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Lankford, Ernst Bill Prevents Taxpayers from Funding Planned Parenthood

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) joined Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) to introduce the Protect Funding for Women’s Health Care Act, which would prevent any taxpayer dollars from going to the nation’s single-largest provider of abortions, Planned Parenthood. The bill comes as the Biden Administration issued a proposed rule to allow Title X funds to go to abortion providers. Earlier this week, Lankford joined more than 100 Members of Congressto urge Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Xavier Becerra and the White House to preserve the current rule that ensures abortion providers are physically and financially separate from Title X grantees.

“Democrats recently made it tragically clear when they did not maintain Hyde protections in their latest ‘COVID’ bill that they want to prioritize funding abortion instead funding actual healthcare. I completely disagree. Americans should never be forced to pay for abortions,” said Lankford. “A well-funded private organization like Planned Parenthood doesn’t need to siphon off $500 million a year in taxpayer dollars. Every dollar the government gives to Planned Parenthood is a dollar that could have gone to one of the thousands of other women’s healthcare providers that do not force taxpayers to fund abortion-related activities. I am proud to join Senator Ernst on this legislation to right that wrong.” 

“We must always fight to protect the most vulnerable of our society, the unborn. Sadly, President Biden is working to reverse a rule from the previous administration that prevented taxpayer money from going toward abortion providers. Iowans should not be forced to fund organizations like Planned Parenthood, the nation’s single largest provider of abortions, and this legislation will help put an end to this practice and redirect those funds to eligible women’s health care providers,” said Ernst.

The Protect Funding for Women’s Health Care Act prohibits taxpayer dollars from going to Planned Parenthood. Instead, the bill redirects those funds to other eligible women’s health care providers, like Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) while ensuring there is no reduction in federal funding for women’s health services. There are more than 10,000 federally qualified health centers (FQHC), compared with about 600 Planned Parenthood locations.

Specifically, the Protect Funding for Women’s Health Care Act:

  • Prohibits federal funding of Planned Parenthood Federation of America or any of its affiliate organizations;
  • Forbids Planned Parenthood from being eligible for any federal dollars, including through mandatory expenditures or unobligated funding of individual agencies;
  • Protects federal funding for health services for women, including diagnostic laboratory and radiology services, well-child care, prenatal and postnatal care, immunizations, cervical and breast cancer screenings and more; and,
  • Ensures there is no reduction in overall federal funding available to support women’s health.

President Biden’s proposed rule will once again allow abortion clinics, including Planned Parenthood, which did not participate in the program under the Protect Life Rule, to receive Title X Family Planning funding, despite federal law prohibiting abortion being used as a method of family planning in Title X programs. The proposed rule will set aside the purpose of the program, to provide healthcare services to low-income individuals, as well as the conscience rights of participants who have objections to referring for abortions, just to ensure that Planned Parenthood can get even more federal funding.  

Lankford continues to take action against abortion providers like Planned Parenthood from receiving federal funding. He recently reintroduced the bicameral Women’s Public Health and Safety Act, which gives states the authority to exclude abortion providers, like Planned Parenthood, from receiving Medicaid funds. He also sponsors the Conscience Protection Act, which would provide permanent protections for healthcare providers that decline to participate in abortions. He also introduced several amendments to the recent COVID reconciliation bill in an attempt to make it comply with the long-standing Hyde amendment. Although one amendment was voted on, it was not agreed to by the full Senate.