nearly all the federal and state money going to family planning, the Billings Gazette reported Thursday.

Along the way, the state’s saving $4.7 million in federal family-planning funds over the next two years. The GOP lawmakers’ move also saves another $1 million in state funding for contraception. In addition, lawmakers rejected a proposal to spend another $1.2 in state and federal money to make contraception available to low-income Montanans.

Spending money on family-planning funds from the state budget is not a good use of taxpayer money — and that now is not the time to spend tax dollars wastefully, Republican lawmakers say.

"I think (family planning) is a matter of personal responsibility," said Rep. John Esp, a Big Timber Republican, who proposed removing the state funds. "There are so many other priorities to take care of."

Some voting to remove the funds because some of the money goes to Planned Parenthood of Montana, which performs abortions.

"There are a lot of people out there who don't like their tax dollars going to Planned Parenthood," says Rep. Wendy Warburton, a Republican from Havre. "When we're having to make really tough cuts in other areas, I think they would resent their tax dollars going to Planned Parenthood."

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