Montana Lawmakers Oppose State Budget Over Planned Parenthood Funds

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 16, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Montana Lawmakers Oppose State Budget Over Planned Parenthood Funds Email this article
Printer friendly page

by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 16
, 2007

Helena, MT ( — Two pro-life lawmakers in Montana say they oppose the state budget because it allows funding for Planned Parenthood. They say that even though the money won’t be used directly for abortions that Montana taxpayers shouldn’t be required to fund an abortion business.

Rep. John Sinrud, a Republican from Bozeman, is one of the state legislators who says that the funds are "abortion money" because Planned Parenthood is the biggest abortion business in the state.

"There’s no way, if one child gets killed by this bill by Planned Parenthood, that I’m going to vote for it," Sinrud told the Billings Gazette.

But Stacey Anderson, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood of Montana, countered that just two of the four Planned Parenthood centers — the ones in Helena and Missoula — do abortions.

She said the state family planning funds are used to counsel women about birth control and that those services are done in separate buildings, but admitted that PP would give women information about abortion if they request it.

"It cannot be used for abortion," Anderson said. "The requirements are that we give client-centered counseling. If they ask about abortion, we provide them that information."

Pro-life advocates don’t buy the argument and say the money is fungible — that Planned Parenthood would have less money to run its abortion business without the family planning dollars to assist its birth control efforts.

The state budget has $1 million in family planning dollars that go to Planned Parenthood and state-run health clinics.

Sinrud and Rep. Roger Koopman, also of Bozeman, voted against the budget bill Tuesday, although the Democrat-controlled House approved it.

Koopman told the Gazette money spent on family planning "will result in abortions."

"The counseling involved will lead to mothers killing their babies," he said. "Vote for the freedom of those little ones who have all their freedom denied when they are killed in the womb."

"I’m going to call it ‘abortion money,’ " Sinrud added. "We don’t know what it’s going to go for, because they don’t have to report it."