A Pennsylvania state Senate committee approved a bill Wednesday to defund Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers in the state.
Despite veto threats from pro-abortion Gov. Tom Wolf, the Senate Finance Committee approved the bill in a 7-5 vote, Fox 43 reports.
Sponsored by state Sen. John Eichelberger, Pa. Senate Bill 300 would make public health entities the top priority for taxpayer funding, followed by private hospitals and federally-qualified community health centers, and put abortion groups like Planned Parenthood at the end of the list.
Here’s more from the Public Opinion:
Planned Parenthood, a provider in the publicly funded family planning services for women and families, provides only three of 13 areas of service identified by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services when compared to federally qualified health centers, Eichelberger said.
“They provide no prenatal services in Pennsylvania,” Eichelberger said. “This level of service is unacceptable for our citizens.”
The bill favors funding service providers that the broadest array of services in Pennsylvania.
The change will assure that women and families seeking the services will have better care, Eichelberger said. The comprehensive and direct care also will save on the long-term costs of health care.
Michael Geer, president for the Pennsylvania Family Council, described the bill as a “positive step” for women’s healthcare in the state.
“Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion business in Pennsylvania, with a steadily increasing abortion market share,” Geer said in a statement. “And yet, in the past several years Planned Parenthood has seen a double-digit drop in provision of non-abortion services. Clearly, they do not deserve any priority in receiving taxpayer funding.”
Geer said women can receive much more comprehensive health care at Pennsylvania’s 300-plus community health centers. In comparison, Planned Parenthood’s 25 facilities offer only limited, abortion-focused services, he said.
Gov. Wolf, an abortion advocate who sat down with Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards last week to urge Pennsylvanians to support the abortion chain, said he will veto the legislation.
“What would we do without Planned Parenthood?” Wolf asked. “[Access] is already hard with it. Without it, it would make an already difficult situation even more difficult.”
In an email to supporters, state Planned Parenthood lobbyist Sari Stevens claimed the bill will hurt rural people seeking health care.
However, the abortion chain itself has been closing many of its rural facilities. In the past four years, 11 Planned Parenthood facilities in Pennsylvania closed, many of them in rural areas.
During the same time period, Planned Parenthood’s annual reports show patient numbers decreasing and taxpayer funding and abortion numbers increasing, according to a PA Family Institute analysis.
In local news reports, Planned Parenthood officials themselves said the closings were not the result of defunding legislation. In 2016, spokeswoman Melissa Reed said they decided to close three facilities for budgetary reasons.
National research also indicates Planned Parenthood is not an essential health care provider. A recent survey found that community health centers not only provide more comprehensive health care than Planned Parenthood, excluding abortions, they also outnumber the abortion group’s facilities by more than 20 to one.
Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in Pennsylvania and in the U.S. Nationally, it performs about 320,000 abortions every year.
As LifeNews.com reported, President Donald Trump recently offered to increase Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer funding if it stopped aborting babies and focused on legitimate, non-abortion healthcare. Planned Parenthood refused.