Michigan lawmakers approved a budget Tuesday that ensures no taxpayer funding will go to the abortion giant Planned Parenthood.
The budget passed the state Senate in a strong 33-2 vote Tuesday, and now moves to Gov. Rick Snyder’s desk for approval, The Detroit News reports.
A 2002 Michigan law already requires family planning funds to be prioritized to non-abortion groups, but the state law is not being enforced, according to Right to Life of Michigan.
“For 16 years the state law has been ignored,” said Barbara Listing, president of the pro-life organization. “We’re happy the legislature is taking this opportunity to make sure our law is followed.”
This year, Planned Parenthood received about $4.4 million in Title X family planning funds, according to the local news. However, the new budget language would redirect the funds to family planning groups that do not perform abortions.
Right to Life of Michigan identified seven counties where the abortion chain receives taxpayer funds even though there are other non-abortion health care providers that could serve low-income families instead.
“There’s no reason a county health department should be losing out in favor of Planned Parenthood, which performs more than 320,000 abortions annually across the country. It’s time for our state government to follow the state law and make sure our tax dollars are not helping Planned Parenthood expand abortion,” Listing said.
However, the Republican governor expressed doubt about the constitutionality of the defunding language.
“There was a provision on the budget as passed that would cease funding for Planned Parenthood because they provide abortion services and we’re concerned that that part of the budget is not enforceable because it violates the constitution at the state level,” Press Secretary Anna Heaton told WLNS 6 News.
“There is a law already that governs in Michigan how MDHHS (Michigan Department of Health & Human Services) can spend taxpayer money with health service providers and so in order for the legislature to change that, they need to go in and open up that section of the law,” Heaton continued.
Here’s more from the local news:
Snyder cannot line-item veto boilerplate budget language. But Senate Democrats who voted for the general government spending bill appeared confident the governor will declare the Planned Parenthood provision unenforceable, an approach he has frequently employed in past years. …
The controversial Planned Parenthood language would prohibit the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services from contracting for non-abortion family planning and reproductive services with an entity that also performs abortions, unless there are no alternative providers in the same county.
“This is a philosophical issue among members of the Legislature who believe in life and (are) pro-life,” said Senate Appropriations Chairman Dave Hildenbrand, R-Lowell. “This is an opportunity to invest in organizations that will do more in terms of advancing the pro-life cause, protecting the unborn.”
Listing said the governor has been given “bad information” because the budget language simply ensures the state is following the law.
Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion business in America, aborting approximately 320,000 unborn babies every year. Its most recent annual report showed a record income of $1.46 billion, with about half a billion dollars coming from taxpayers.
In December, the U.S. Department of Justice said it is investigating whether the abortion chain illegally sold aborted baby body parts.
Action: Contact Gov. Rick Snyder here.