Are Louisiana State Employees Forced to Fund the Planned Parenthood Abortion Biz?

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Apr 12, 2017   |   5:51PM   |   Baton Rouge, LA

Two Louisiana lawmakers are urging the state attorney general to investigate whether state employees are being forced to fund the abortion industry through their retirement plans.

The Times-Picayune reports state Sen. John Milkovich, a Democrat, and Rep. Valarie Hodges, a Republican, sent a letter to Alabama Attorney General Jeff Landry on March 20 asking him to investigate. They want Landry to find out if the plans force employees to fund companies that give to abortion groups and if this funding breaks state laws.

The two lawmakers said they discovered that some of the mutual fund portfolios in the retirement plan include companies that give to Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion group; and they want to know if employees have a choice about giving to those companies.

Here’s more from the report:

State employees have the option to steer a portion of their salaries to the retirement plan that defers taxes until the money is withdrawn. According to the lawmakers’ letter, the first $2,500 for each employee is invested in a series of mutual funds in a fashion comparable to a 401(k).

Milkovich and Hodges claim those funds include companies that give money to Planned Parenthood.

So far, however, the lawmakers have not released the list of companies, according to the report.

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A spokeswoman for the attorney general said she would look into the matter.

Many states have been working to cut off funding to the abortion chain after undercover videos exposed Planned Parenthood’s potentially illegal sales of aborted babies’ body parts. Milkovich and Hodges mentioned the undercover investigation in their letter, according to the local news.

Arizona lawmakers responded by dropping the abortion group from the state employee charitable giving program.

More recently, Texas House lawmakers passed a proposed budget that cuts off various streams of funding to Planned Parenthood.

However, many states have been blocked from further defunding action by a rule issued under President Barack Obama that basically forces states to fund abortion groups through Medicaid.