Health officials: Planned Parenthood cuts will hurt

Tom Benton

By Tom Benton

Staff Writer

Just
The Facts

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ST. ALBANS — The fate of Planned Parenthood’s federal funding is still uncertain as Congress prepares for another attempted health care overhaul.

Franklin County health care officials warn that severing those funding sources could have consequences even beyond the personal cost to the organization’s patients.

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan withdrew Congress’ health care proposal, a potential replacement for the Affordable Care Act, immediately prior to the bill’s House vote on March 24. House Reps. had already publicly declared enough nay votes to sink the bill, with dozens more reportedly leaning that way as well.

That bill would have prohibited states from directly spending federal funding on its definition of “prohibited entities”: any “essential community provider… primarily engaged in family planning services, reproductive health and related medical care” or “provides for abortions” in cases that are not life-threatening or incest- or rape-related.

Planned Parenthood meets that definition, though using federal funding for abortions beyond the situations described above is already illegal, and abortions constitute a measly 3 percent of the organization’s annual operations.

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