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US funding for Planned Parenthood turns into battle over abortion rights


Summary of story from Womens eNews, September 14, 2011

When the US Senate blocked a House bill to stop federal funding for Planned Parenthood earlier in February, the fight still continued in a number of States, including Kansas, North Carolina, Indiana and Arizona (see WVoN coverage).

The Hyde Amendment has blocked federal money from funding Planned Parenthood’s abortion services since 1976, but anti-choice lawmakers argue that federal money should have no association with abortion services whatsoever.

So the funding fight has become a battle over abortion rights.

These states’ legislatures and courts have spent months wrangling over whether federal money can fund the country’s largest provider of reproductive health services.

The legal battle lines could be washed away if anti-choice politicians persuade the 12-member deficit-slashing “super committee” of House and Senate members to give states more freedom in how they use Medicaid money.

If that happens, states controlled by anti-choice legislators would get a lump payment each year and could choose to allocate funding away from Planned Parenthood.

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