U.S. Senate Votes to Permit States to Defund Planned Parenthood – On to Trump’s Desk

This week, the U.S. Senate voted to allow states to deny Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers federal “family planning” funds. Vice President Mike Pence cast the tie-breaking vote to permit the measure to go to the President’s desk for signature, after a Senate vote ended in a 50-50 tie.

Following the release of videos in the summer of 2015 which revealed that Planned Parenthood affiliates were engaged in the trafficking of fetal body parts from abortions, several states refused to allow federal family planning funds (which can’t fund abortions, except for the life of the mother, rape, or incest) to go to the abortion giant. Before leaving office, President Obama issued a regulation preventing states from doing so. The vote this week effectively repeals the Obama regulation. If signed by President Trump, states will be permitted to deny these federal funds to abortion providers.

Missouri revised its budget last year, declining to accept the federal family planning funds (approximately $10M) altogether. Instead, the General Assembly replaced those family planning funds with state general revenue, thereby circumventing the federal regulation. The MCC is not aware of any other state which refused the federal funds in this manner. If Missouri can accept these federal funds without having to distribute them to Planned Parenthood or its affiliates, it may free up $10M in state general revenue.