Republicans want to defund Schemed Parenthood as part of Obamacare fight

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House speaker Paul Ryan dedicated first official word that repeal legislation would also renew the congressional assault on the womens health organization

House speaker Paul Ryan said on Thursday that Republicans would legislate to defund Planned Parenthood as part of their attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

The same day, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund announced their own nationals effort against such attempts to defund it.

Ryan spoke a day after a special House panel issued a report criticizing Planned Parenthood, which provides womens health services, for its practices considering providing tissue from aborted fetuses to researchers.

Allegations regarding such practices were at the heart of a scandal involving videos filmed by an anti-abortion activists. Investigations in 13 countries concluded without criminal charges, and Planned Parenthood officials have denied any wrongdoing.

Ryans comments, while expected, were the first official word that repeal legislation would also renew the congressional assault on the group.

The Planned Parenthood legislation would be in our reconciliation bill, Ryan said.

Last years Obamacare repeal measure also contained an effort to defund Planned Parenthood, which receives government reimbursements from the Medicaid program for non-abortion health services to low-income females. It receives reimbursements for contraception services from a different government account.

The defunding measure would take away roughly $400 m in Medicaid money from the group in the year after enactment, in agreement with the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, and would result in roughly 400,000 women losing access to care.

Being enrolled in Medicaid does not guarantee access to a doctor, so females denied Medicaid services from Planned Parenthood may not is to find replacement care.

Attempts by states to remove Planned Parenthood from Medicaid programs have been deemed incompatible with federal statute.

President-elect Donald Trump sent mixed signals during the campaign about the 100 -year-old organization. He said millions of women are helped by Planned Parenthood, but he also endorsed make further efforts to defund different groups. Trump once described himself as very pro-choice, but now opposes abortion rights.

Cutting off Planned Parenthood from taxpayer money is a long-sought dream of social conservatives, but its a loser in the minds of some GOP strategists.

Planned Parenthood is loathed by anti-abortion activists who are the backbone of the GOP coalition. Polls, however, present different groups is favorably viewed by a sizable majority of Americans: 59% in a Gallup survey last year, including more than one-third of Republicans.

The defunding attempt has the potential to complicate an Obamacare repeal push in the Senate, where at least one GOP member Susan Collins of Maine quoth the defunding speech in opposing the repeal effort in late 2015.

Last years elections thinned Republican ranks in the Senate to 52, so only a handful of defections are possible if a repeal measure is to pass.

Asked on Wednesday about party make further efforts to tie their attempts to defund Planned Parenthood to Obamacare repeal, Collins said: Thats of fear to me as well, but I dont want to prejudge whats in the bill.

Most Republican lawmakers have long opposed Planned Parenthood because many of its clinics offer abortions. Their antagonism intensified after anti-abortion activists released secretly recorded videos in 2015 that purported to show Planned Parenthood officers discussing how they sometimes provide fetal tissue to researchers, which is legal if no profit is made.

The House GOP report issued on Wednesday accused Planned Parenthood of infringing federal statutes by altering abortion procedures to obtain fetal tissue, disclosing patients private information to firms that procure the tissue and a general disinterest in clinical integrity.

Planned Parenthood has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, and did so again on Wednesday. The group has strong supporting from Democrat on Capitol Hill.

Todays Republican staff report once again demonstrates that this exercise was nothing more than a partisan attack on Planned Parenthood and womens access to safe and legal abortion, said Dana Singiser, Planned Parenthoods vice-president for Public Policy, in a statement.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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