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Trump action on health care could cost Planned Parenthood

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    One of President-elect Donald Trump’s first, and defining, acts next year could come on Republican legislation to cut off taxpayer money from Planned Parenthood. Trump sent mixed signals during the campaign about the 100-year-old organization which provides birth control, abortions and various women’s health services. He said “millions of women are helped by Planned Parenthood,” but also endorsed efforts to defund it.

WASHINGTON >> One of President-elect Donald Trump’s first, and defining, acts next year could come on Republican legislation to cut off taxpayer money from Planned Parenthood.

Trump sent mixed signals during the campaign about the 100-year-old organization, which provides birth control, abortions and various women’s health services. He said “millions of women are helped by Planned Parenthood,” but he also endorsed efforts to defund it.

Trump once described himself as “very pro-choice.” Now he’s in the anti-abortion camp.

Still, the Republican has been steadfast in calling for repeal of President Barack Obama’s health care law, and the GOP-led Congress is eager to comply. One of the first pieces of legislation will be a repeal measure that’s paired with cutting off money for Planned Parenthood. While the GOP may delay the impact of scuttling the law for almost four years, denying Planned Parenthood roughly $400 million in Medicaid funds would take effect immediately.

“We’ve already shown what we believe with respect to funding of Planned Parenthood,” House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., told reporters last month. “Our position has not changed.”

Legislation to both repeal the law and cut Planned Parenthood funds for services to low-income women moved through Congress along party lines last year. Obama vetoed it; Trump’s win removes any obstacle.

Cutting off Planned Parenthood from taxpayer money is a long-sought dream of social conservatives, but it’s a loser in the minds of some GOP strategists. Planned Parenthood is loathed by anti-abortion activists who are the backbone of the GOP coalition. Polls, however, show that the group is favorably viewed by a sizable majority of Americans — 59 percent in a Gallup survey last year, including more than one-third of Republicans.

“Defunding Planned Parenthood as one of their first acts in the New Year would be devastating for millions of families and a huge mistake by Republicans,” said incoming Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.

Democrats pledge to defend the group, and they point to the issue of birth control and women’s health as helping them win Senate races in New Hampshire and Nevada this year. They argue that Trump would be leading off with a political loser. But if he were to have second thoughts and if the Planned Parenthood provision were to be dropped from the health law repeal, then social conservatives probably would erupt.

“They may well be able to succeed, but the women of America are going to know what that means,” said Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., citing reduced access to services Planned Parenthood clinics provide. “And we’re going to call Republicans on the carpet for that.”

At least one Republican senator, Susan Collins of Maine, may oppose the effort. Collins has defended Planned Parenthood, saying it “provides important family planning, cancer screening, and basic preventive health care services to millions of women across the country.” She voted against the health overhaul repeal last year as a result.

Continued opposition from Collins, which appears likely, would put the repeal measure on a knife’s edge in the Senate, where Republicans will have a 52-48 majority next year. Senate GOP leaders could afford to lose just one other Republican.

Anti-abortion conservatives have long tried to cut Planned Parenthood funds, arguing that reimbursements for nonabortion services such as gynecological exams help subsidize abortions. Though Planned Parenthood says it performed 324,000 abortions in 2014, the most recent year tallied, the vast majority of women seek out contraception, testing and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases, and other services including cancer screenings.

The drive against Planned Parenthood picked up steam in 2015 after an anti-abortion group called the Center for Medical Progress released secretly-recorded videos that it claimed showed Planned Parenthood officials profiting from sales of fetal tissue for medical research. The measure, however, would strip Planned Parenthood’s Medicaid funding for only a year, a step taken to give time for continued investigations of Planned Parenthood’s activities. A House panel is still active, but investigations by 13 states have been concluded without charges of wrongdoing.

Planned Parenthood strongly denied the allegations and no wrongdoing was proved, but the group announced in October that it will no longer accept reimbursement for the costs involved in providing fetal tissue to researchers.

The defunding measure would take away roughly $400 million in Medicaid money from the group in the year after enactment, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, and would result in roughly 400,000 women losing access to care. One factor is that being enrolled in Medicaid doesn’t guarantee access to a doctor, so women denied Medicaid services from Planned Parenthood may not be able to find replacement care.

Planned Parenthood says private contributions are way up since the election, but that they are not a permanent replacement for federal reimbursements. “We’re going to fight like hell to make sure our doors stay open,” said Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Erica Sackin.

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  • Trump could not care less about abortion rights. He used that manipulate poorly educated people. What he does want to do is rob the country blind and hand over more middle-class money to the rich.

    • allie’s comments only serve to amply demonstrate that even an “educated” person can be manipulated due to his/her abysmal lack of critical thinking skills.

    • @d_bullfighter, how so? It’s a reasoned statement. Allie states, this is what I think, and why. I too never thought he cared about abortion either way. In fact I’ve heard the same from more than one conservative; he was pandering.

      • @ Poidoggy. First of all no one can predict what Trump will or will not do regarding abortion until he takes some form of action after he is sworn into office so allie is speaking from presumption. allie could have simply worded his/her comment regarding what Trump will do as a speculative one (which is fine) but instead allie chose to word his/her statement as one of certainty – “could not care less about abortion rights” – without any evidence to back up that claim. It is fine to have an opinion but an opinion without warrant is essentially worthless.

        Secondly, allie’s assertion that Trump manipulated poorly educated people is a condescending statement. allie implies that all who sided with Trump on his abortion stance are poorly educated and thus easily manipulated. Is that really so? I don’t think so as an educated person could have voted for Trump hoping that he will make good on his anti-abortion stance by nominating pro-life Supreme Court Justices, defunding Planned Parenthood, etc. Thus allie paints with a broad brush of generalized accusations that have little or no basis in fact – which is not conducive to critical thinking and analysis.

