Following the Senate vote to approve another short-term spending measure yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced that an amendment to defund Planned Parenthood will not be included in the Continuing resolution budget deal for 2011. Senator Reid cited a list of amendments in the House-approved Continuing Resolution to fund the federal government that he disapproves of and stated, “Those that I focused on are not only no, but hell no” (National Partnership for Women and Families).
In February, House Republicans, led by Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN), voted for a Continuing Resolution that prohibited 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. The Continuing Resolution would also eliminate all of Title X funding, the only federal family planning program dedicated solely to reproductive health. Title X provides reproductive health services to millions of women yearly. Title X funds some 4,500 clinics, including community health centers, public health clinics and about 900 Planned Parenthood clinics.
Planned Parenthood health centers across the country conduct over one million cervical cancer screenings and 830,000 breast exams yearly. Its clinics also provide contraception, basic health care, including family planning, cancer screenings, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, to approximately 2.5 million women per year.