The House approved a bill Tuesday that would make the defunding of Planned Parenthood easier in the states themselves.
The legislation passed on the same day that the abortion business’s president, Cecile Richards, testified before the House Oversight Committee regarding her organization’s involvement in the harvesting of body parts of aborted babies for sale.
H.R. 3495, The Women’s Public Health and Safety Act, was introduced by Rep. Sean Duffy two weeks ago and passed by a vote of 236-193. The measure seeks to amend the Medicaid law to allow states greater flexibility in excluding providers that perform abortions from federal funds. Currently, states must allow any individual eligible for Medicaid to obtain services from any provider qualified to perform them.
The bill specifies that a state may exclude any individual or entity from providing services through Medicaid based on the individual’s or entity’s involvement in abortions. It comes as the Obama administration and some federal courts have asserted that states that have sought to block Medicaid funding from Planned Parenthood affiliates have no authority to do so.
Louisiana, Alabama, Utah, Arkansas, and New Hampshire have all terminated their Medicaid contracts with Planned Parenthood, and the abortion giant, along with the ACLU, have responded by filing lawsuits to ensure the federal funding remains flowing to Planned Parenthood clinics.
“The House voted today to give states the power to exclude abortion providers from receiving Medicaid funding in their states,” said House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. “We need to make it clear not only that states deserve more authority—not the federal government—but also that nobody should be forced to support such callous and horrific practices with their tax dollars.”
“Protecting life is a sacred duty, and I am committed to advancing legislation that defends the rights of the unborn,” House Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise said, according to nola.com. He continued:
Today, House Republicans have taken action to give states like Louisiana the flexibility to cancel contracts with abortion providers under Medicaid and instead shift those dollars to health care facilities that do not perform elective abortions. The American people have been horrified by the actions of Planned Parenthood depicted in the recently released videos, and this legislation gives our nation’s governors the authority and flexibility to take direct action to stop these practices.
In the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has acquiesced to Democrats and President Obama’s veto threat on the issue of defunding Planned Parenthood.
The issue of defunding Planned Parenthood has become a “last straw” in the contentious battle between establishment Republicans and the conservative base of the Republican Party, a battle that has led to the resignation of House Speaker John Boehner and the suggestion that McConnell could also be out soon. That base repeatedly has charged that, despite giving the Republican Party overwhelming victories in 2010 and 2014, conservative constitutional principles are not being enacted into policy.