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Monday, August 3, 2015

Time to redirect Planned Parenthood money to more deserving providers

In the wake of the growing "baby parts" scandal, the U.S. Senate is expected to vote today on a measure to defund Planned Parenthood and redirect that taxpayer money to legitimate, deserving women's health care providers.

Planned Parenthood apologists will tell you that this measure will deprive women of care. They're even running advertisements to that effect. (On whose dime, I don't know.) Don't believe them. This is a funding reallocation, not a funding reduction. Since the bill is pretty short and sweet, here it is in its entirety:
A BILL to prohibit Federal funding of Planned Parenthood Federation of America
SECTION 1. FINDINGS
Congress finds as follows:
(1) State and county health departments, community health centers, hospitals, physicians offices, and other entities currently provide, and will continue to provide, health services to women. Such health services include relevant diagnostic laboratory and radiology services, well-child care, prenatal and postpartum care, immunization, family planning services including contraception, sexually transmitted disease testing, cervical and breast cancer screenings, and referrals. 
(2) Many such entities provide services to all persons, regardless of the person’s ability to pay, and provide services in medically underserved areas and to medically underserved populations.
(3) All funds no longer available to Planned Parenthood will continue to be made available to other eligible entities to provide women’s health care services. 
SECTION 2. PROHIBITION. 
(a) IN GENERAL.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no Federal funds may be made available to 16 Planned Parenthood Federation of America, or to any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, successors, or clinics.

(b) RULES OF CONSTRUCTION.—Nothing in this Act shall be construed to—
(1) affect any limitation contained in an appropriations Act relating to abortion; or
(2) reduce overall Federal funding available in support of women’s health.
The primary beneficiaries of the legislation will be Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs). FQHCs already have far more locations than Planned Parenthood and treat far more patients: over 21 million a year, according to the Government Accountability Office. FQHCs provide holistic care on a sliding scale. Not only do they offer contraception, well woman exams, STD testing and treatment, and cancer screenings, in violation of Planned Parenthood's purported monopoly on women's health, FQHCs also offer a wide range of primary health care services for women, men, and children that Planned Parenthood doesn't. And they somehow manage to do all that without killing anyone and dissecting them for parts. Imagine that.

President Obama has vowed to veto the bill. He is far too deep in Planned Parenthood's pocket to see reason. But the legislative vote is worth having, because it gets lawmakers on the record and sets the stage for another vote once someone who respects the right to life is in the White House.

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