Kentucky lawmakers move closer to de-funding Planned Parenthood
Kentucky lawmakers are one step closer to pulling the plug on funding for Planned Parenthood.
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- Kentucky lawmakers are set to pull the plug on funding for Planned Parenthood.
The Senate Veterans, Military Affairs, and Public Protection Committee approved Senate Bill 8, which would prevent tax dollars from flowing to Planned Parenthood in Kentucky.
“Why should we be using taxpayer dollars to grow and sustain the abortion industry in this manner,” asked the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Max Wise (R-Campbellsville) during testimony before the committee.
Planned Parenthood does not receive state dollars, but Kentucky does pass through federal funding for family planning services.
“I urge my colleagues on this committee to join me in this small, but important measure to protect unborn life,” said Wise.
But Planned Parenthood supporters told lawmakers the bill will hurt women's healthcare.
“This hurts real people, and strikes at the services that are critical to insuring the wellness of families,” testified Tamara Wieder, director of external affairs for Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky.
The bill passed 8-3, with all Democrats voting “no,” including Senator and former Kentucky Governor Julian Carroll, who says he's pro-life but worried about a disruption in health services..
“Normally I would, without question, vote for something like this. But I just don't have a comfortable feeling today,” he said.
Wise says those services are readily available at other clinics, which will get first priority for funding.
“It's the taxpayer dollars not wanting to go to Planned Parenthood, but there are other affiliates out there that will be happy to take on these individuals,” Wise told reporters after the hearing.
Kate Martin of the ACLU of Kentucky disagreed.
“As it stands now, we don't have enough health care providers in the state of Kentucky, particularly in rural parts,” she said.
It's not clear how much the bill might hurt Planned Parenthood's bottom line.
It would not take effect until Congress repeals an executive order by former Pres. Obama which protects Planned Parenthood from state de-funding.
Past efforts to stop public funding of Planned Parenthood have died the Democratic House. But with Republicans now in full control, final passage is almost certain.
You can read Senate Bill 8 here. It now goes for a vote in the full Senate.
Copyright 2017 WDRB Media. All rights reserved.