by Steven Ertelt
June 6, 2007
Nashville, TN (LifeNews.com) — Pro-life advocates in Tennessee are disappointed that the state legislature did not do more to limit the amount of state family planning dollars that go to Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion business. When it met Tuesday to consider the funding, the Senate Finance Committee failed to restrict it.
The appropriation for Planned Parenthood, was included in pro-abortion Governor Phil Bredesen’s proposed budget for non-abortion family planning services.
They’re chagrined that, despite a pro-life majority on the panel, members could not agree on any limits on sending taxpayer dollars to the pro-abortion group.
As a result, the agency will continue to receive more than one million tax dollars under the guise of providing "family planning" services and education. Governor Bredesen’s budget now moves forward with the Planned Parenthood funding intact.
Tennessee Right to Life blamed the non-decision in part on the pro-abortion governor’s Commissioner of Health, Susan Cooper, who told members it would be impossible to provide federal Title X services without contracting with Planned Parenthood.
But leaders at Tennessee Right to Life note that the money is fungible and state taxpayer dollars that go to the abortion business for other parts of its budget frees up money to do abortions.
"Tax subsidies should not be granted to an organization that profits from the killing of unborn children while aggressively working to block enactment of laws meant to safeguard women and unborn children," the group said in a statement to LifeNews.com.
"At the very least government ought not be subsidizing abortion facilities with dollars that help to pay staff, overhead and community outreach efforts," it added.
One failed pro-life amendment would have limited Planned Parenthood’s contract to six months. A second failed amendment would have required the state health department to begin seeking alternative agencies to provide the "family planning" services.
Tennessee Right to Life said it remains committed to defunding Planned Parenthood according to Karen Brukardt, legislative liaison, who said, "we’ll be back next year and every year necessary until we succeed in protecting Tennessee’s taxpayers and Tennessee’s unborn children."
Opposition to the budget bill has also come from conservative activists in the state such as Hobbs who wrote, "pro-life Republicans who vote for Bredesen’s budget with the Planned Parenthood money in it are voting, in effect, to subsidize abortion."
Anyone wanting to contact elected officials can go to the Tennessee legislature web site at https://www.legislature.state.tn.us
Related web sites:
Tennessee Right to Life – https://www.tnrtl.org