WASHINGTON – Planned Parenthood is on the verge of losing federal funding.
Republicans on Capitol Hill have pledged that the government will no longer support the clinics if they continue to perform abortions. Members of Congress are linking the cuts to a budget bill that would also repeal the Affordable Care Act.
Planned Parenthood affiliates received more than $550 million in government funding from 2014 to 2015, totaling more than 40 percent of their total revenue. Most of the money went toward health care for patients on public programs like Medicaid, and Planned Parenthood can’t legally use the money to perform abortions, but some argue the government is providing a financial cushion for the clinics.
As a result, Republican members of Congress say their problem isn’t with Planned Parenthood, but with the abortion services the clinics provide.
Chautauqua County’s representative in Washington, Rep. Tom Reed (R-Corning, NY 23), told WRFA earlier this week he supports many of the services Planned Parenthood offers and he thinks lawmakers can find a way to ensure those services continue, even if not provided by Planned Parenthood.
“I’m very confident that what will occur is what has been demonstrated previously. that the resources that are going to Planned Parenthood are available to things like federally qualified health centers, for example, in rural settings, so that women have access to healthcare. And that the existing law of not having taxpayer funded abortions will be respected and promoted as we go forward,” Reed said.
Reed also said that no matter the final outcome with Planned Parenthood funding, he thinks women’s healthcare will be improved.
“As this debate ripens up, obviously Planned Parenthood is an issue that has come up before and it will come up again. But as we go into the debate, I’m confident that in the end result, we will have a situation where women’s healthcare and access to healthcare is enhanced and improved upon.”
President-elect Donald Trump also supports pulling funding from Planned Parenthood.
But even facing the likely cuts, Planned Parenthood says its clinics will stay open and continue to provide abortions.