Abortion Advocates Upset Planned Parenthood Bailout Dropped From Stimulus Bill

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 29, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Abortion Advocates Upset Planned Parenthood Bailout Dropped From Stimulus Bill

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
January 29
, 2009

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Leading abortion advocates are upset that a multimillion dollar bailout for Planned Parenthood was dropped from the House stimulus bill before passage. The bailout would have provided the Planned Parenthood abortion business with as much as $200 million more in family planning funds.

While the money would not pay for abortions directly, a provision the House Energy & Commerce Committee added would have cleared 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, allowing the additional funding.

Pro-life advocates complained about the provision — not wanting to see the nation’s largest abortion business, which does about 25 percent of all abortions nationwide, receiving a huge taxpayer-funded bailout.

Responding to the concerns and not wanting to jeopardize the vote on the bill, President Barack Obama instructed House Democrats to remove the provision to obtain some Republican support.

Now, abortion advocates feel betrayed by the move.

Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards sent her group’s supporters an "urgent" email that LifeNews.com obtained.

"I’m stunned. We’ve just confirmed news reports that provisions to expand access to affordable family planning will be stripped from the economic stimulus bill," she wrote. "Removing this provision is a betrayal of millions of low-income women."

Richards goes as far as asking her supporters to call the White House and tell President Obama they are uspet with his decision to remove the provision from the bill.

Richards claims pro-life advocates deceived the president by "spreading false information about this commonsense bill."

"I was even more shocked to read today that congressional leaders have taken these false arguments seriously and will remove family planning provisions from the stimulus bill," Richards said about the decision not to send $200 million more to her abortion business.

Kim Gandy, president of the National Organization for Women, is also upset.

However, she told Politico that she believes the provision will be restored in another bill or stand-alone legislation — and Congressional Democrats will likely have the numbers to approve it.

“I think the [Obama administration] should have kept it in there,” Gandy told the news site. “But in their political calculus they felt this was something that would pass Congress rather easily as a stand-alone measure and didn’t think was worth fighting for in the stimulus.”

In the end, abortion advocates have no reason to bail in their support of the president.

Mary Jane Gallagher, president and CEO of the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association, noted how Obama already overturned the Mexico City Policy and how he promised more pro-abortion moves down the road.

"The president had a tough choice, and he told us he was going to make them and we have to stick with him, and I’m sticking with him because I fully expect really quick action on this,” she said.

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