The Virginia House of Delegates voted Tuesday to defund Planned Parenthood, the nation’s biggest abortion business.
On a 60-33 party-line vote with Republicans voting to defund and Democrats opposing, the House approved HB 2264, which would cut off federal Title X funding for Planned Parenthood and any other company that does abortions. Planned Parenthood objected to the vote but only a dozen protesters showed up at the state capital to say they opposed it.
The bill states that the Virginia Department of Health “shall not enter into a contract with, or make a grant to, any entity that performs abortions that are not federally qualified abortions or maintains or operates a facility where non-federally qualified abortions are performed.”
The Family Foundation of Virginia, which opposes abortion rights, applauded passage of the bill. Josh Hetzler, who serves on the foundation’s legislative council, noted that nationwide, Planned Parenthood performed almost 324,000 abortions in 2014.
“Unprecedented efforts are being made to strip Planned Parenthood and the entire abortion industry of taxpayer funding,” Hetzler said. “Conservatives in Congress and state legislatures are now zeroing in on the abortion giant.”
Del. Ben Cline, R-Amherst, sponsored the legislation to defund Planned Parenthood.
Cline said his bill would direct the Title X money Virginia receives to more than 140 federally qualified and rural health clinics in Virginia. The legislation “ensures that hospitals, federally qualified health clinics and rural health clinics are funded prior to abortion centers,” he said.
Cline introduced an identical bill in the 2016 legislative session. It passed both the House and the Senate but was vetoed by Gov. Terry McAuliffe. An attempt to override the veto in the House fell one vote short.
Planned Parenthood currently receives about half a billion dollars of taxpayer funding every year, but the new Congress is working to defund the abortion group. Legislators plan to redirect the tax dollars to federally-qualified community health clinics that offer more comprehensive care but don’t perform abortions.
Planned Parenthood has been exposed in recent videos as not providing prenatal care and only providing ultrasounds in preparation for abortions.