Pro-Life Groups Praise New Senate Health Bill Draft for 86% Funding Cut for Planned Parenthood

By Zenny Phuong | July 17, 2017 | 11:30 AM EDT

"Baby Hope" packages sent to all

100 U.S. senators from Created

Equal.  (CNSNews.com)

(CNSNews.com) – Pro-life groups such as the Family Research Council and Created Equal praised the Senate for releasing its new draft of the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 (BCRA) on July 13, which would reduce annual federal funding through Medicaid to Planned Parenthood by about $390 million (86%) for one year.

In a press release, FRC said it supports the latest Senate draft for generally moving in the pro-life direction.

Through Title X, Planned Parenthood would still receive about $60 million in federal funds.

FRC President Tony Perkins said in a statement that the draft “restores the pro-life principles of the Hyde Amendment that abortion is not health care, and therefore should not be funded or subsidized.”

Perkins said as opposed to ObamaCare’s expansion of elective abortion, the Senate’s new draft will not allow for the use of premium credits on plans that cover this type of procedure.

(Photo: Charlotte Lozier Institute) 

“ObamaCare bypassed the Hyde Amendment and violated a long-standing bi-partisan understanding that taxpayers who are morally opposed to abortion should not be forced to fund it,” he said.

FRC further said the bill would redirect funding to community health centers, which outnumber Planned Parenthood facilities but do not offer abortion. The partial defunding of Planned Parenthood for one year apparently will create flexibility and more affordable health care options that will better cater to the needs of families, according to an FRC press release.

Created Equal also rallied in front of Russell Senate Office Building on Thursday for two hours to ensure that Republican Senate members were on board with defunding Planned Parenthood in the new draft.

The organization delivered 100 packages, each including a 12-week-old fetal model and a letter from “Baby Hope,” to members of U.S. Senate.

The letter from Baby Hope as released by Created Equal states:

“My name is Baby Hope. I’m only 12 weeks old, but I want to live. Sadly, there is a high likelihood I will be killed by Planned Parenthood before I ever get a chance to be born. Even worse, Planned Parenthood, America’s largest abortion provider that kills 900 preborn babies like me each day, would get paid by American taxpayers to kill me.

“However, you can stop Planned Parenthood from killing me and many others. Here’s how: Vote for a health care bill that will not subsidize abortion giant Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer funding to community health centers.

“For my sake and hundreds like me, I beg you to refuse to fund abortion and Planned Parenthood in the health care bill.

“Please protect me.

“Sincerely,  Baby Hope”

Created Equal Executive Director Mark Harrington said he is pleased with the new Senate health bill draft, but he does not believe it repeals ObamaCare or that it could easily pass the Senate vote.

“McConnell’s been gesturing toward the Democrats for about two weeks, despite the fact that this proposal still includes the defunding of Planned Parenthood,” Harrington said. “We’re still a little skeptical because if he continues to believe that he might need Democrats to pass the bill, they’re going to call for the removal of that provision.”

The FRC also pointed out pro-life issues with certain provisions, including a new $70 billion fund to insurers. The organization said it will cease support for the bill if the defunding of Planned Parenthood is rolled back.

“FRC supports the Better Care Reconciliation Act in its current form, and while we are confident the Senate can pass a bill that respects life, if the abortion funding restrictions are removed we will be forced to withdraw our support,” Perkins concluded.

Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards spoke out about the new draft of BCRA calling it the “worst bill for women in a generation” and claiming that 13 million women could lose coverage to maternity care under the bill.

“Slashing Medicaid, cutting maternity coverage, and blocking millions from getting preventive care at Planned Parenthood would result in more undetected cancers and more unintended pregnancies,” said Richards.

“And it puts moms and their babies at risk,” she said. “Now is the time for every person who cares about women’s health and access to affordable, quality care to speak out and join this fight.”