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Indiana Votes to Defund Planned Parenthood

Indiana may become the first state in the nation to defund Planned Parenthood. Following a state Senate vote earlier this month, the House voted Wednesday to cut off about $2 million in federal money that goes to Planned Parenthood, much of which is for Medicaid services. The bill also calls for a ban on all abortions after 20 weeks, which would make Indiana fifth state to do so based on the “fetal pain” argument.

If signed into law by Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, the state risks losing all $4 million in federal grants for family planning services. According to the Associated Press, Daniels may sign the bill in order to gain the support of ardent social conservatives in his possible bid for presidency. Planned Parenthood officials are urging Daniels to veto the measure and say if he does not, they will go to court to challenge the law.

Lawmakers in Kansas and North Carolina are attempting to pass similar legislation that would take away all funding for Planned Parenthood, and are expected to vote on their proposed budgets in the coming weeks.

In February, U.S. House Republicans, led by Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN), voted for a Continuing Resolution that would prohibit any federal funds from going to Planned Parenthood, even in reimbursement for services rendered. In spite of Republican claims that the Pence amendment would prohibit taxpayer funding of abortions, such spending is already prohibited by federal law.

Planned Parenthood health centers across the country provide contraception and basic health care, including family planning, cancer screenings, and testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections to approximately 2.5 million women per year, including over one million cervical cancer screenings and 830,000 breast exams.

Sources:

Associated Press 4/28/11; Feministing 4/28/11; Reuters 4/28/11; Fox News 4/28/11; Feminist Newswire 3/18/11

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