The Idaho House passed a bill Tuesday to save babies’ lives by defunding Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion group, of 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 bill passed the House in a 55-14 vote, with three Republicans and 11 Democrats voting against it, Spokane Public Radio reports. It now moves to the state Senate.
Skaug defended his bill after state Rep. Heather Scott, R-Blanchard, argued that it does not go far enough to cut off taxpayer funding to abortion groups, according to the report.
He acknowledged that the bill would not block Planned Parenthood’s main source of taxpayer funding, Medicaid, but he said it is not in the state’s power to do that. He said Idaho lawmakers cannot stop all funding to private hospitals either just because some abort unborn babies, the report continues.
However, Skaug said his bill will stop taxpayer funding through the Title X program at a critical time.
“We anticipate, with the new presidential administration, that title funds will start flowing to abortion-friendly counseling centers, family planning-type clinics, and this would prevent that,” Skaug said.
Follow LifeNews.com on Instagram for pro-life pictures and videos.
“It’s going to save some children from abortion. I have no doubt about that. If I could save all the children from abortion with a bill, I would do it. But the political and legal realities will not allow us to have a bill to pass and be successful for that,” he continued.
Idaho Press reports Planned Parenthood spokesperson Mistie Tolman urged lawmakers to reject the bill last month at a committee hearing. She told them that “patients are already struggling to access care.”
The Family Policy Alliance and Idaho Chooses Life support the bill.
Despite Planned Parenthood leaders’ claims, it 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.
Its most recent annual report showed a record number of abortions, more than 354,000, representing about 41 percent of all unborn babies who were aborted in the U.S. that year. Planned Parenthood also received $618.1 million in taxpayer funding.
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.
A number of states have tried to defund the abortion chain in recent years. Texas came close to that goal in February, but a judge blocked the state from kicking Planned Parenthood out of its Medicaid program.