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GOP foiled as funds flow to Planned Parenthood
Question of the Day
“We saw the national trend and figured that it was just a matter of time before it got Ohio and, of course, it did,” said Gary Dougherty, state legislative director for Planned Parenthood. “But each state is different, so we’re just taking a look at what’s going on in this states and trying to turn back any efforts to reduce access to women’s heath care.”
Republicans focused efforts on the state level after the House GOP failed last year to defund Planned Parenthood in a last-minute deal to raise the debt ceiling. So far, state lawmakers have passed bills that would strip $61.3 million from the group if they’re all upheld in court, according to calculations by the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List.
“I’ve been with Planned Parenthood for eight years, and this is clearly the most restrictive environment at least in those eight years I’ve been associated with,” Mr. Dougherty said.
As the battles move to the courts, each side claims to have the legal ground.
Steve Aden, a lawyer for the Alliance Defense Fund, pointed to several cases in which courts upheld the ability of states to choose to whom they will award funds.
“These states stand on solid legal footing,” he said. “What the Obama administration is doing is a good job of blowing a lot of smoke and raising a lot of confusion about the legality of these bills.”
Judy Waxman, vice president for health and reproductive rights at the National Women’s Law Center, said that at least in the cases involving Medicaid funding, federal law is clear.
“It’s something that some people are trying to make a political argument about, but under current law, it’s hooey,” Ms. Waxman said. “In this case, [the administration is] defending the current law, period.”
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