Fighting Planned Parenthood funding in the states
This article originally appeared in this issue of the WSR: 2018-11-07

The main focus of much of the pro-life movement over the last decade has been ending federal funding of Planned Parenthood. Ever since 2007, when Mike Pence (then a member of Congress, now vice president of the United States) introduced the first-ever amendment to a spending bill that sought to keep all money in that bill away from Planned Parenthood, by name, ending federal funding of PP has been seen as possible. During the Obama years, President Obama was inexplicably in love with Planned Parenthood and even threatened to close down the entire federal government rather than take a dime away from the organization.

In the Trump years, several attempts have been made to pass legislation to deny Planned Parenthood federal funds. At one time, there was a bill that would have, among other things, taken away Planned Parenthood’s money for one year, but that bill failed when John McCain voted against the bill at the last minute. Since Trump has not been willing, as Obama was, to make the funding of Planned Parenthood a significant enough issue to close down the government, all further efforts have failed due to a lack of sufficient votes in the Senate.

Now comes the mid-term elections and not only do we not have enough votes in the Senate, but the House is now controlled by Planned Parenthood-loving Democrats. So, what do we do?

Well, first, we do not give up our efforts at the federal level. We need to continue to educate our elected members of Congress and convince them to stop funding the largest abortion chain in the nation, especially since Planned Parenthood proclaims itself as the largest provider of sexuality education—that destroys the health of our children and leads our teens into lives of sexual sin.

But we must now return to pre-2007, and focus on ending Planned Parenthood funding at the state level. Many states are already trying to do this with some level of success. But we need a strong concerted effort.

President Trump has started the process by already giving states permission to withhold Title X funds from Planned Parenthood. That’s a good first step, but states must also have the ability to withhold Title XIX (Medicaid) funds. Over 18 months ago, Texas submitted a request for a Medicaid waiver from the Department of Health and Human Services to do just that.

For some unexplained reason, that requested waiver has been bottled up in the bowels of HHS and has never been acted upon. It’s time the Trump administration made this a priority. It is also time for the members of Congress to demand that HHS explain the delay or issue the waiver.

American Life League’s STOPP International has been fighting local funding of Planned Parenthood for over three decades. We have seen a number of successes at a local level and have developed a specific plan to help local people do this. We have even been involved with state legislators who have successfully ended some or all of Planned Parenthood funding in their states.

If you are serious about getting this done, either locally or at the state level, contact Jim Sedlak at [email protected], and he will work with you to end funding of Planned Parenthood in your town and in your state.