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Indiana Senate Votes to End Tax Funding of Planned Parenthood

by Steven Ertelt | Indianapolis, IN | LifeNews.com | 4/18/11 5:05 PM

State

The Indiana state Senate today voted to end taxpayer funding of the Planned Parenthood abortion business less than a week after Democrats in the U.S. Senate voted down a House Republican measure yanking federal funding.

State senators voted to add a measure that was not brought up earlier in the year to a larger pro-life bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy because unborn children are capable of feeling massive pain at that point in pregnancy. The state Senate voted 36 to 13 to add the de-funding provision to HB 1210, which has the strong support of pro-life groups like Indiana Right to Life and the Indiana Family Institute.

Sen. Scott Schneider, a Republican, authored the amendment to the bill, according to an Indianapolis Star news report, and he said plenty of other legitimate medical centers offer the kinds of services Planned Parenthood does without also functioning as an abortion business.

“If (Planned Parenthood) wants to receive taxpayer money,” he said, “They can simply stop practicing abortion.”

The amendment is similar to a bill Republican Rep. Matt Ubelhor offered earlier in the legislative session that failed on a procedural hurdle when state Democrats walked out of the legislature in a manner similar to Democrats in Wisconsin who received national attention.

Sen. Vi Simpson, a Democrat who has led pro-abortion forces in the state Senate for decades, led opposition to the de-funding amendment during the vote today and she claimed cutting off state taxpayer funding would somehow drive up unintended pregnancies.

“How many unwanted pregnancies do you think there would be if low income women could not access birth control from Planned Parenthood?”

Sen. Karen Tallian, a Democrat, also spoke against the amendment and Democrats in the chamber voted against the pro-life amendment along with Sens. Vaneta Becker and Ron Alting.

Senators also added an amendment to the bill that would prevent any of the taxpayer funds expended under the state health insurance exchanges created under Obamacare from paying for abortions. The national Obamacare bill contained loopholes allowing abortion funding but also allowed states to opt out of the funding, as several have done.

The bill itself now goes to a full vote in the Senate and state House members will have to decide if they want to accept the de-funding amendments before sending the bill to Governor Mitch Daniels.

ACTION: Contact your legislators at http://www.in.gov/legislative/index.htm and urge them to support de-funding Planned Parenthood.