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Planned Parenthood ‘price breaks’ axed

WASHINGTON (BP)–The U.S. House of Representatives has eliminated language in a war supplemental spending bill that would have provided price breaks for Planned Parenthood, the country’s No. 1 abortion provider.

Representatives approved legislation to fund American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan June 19. In so doing, the House returned the bill to the Senate without an amendment added earlier by senators in their version that would have reinstituted government subsidies for Planned Parenthood clinics, as well as university and community health centers.

The White House had indicated the bill would be vetoed if it included the Senate-approved language, House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey, D.-Wis., said, according to Congressional Quarterly.

Had it been enacted, the amendment would have meant Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), which recorded nearly 290,000 abortions at its affiliates in 2006, would have been able to purchase contraceptives from manufacturers at discounted prices. The drugs covered would have included Plan B, according to pro-life organizations. Also known as the “morning-after pill,” Plan B has abortifacient qualities.

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.

Planned Parenthood already benefits 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, the organization recorded $112 million in profit.

Government funds indirectly help Planned Parenthood support politicians who back abortion rights and other positions favored by the organizations. PPFA is contributing an unprecedented $10 million to campaigns in this election cycle, according to The Wall Street Journal.

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 Baptist Press Washington Bureau chief Tom Strode.

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