Republicans Aim To Defund Planned Parenthood Via Obamacare Repeal
WASHINGTON, Jan 6, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 06th Jan, 2017 ) - US Republicans will seek to defund US women's health care provider Planned Parenthood through a bill that repeals President Barack Obama's landmark health care reform, the top Republican in Congress said Thursday.
"Planned Parenthood legislation would be in our reconciliation bill," House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters when asked how his party would attempt to defund the organization now that the White House and both chambers of Congress will be in Republican hands when Donald Trump is inaugurated president on January 20.
Reconciliation is a special congressional procedure by which legislation can bypass Senate blocking tactics and need only a simply majority to pass, rather than a 60-vote supermajority in the 100-member chamber.
Planned Parenthood has been perennially attacked by conservatives. Many Republicans have long sought to end all Federal funding to the decades-old network, which reportedly received more than $550 million in government funding in 2014, about half its total revenue.
Conservatives have accused the decades-old network of serving as an abortion factory. Outrage swelled in 2015 when video secretly recorded by anti-abortion activists showed a Planned Parenthood official discussing the scientific research community's demand for fetal tissue, and the best abortion techniques for preserving certain organs.
The groups assailed the organization for trafficking in fetal tissue, a charge sternly denied by Planned Parenthood. In August 2015, at the start of the presidential race, Senate Republicans introduced a controversial bill to halt federal funding to Planned Parenthood, but Democrats were able to block the legislation.
US law has barred federal funding for abortions since 1976, but health providers that offer abortions are allowed to use government funds for other services. Planned Parenthood is described by its supporters as a vital supplier of health care services, including contraception, family planning, HIV prevention and cancer screenings for millions of women in the United States.
It operates some 650 clinics nationwide. Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, slammed Ryan's plan as "dangerous" to people's health and "unpopular," and warned it would leave women across the country without care.
"Planned Parenthood... the one in five women who have come to Planned Parenthood, the entire public health establishment and the millions of supporters across the country are ready to defend care with everything we've got," Richards said.