Planned Parenthood is waging a fight against a new Minnesota bill that would strip it of more than $4 million in taxpayer funding.
The bill, sponsored by state Rep. Kathy Lohmer, R-Stillwater, would redirect the family planning funding to community health clinics that do not do abortions, according to Minnesota Public Radio. The bill does not have a companion in the state Senate.
“There are many mothers out there who are truly in need, and my legislation seeks to help more of them by funding the organizations that are committed to the health and future well-being of these women and their children,” Lohmer said in a written statement.
On Tuesday, prior to a committee hearing on the bill, Planned Parenthood held a news conference, according to the report. Sarah Stoesz, president of the Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota abortion affiliate, claimed the bill would jeopardize women’s access to health care by taking away more than $4 million in taxpayer funding from Planned Parenthood.
Stoesz called the bill “one of the most aggressive attacks in recent memory” and claimed it would limit access to 45,000 people who get healthcare at Planned Parenthood, according to the Star Tribune. She said the taxpayer funds are not used for abortions.
Pro-abortion Gov. Mark Dayton promised to veto the legislation if it reached his desk, the report states. Last summer, Dayton also refused to investigate Planned Parenthood after a series of undercover videos revealed some of its top officials discussing the sale of aborted babies’ body parts.
According to the Minnesota Republican Caucus, Planned Parenthood operates 18 facilities in Minnesota, including two that perform abortions.
Despite what Planned Parenthood claims, some of its former employees say it does not separate the taxpayer funds from its abortion practices. Former Planned Parenthood director Sue Thayer filed a lawsuit, Thayer v. Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, that alleges the abortion business submitted “repeated false, fraudulent, and/or ineligible claims for reimbursements” to Medicaid.
Last week, Nebraska state auditors also said they found evidence that Planned Parenthood illegally used taxpayer dollars for abortions.
Pro-lifers also have debunked Planned Parenthood’s claims that these defunding bills would reduce women’s access to health care. In 2015, the Charlotte Lozier Institute, the education arm of the Susan B. Anthony List, and Alliance Defending Freedom released a map showing the thousands of health care clinics in the United States that offer legitimate health care to women.
The map shows 13,540 U.S. community health clinics that provide comprehensive health care to women and families, compared to 665 Planned Parenthood locations. In Minnesota, there are 173 community health centers, compared to Planned Parenthood’s 18 locations, according to the report.