Trump gives states power to cut off Planned Parenthood money

President Trump signed a bill Thursday freeing states to withhold federal family planning grant money from Planned Parenthood, marking the first major pro-life legislation to be signed into law in more than a decade. The bill unravels an Obama-era regulation that insisted states couldn’t refuse to spend family planning money with Planned Parenthood or any other organization that performs abortions. “This is a major pro-life victory,” said House Speaker Paul D. Ryan. More than a dozen states moved to strip Planned Parenthood of government funding in recent years as questions arose about the country’s largest abortion provider. In particular, lawmakers in Republican-led states were reacting to a series of undercover videos that purported to show Planned Parenthood officials negotiating the sale of body parts from aborted fetuses. The Obama administration moved late last year to stop the states, enacting a regulation that prohibited states from considering abortion in doling out federal family planning grant money. Congress, though, passed legislation under the Congressional Review Act canceling the new regulation. White House press secretary Sean Spicer noted that the Obama administration imposed the previous rule “on their way out the door.” “Our federal system was set up to allow states to address their own unique needs,” he said. “The president has restored respect for states’ rights on this issue.” The new law applies to Title X federal family planning money, which amounts to about $60 million a year, the Congressional Budget Office said in a 2015 report. The bulk of Planned Parenthood’s funding comes from Medicaid reimbursements, which weren’t affected by the law.

And that should be next on the chopping block.  Per the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the federal government has NO business funding Planned Parenthood whatsoever.  Let’s be clear.  This is NOT about the right to have an abortion.  It’s the about whether or not taxpayers should be forced to pay for someone else’s abortion, or other “family planning” services.  THAT is what this is all about.  Kudos to Congress for passing this bill and to President Trump for signing it into law.  There is still much more to do to end federal tax-payer funding of PP.  But, this is a small step in the right direction.

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