Obama Tells Democrats to Drop Planned Parenthood Stimulus Funds After Outrage

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 27, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Obama Tells Democrats to Drop Planned Parenthood Stimulus Funds After Outrage

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
January 27
, 2009

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — After a national pro-life outcry following news that Congressional Democrats placed a bailout for the Planned Parenthood abortion business in the economic stimulus bill, President Barack Obama has urged party leaders to remove it. Obama is expected to tell Congressional Republicans today during a meeting.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs talked about how Obama is worried that keeping the provision in the bill could jeopardize its potential for passage.

"While [Obama] agrees that greater access to family planning is good policy, the president believes that the funding for it does not belong in the economic recovery and reinvestment plan," he said.

Republican leaders, including House Minority Leader John Boehner complained bitterly about the plan sending as much as $200 million to Planned Parenthood.

Boehner said there is no reason for an economic package to contain funds for the nation’s largest abortion business by qualifying more people for family planning funds under Medicaid.

During a Friday House Energy & Commerce Committee hearing, Congressional Demcorats added a provision in the legislation that clears the way for expanded federal funding of contraceptives through Medicaid for those who aren’t even poor.

A Clinton-era program allows states to seek a waiver to offer Medicaid “family planning” services — including people who are not poor enough to qualify for Medicaid. If they seek the waiver, the federal government matches the state funding with $9 for every $1. The panel eliminated the waiver requirement.

Under the new provision, all 50 states will now offer Medicaid “family planning” services (including contraception) with the federal government offering the same $9 to $1 match. Although the money doesn’t fund abortions directly, it goes to Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion business, which would otherwise have to spend its own money on contraception.

Boehner is scheduled to host the president at a lunch today, where Obama is reportedly planning to tell him that he has asked Rep. Henry Waxman, a top pro-abortion Democrat and committee chair, to remove the Planned Parenthood funding provision from the bill.

Obama is reportedly agreeing to strike the provision as a gesture of cooperation with Congressional Republics.

Over the weekend, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi defended the provision and appeared to indicate she thought children were a burden to the economy.

"Well, the family-planning services reduce cost. They reduce cost," she said on ABC.

That drew guffaws from groups throughout the pro-life movement.

Pro-life advocates say the governmental funds free up Planned Parenthood dollars to promote and perform abortions that it would otherwise have to spend on family planning.

House Republican Leader John Boehner told LifeNews.com he is dismayed about the inclusion of the provision.

"Regardless of where anyone stands on taxpayer-funding for contraceptives and the abortion industry, there is no doubt that this once little-known provision in the congressional Democrats’ spending plan has nothing to do with stimulating the economy and creating more American jobs," he said.

"How you can spend hundreds of millions of dollars on contraceptives – how does that stimulate the economy? You can go through a whole host of issues that have nothing to do with growing jobs in America and helping people keep their jobs," he added.

Boehner said that as more people learn about "this revelation about the congressional Democrats’ plans to force taxpayers to subsidize contraception and the abortion industry, the American people" will be upset.

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