Virginia Pro-Life Group Fights Planned Parenthood Funding

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 21, 2012   |   10:34PM   |   Washington, DC

The Family Foundation is urging pro-life advocates in the state of Virginia to contact legislative officials to urge the state to revoke taxpayer funding for the Planned Parenthood abortion business via the state budget.

Virginia could follow several other states that have reduced or eliminated funding for the abortion giant via state family planning programs funded with a combination of state and federal dollars. The de-funding decisions have prompted a backlash from the Obama administration which has threatened to cut women’s health care programs in states such as Texas and India, both of which have filed lawsuits seeking to have their decisions upheld in court.

Victoria Cobb, the president of the Family Foundation, told pro-life advocates to contact key members of the state legislature and top executive officials in the administration of pro-life Gov. Bob McDonnell “to ask them to oppose taxpayer dollars going to Planned Parenthood in the Virginia budget.”

She hopes they will “urge them to not add budget language that would give taxpayer money to Planned Parenthood through mandating unnecessary ultrasound funding.

The concern comes on the heels of McDonnell signing a bill pro-life groups pressed for that allows women considering an abortion the chance to see an ultrasound of their unborn child. While studies show abortion facilities routinely perform ultrasounds prior to the abortion, they do not always allow women a chance to see the results.
The Senate Democratic Caucus sent a letter to the Governor last week demanding that Planned Parenthood funding be included in the state budget.

As Cobb explained, “Continuing to blow the ultrasound debate out of proportion, Senate Democrats have asked Governor McDonnell to pledge his support to “mandating insurance coverage of the ultrasounds and/or having the Commonwealth pay for the ultrasounds” through the state budget.  Since Planned Parenthood is the largest provider of abortions in Virginia and many women will get their ultrasound there, some of this funding would go into the coffers of Planned Parenthood.”

“State Senate Democrats don’t care about the budget,” Cobb said. “They don’t care that without a budget, police officers and teachers won’t get paid.  They don’t care that their refusal to vote for a budget leaves the Commonwealth in financial crisis.  What state Senate Democrats care about is their progressive social agenda.”
Since ultrasounds are essentially required before most abortions and considered a standard of medical care, Cobb says the funding request is ironic.

“The irony of all this is that Planned Parenthood already requires that at least one ultrasound be performed prior to an abortion; therefore, it seems that this proposed state funding would doubly fund what is already being done,” she said.

Cobb also points out that the Virginian-Pilot reported, “an official with the Virginia Association of Health Plans has noted that ultrasounds are typically processed as a covered service if a physician orders the procedure.”

She concludes:  “And as if that’s not enough, the ultrasound legislation also provides women considering abortion a statewide list of ultrasound providers and notates which providers offer the service for free.  A woman does not have to go to an abortion provider to get her ultrasound. The Senate Democratic Caucus’ budget demands are simply a ruse to attack Pregnancy Resource Centers who provide this service free of charge and to give taxpayer dollars to Planned Parenthood.”

It is simply appalling that the state budget hinges on something as ridiculous as funding for Planned Parenthood,” she said. Of 8 states that mandate an ultrasound prior to an abortion, all 8 have not funded ultrasounds with taxpayer dollars through their budgets.  Neither should Virginia.  Key legislative and executive branch players need to hear from you today to know how important it is they not cave under the overwhelming pressure.”