        • It is fine for you to have an uninformed opinion as that is your prerogative but your characterization of Trump as “inept” is not shared by everyone particularly Henry Kissinger. On the CBS Face the Nation Sunday program, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said in an interview that President-elect Donald Trump could go down in history as a “very considerable president….But he’s raised a number of issues that I think are important, very important. And if they’re addressed properly, could lead to good — great results.”

  • Planned Parenthood, founded by eugenics advocate Margaret Sanger, performs many abortions including late term abortions in districts of people of color, thus perpetuating the goals of its founder. It should be allowed to exist, as long as what it does is legal, but, we should not be funding it with taxpayer funds, so PE Trump hopefully will do the right thing in conjunction with Congress and defund this orginization.

    • IRT Maipono, fully agree with your post. America must grow up and Congress must defund this type of organizations. Life, from conception to death is precious and special.

    • Maipono- Of course … you are now concerned about women of color? Please.

      Planned Parenthood cannot and does not use any taxpayer funding for abortion services. Zero. All of that money is provided by the clients and from donors like me. All of it.

      So if they defund something, it’s going to be for cancer screening services for poor women. That should really make you feel good about yourself, right?

      • IRT Klasri, very good that you write on your donation “For Abortion Services Only”, and you receive an acknowledgement that your donation was deposited in a “Abortion Only Account”. Why then can’t Planned Parenthood as a non-profit provide that information to the Citizens of the United States?

      • Klastri, you lie. Planned Parenthood does use taxpayer money to support its baby killing operation. The taxpayer money Planned Parenthood receives is fungible and allows Planned Parenthood to use the money to cover overhead for the centers that perform abortions. The taxpayer funds also free up Planned Parenthood to direct their donations to grow abortion services, facility reach, and abortion political advocacy. Moreover, it also allows Planned Parenthood to invest money earned from any service into abortion activities.

        • Ronin…you seem very concerned about women having children that they can’t afford, have health reasons to prevent their caring for a child, etc. Just wondering how much you contribute each year to feed, educate, clothe and house the children of poor people. Seems like people like you care about abortion but give nothing to the children after they are born. Just how much do you contribute each year?

        • Ronin is stating the facts. So why do you ask personal questions? It appears to be the typical liberal response. Attack the messenger. Guess it didn’t work during the last election.

        • Mr. Mililani, say what you want. Planned Parenthood should be pro-active and do as its name says and help women who want to be parents to PLAN for that wonderful God-given event and educate women who can’t afford to have children how to act responsibly to avoid becoming pregnant. Planned Parenthood is instead reactive with regard to unwanted pregnancies and focuses on exterminating the unborn children.

  • I support women’s rights, including abortions, but I also think Planned Parenthood is a corrupt organization that needs to be reeled in and/or lose federal funding.

  • This “War Against Women” baloney is the Same thing as BLM, it’s A LIE a myth. There is NO war on Women! Like me,President Elect Trump is Pro-Life and he believes the Government should not be in the Business of Abortion and profiting on selling Baby Body parts. In other words Abortion, Translates to “Infanticide”! The Destruction of Human Life!

    Yeah,yeah we all get it! It’s their right to do what they want , when it comes to their Bodies ,Fine! But not on my Dime!
    Besides Planned Parenthood can do just fine without the 400 Million it receives from Uncle Sam!
    But who stands to lose the most ,The fetus,these women or the Democratic party? After all Planned Parenthood is a huge Donor to The Democratic Party.so you see,it’s not about protecting lives,it;s become……..Political.

  • Lol, GOP wants to be pro life then in the next issue want to promote guns. Sandy Hook, all those kids. Lax gun laws. Most girls using Plan Parenthood usually are disadvantage. They have kids ,then the GOP screams about welfare and entitlement! These same posting hoppers will then say “they shouldn’t have kids”. Lol,go figure.

    • Last time I checked it was a cruel joke of nature that women are not able to conceive without a “donation” from a man. In my book that gives dudes even weighting on reproductive decisions.

      • “Even weighting”

        Really!!! Last time I checked it was a cruel joke of nature that men bear none of the health consequences of pregnancy and childbirth. I think your book may have a misprint.

  • Planned Parenthood. Odd name for an organization that kills more than 300,000 unborn babies whose conception, in most cases, was not planned. If this organization truly was helping women and couples to become parents, as its name implies, it would prevent most of the unwanted pregnancies and thereby eliminate most of the 300,000 killings annually.

  • Planned Parenthood could quickly resolve the taxpayer funding issue by reorganizing into two distinct and totally independent organizations, one to provide women’s health service and the other to perform abortions. Each organization would have its own funding sources, employees and facilities, there would be no comingling off funds and no transfer of funds between the two. Taxpayer funds would go to the organization that provides women health services only. End of story.

    • Abortion is legal, what you are suggesting is unnecessary. It is logical to provide all options for reproductive health care within the one organization.

      • Abortion may have been made legal, but those who perform them have no legal right to taxpayer funding. And abortion just to get rid of an unwanted kid is not reproductive health care. Try telling that to the kids that were being reproduced who were slaughtered by a sick society.

  • Okay, the standard boiler plate justification for taxpayer funding is that PP provides “necessary health care services to poor women”. (Translation: It’s eugenics disguised as “a women’s right to choose” but I digress). Anyway, I thought Obamacare was supposed to provide low cost quality health care to all Americans. If so why do taxpayers need to fund a parallel health care program via funding of PP?

  • Another instigated “echo chamber” effect perpetrated by the Move On organization once chaired by John Podesta, now vice-chairman connected to the Open Society primarily funded by George Soros. Chaos is the goals advanced by the two groups.

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