News Articles

Abortion provider Planned Parenthood could benefit from Senate’s war funding bill

WASHINGTON (BP)–The U.S. Senate has approved price breaks for the country’s leading abortion provider in legislation funding American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

As part of a war supplemental spending bill, senators voted 75-22 for an amendment that included the reinstitution of government subsidies for Planned Parenthood clinics and university and community health centers, according to Congressional Quarterly. Before the Senate recessed for Memorial Day, it also passed the war spending bill to which the amendment was attached.

The war funding legislation now is pending in the House of Representatives. Congress will return June 2 from its recess.

If enacted, the amendment would mean the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), which recorded nearly 290,000 abortions at its affiliates in 2006, would be able to purchase contraceptives from manufacturers at discounted prices. The drugs would include Plan B, the “morning-after pill” that has abortifacient qualities, according to pro-life organizations.

Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council, said in his online “Washington Update” that the May 21 vote on the amendment shows Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and his allies “are more concerned about funding the war against the unborn than the war in Iraq. Reid’s personal political agenda is exposing our active-duty troops to new risks as they wait on Congress to duke out the abortion provisions.”

The effort to restore the subsidies came after the Bush administration, acting under a 2006 deficit reduction law, removed about 400 clinics from the list of groups eligible for drug price discounts, Congressional Quarterly reported.

The subsidies would aid an abortion rights organization that already is benefiting greatly from government funds. PPFA, which surpassed $1 billion in annual revenue for the first time last year, received more than $336 million of that total in government grants and contracts. In 2006, it recorded $112 million in profit. Ironically, the government funding PPFA receives aids it at least indirectly to support political activity. The Wall Street Journal reported PPFA is contributing an unprecedented $10 million to various political campaigns this election cycle.

Plan B, which is basically a heavier dose of birth control pills, works to restrict ovulation in a woman, but it also can act after conception, thereby causing an abortion, pro-life advocates point out. This mechanism of the drug blocks implantation of a tiny embryo in the uterine wall.
Compiled by Tom Strode, Baptist Press’ Washington bureau chief.

    About the Author

  • Staff