Kentucky state lawmakers introduced a new bill on Thursday establishing a hierarchy for distributing nearly $300,000 of federal family planning funds, and placing Planned Parenthood at the bottom of the totem pole, the Associated Press reported.
Though neither of the Planned Parenthood locations in the Bluegrass state provide abortions, the bill’s sponsor, Kentucky State Sen. Max Wise, stated that Planned Parenthood has a “notorious history as an abortion provider,” WFPL reports. All Planned Parenthood facilities recommend and refer for abortions, even if they do not offer them on site.
Wise said he filed the bill in response to the undercover videos released in 2015 demonstrating the abortion organization’s harvesting, sales and potentially illegal profiting from the body parts of aborted babies.
“I come before you today thankfully more optimistic about the prospects of protecting unborn life than I was last year when the committee heard this similar bill,” Wise told WFPL.
Kentucky Senate Bill 8 would implement a three-tier funding system for the allocation of federal Title X funding, WFPL continues. The first tier receiving funding would include local community health departments and federally qualified health centers. Second tier funding would be allocated to private organizations otherwise providing comprehensive health services. If any remaining funding existed, only then would third tier funding would be directed to Planned Parenthood.
However, the bill will not be voted on until federal lawmakers reverses a mandate established by former President Barack Obama requiring all states to fund the abortion group, the Associated Press stated. The bill is supported by conservatives in the Kentucky Senate Veterans and Military Affairs and Public Protection Committee. LifeNews reported the U.S. House passed a measure to strike down the pro-abortion mandate on Thursday; it now moves to the U.S. Senate for a vote.
“To be sure to protect the commonwealth from a needless lawsuit, I have included language stating that the bill’s tier system doesn’t become effective until these federal regulations are repealed,” Wise told the Associated Press.
WFPL continues that Planned Parenthood of Kentucky and Indiana elected to withdraw from receiving funding in 2015, but Wise’s proposed legislation would permanently prohibit the abortion group from ever receiving taxpayer funding in Kentucky in the future. Texas, Ohio and Kansas have similar legislation, the report states.
“There is currently nothing in law to prohibit them from, in the future, getting access to [the federal funding,” Wise told the Lexington Herald-Leader.
Tamarra Wieder, Director of External Affairs for Planned Parenthood of Kentucky and Indiana, told the Courier-Mail that her affiliate serves more than 7,000 patients a year and most are low-income women of child-bearing age.
“…Through the combination of our health and education services, Planned Parenthood does more than anyone else to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and the number of abortions,” Weider said.
Some in the public also disagree with Kentucky’s proposed legislation.
“This isn’t about getting a routine examination,” Sage Martin of Louisville, Kentucky told the Associated Press report. “It’s about having a safe place that makes patients feel valued, respected and heard. We all deserve to find a light that makes our journey possible. And defunding Planned Parenthood takes that light away from people like me.”
However, the organization is responsible for at least 6,803,782 abortions since 1973, not including unreported data and unaffiliated clinics, CNS News states. In 2014, 323,999 innocent lives were lost to abortion at the hands of Planned Parenthood, according to its own annual report.
Former employees said Planned Parenthood sets abortion quotas and rewards its employees with pizza parties and paid time off when they meet them. In 2014, Planned Parenthood admitted to giving an award to a Colorado clinic for “exceeding abortion visits.”
In 2015, the Centers for Medical Progress released undercover videos showing the organization’s possibly illegal harvesting and selling of organs from aborted babies. Criminal proceedings against the organization have been pursued to “bring Planned Parenthood to justice under the law and prevent any more taxpayer subsidies from flowing to Planned Parenthood’s barbaric criminal enterprise” in response to these videos, according to CMP.
“Is it realistic to think that Planned Parenthood, when providing family planning counseling, doesn’t have a vested, financial interest in directing women toward abortion?” Wise asked.
Speaking at the Rally for Life, hosted by the Kentucky Right for Life Association, Senator Wise stated: “We want, in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, to act quick on this and to show that we are a state that does not want tax payer dollars going towards Planned Parenthood in Kentucky. This bill will create a tiering system where those taxpayer dollars will go to our local health departments, the pregnancy crisis centers, the federally qualified health centers those that are not supporting nor performing abortions in Kentucky.”