The Road to Defunding Planned Parenthood

Congress is expected to vote on an appropriations measure later this week which will fund the government through September 2017. Media and others are reporting that the Republicans have included Planned Parenthood funding in the bill.

Here are the facts:

  • The new omnibus does not contain any earmark, line-item, or set aside for Planned Parenthood.
  • The spending bill provides continued funding for existing federal programs, including programs like Title X of the Public Health Service Act, in which Planned Parenthood affiliates are eligible to participate because there is no law that would exclude them. In order to exclude Planned Parenthood, Congress would need to pass a new law.

Making Planned Parenthood ineligible to receive funds under Medicaid or other programs does not currently have the support of 60 U.S. Senators to overcome the filibuster – the vote threshold the omnibus spending bill must reach.

There is an alternate legislative process, known as “reconciliation,” that may provide a route by which the Senate could cut off the great bulk of funds to abortion providers, by a simple majority vote.

National Right to Life fully supports the pending reconciliation bill H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act, which not only strips Planned Parenthood of 89% of their funding, but makes dramatic prolife changes to the healthcare system and only requires 50 votes to pass.

You can see our letter on H.R. 1628 here.

H.R. 1628 would block, for one year, most federal payments to affiliates of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA). It would close the largest pipeline for federal funding of Planned Parenthood, Medicaid, and apply as well to the CHIP and the Title V and Title XX block grant programs, thus covering roughly 89% of all federal funds to Planned Parenthood. The amounts denied to Planned Parenthood, in effect, are reallocated to community health centers.

Over one-third of all abortions in the U.S. are performed at PPFA-affiliated facilities. While there is not yet federal law to make Planned Parenthood ineligible for Title X money, it is noteworthy that the President recently signed into law H.J. Res 43 which permits states to redirecting Title X funds away from unsuitable organizations like Planned Parenthood

National Right to Life wants elected officials to take away as much as possible of what Planned Parenthood gets from tax-funded programs. We believe that “reconciliation” is the path to accomplish this goal.