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Senate GOP needs Pence to break tie on family planning funds

Senate GOP needs Pence to break tie on family planning funds

Senate GOP needs Pence to break tie on family planning funds

In a tie-breaking vote in the Senate on Thursday, Pence set the wheels in motion to allow states to deny abortion providers Title X federal funding for family planning services.

At least a dozen states with Republican-controlled legislatures have moved to choke off Title X funds from such clinics, but the Obama rules sought to prohibit such practices.

"The clear goal of this Title X rule change was to benefit abortion providers like Planned Parenthood", said Cardinal Timothy Dolan of NY, who is chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities.

Some states have passed laws in recent years denying the funds to groups that provide abortions.

Each year, the federal government gives money to states earmarked for family-planning services. "They didn't listen to women across the country who made it clear that restricting women's access to the full range of reproductive care is unacceptable", said Senator Patty Murray of Washington, the senior Democrat on the health committee.

Their main concern is that federal money is being used to provide abortions, although the grants are specifically barred from funding those procedures.

"If you allow states to eliminate a provider that covers a third of the people who are getting access to Title X now.so that's 1.5 million people..."

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What this doesn't deal with, however, is the flow of federal funds to Planned Parenthood. A vote on final passage is expected this afternoon. The House of Representatives already voted to overturn the regulation 230-188 in February, and President Donald Trump is expect to sign it if it passes the Senate. Yesterday's Senate vote took place just one week after the Republican plan to modify Obamacare failed.

Although Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers can receive Title X grants, legislatures have blocked them from receiving the funding in almost a dozen states.

"It is appalling that 24 hours ago, Vice President Pence was headlining a forum on empowering women, and today, he is leading mostly male politicians to take away women's birth control".

The Title X grant of the Public Health Service Act is the only federal program focused exclusively on providing family planning.

"We just want to make sure our $25,000 or more women get to continue to have the Planned Parenthood services in the state of Maryland", said Senator Nancy King (D-Montgomery County).

Planned Parenthood dodged a bullet last week when a House bill repealing parts of the Affordable Care Act and blocking the provider's Medicaid funding was pulled amid a rebellion of conservative and moderate Republicans, but it remains a key target for conservatives.

"This legislation does not prevent Planned Parenthood or any other entity from receiving Title X funds", Ernst said immediately after the vote.

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