Some Republican lawmakers are complaining the Obamacare repeal bill that contains the provision to eliminate Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer funding will make repeal of the healthcare law more difficult.
“I don’t think it makes sense to have the defunding of Planned Parenthood linked to this issue at all,” said Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), according to The Hill. “If the House Republicans want to bring it up, it should be in a separate bill. I would oppose that bill, but it further complicates the negotiations to have it included in this bill.”
“I think we should also separate out the Planned Parenthood issue from the broader healthcare issue,” Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) also said. “I think healthcare reform is controversial and complex enough without Planned Parenthood. Why put it in? It makes this whole exercise more difficult.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan said in January that the Obamacare repeal bill would also defund Planned Parenthood. With the use of the reconciliation budgetary procedure, Republicans would need 50 votes in the Senate to pass the legislation.
In February, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) announced she would not be voting with fellow Republicans for an Obamacare repeal bill that defunds Planned Parenthood.
“Taxpayer dollars should never be used to pay for abortions, but I will not vote to deny Alaskans access to the health services that Planned Parenthood provides,” she said.
“It’s illogical for any senator to claim she does not want tax dollars being used to fund abortion, while at the same time insisting that the federal government continue to lavish money on Planned Parenthood,” Dr. Grazie Pozo Christie, a policy advisor for The Catholic Association, tells Breitbart News.
“As long as Planned Parenthood continues to perform abortions, and especially as long as abortion is their core business, they should not receive the hard-earned money of American taxpayers,” she adds. “Any tax money redirected to Comprehensive Community Health Centers from the abortion giant will only enhance and increase medical services for low-income women.”
Members of the pro-life base of the GOP have stood by for years as GOP congressional leaders have explained they would need to wait for a Republican-controlled Senate and a Republican president in the White House to eliminate taxpayer funding for the nation’s largest abortion business. With Republicans in control of both chambers of Congress and a Republican administration now in place in the White House, the expectation is that goal will finally be realized.
Trump made four promises to his pro-life constituents:
- Nominating pro-life justices to the U.S. Supreme Court
- Signing into law the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would end painful late-term abortions nationwide
- Defunding Planned Parenthood as long as they continue to perform abortions and reallocating their funding to community health centers that provide comprehensive health care for women
- Making the Hyde Amendment permanent law to protect taxpayers from having to pay for abortions
Liberal Republican members of Congress, however, have placed their support for Planned Parenthood ahead of their party’s attempts to pass other legislation in the past.
Murkowski joined Collins and former Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) in 2015 to try to remove a provision to end Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer funding from the Obamacare repeal bill.
In 2011, Collins received a personal “thank-you” letter from Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, who expressed her gratitude that the Maine senator voted to continue funding her abortion business:
Thank you for standing up for the millions of Americans who rely on Planned Parenthood for their primary and preventive health care. Your leadership and voice of support during the FY11 continuing resolution debate was essential to defeating the most dangerous legislative attack in our 95-year history. With your help, Planned Parenthood survived and emerged stronger than ever…
I am grateful for your tremendous leadership and partnership, and I look forward to working together in the future.
Richards added her own personal note to the letter as well, writing, “Senator Collins – Thank you for your leadership on women’s health and your support for the three million patients who will visit Planned Parenthood this year. We are enormously grateful. Cecile Richards.”
Planned Parenthood performs over 300,000 abortions per year and receives more than a half billion dollars annually in taxpayer funding.