An Idaho bill that passed a state House committee Thursday aims to defund Planned Parenthood and other abortion groups of state taxpayer dollars.
Sponsored by state Rep. Bruce Skaug, R-Nampa, House Bill 220 would prohibit taxpayer funding to any group that aborts unborn babies, helps women get abortions or counsels women for abortions. It also would ban abortion-related activities in health clinics in public schools. Exceptions would be allowed for hospital funding and abortions when the mother’s life is at risk.
The pro-life bill passed the state House Affairs Committee in a 10-4 vote Thursday, the AP reports. Several Democrats and at least one Republican opposed the bill.
“Those who want to keep the funds flowing for abortion, how will you answer to those children that we don’t save?” Skaug asked those who objected to the legislation.
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One Republican, state Rep. Heather Scott, R-Blanchard, said she is pro-life, but she could not support the bill with the exceptions that it allows, according to the report.
Prior to the vote, a Planned Parenthood Idaho spokesperson complained that the bill would reduce access to cancer screenings, contraception and other services. Nationally, last year, the abortion chain received more than $616 million in taxpayer funding.
Planned Parenthood primarily does abortions. Its abortion numbers have skyrocketed in recent years, while its patient numbers and actual health services, such as the ones mentioned to lawmakers Thursday, have been declining. Its most recent annual report shows it aborted more than 354,000 babies last year, an increase of more than 9,000 compared to the year before. That number represents about 40 percent of all abortions in the U.S.
In a recent interview with the Washington Post, Planned Parenthood CEO Alexis McGill Johnson described the killing of unborn babies in abortions as “basic health care” – and emphasized that it’s nothing people should be ashamed of.
A number of states have tried to defund the abortion chain in recent years. Texas came close to that goal earlier this month, but a judge blocked the state from kicking Planned Parenthood out of its Medicaid program.
Despite its leaders’ claims, Planned Parenthood does not provide much basic health care. Its “core mission” is aborting unborn babies. And its own annual reports show that the few actual health services that it does provide, such as birth control, cancer screenings and sterilizations, have been dropping steadily in recent years.
Meanwhile, community health centers outnumber Planned Parenthood facilities by 20 to one and provide comprehensive health care, including dozens of vital services that the abortion chain does not.
While Medicaid funds do not pay for abortions directly (Planned Parenthood is lobbying lawmakers to change that), they do indirectly fund Planned Parenthood’s abortion business.