Ryan: Federal Funds Should Go to Community Health Centers, Not Planned Parenthood

By Penny Starr | January 13, 2017 | 9:47am EST
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) spoke to reporters at his weekly briefing at the Capitol on Jan. 12, 2017. (CNSNews.com/Penny Starr)

(CNSNews.com) – At his weekly briefing with reporters on Capitol Hill Thursday, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said that the 2015 reconciliation bill that defunded Planned Parenthood for one year would be the model for this year’s reconciliation bill and that federal dollars should be directed to federally qualified health care centers rather than the nation’s largest abortion provider.

“We’re working off the bill we passed last year, and remember our goal in that policy is to get health care to women – particularly in low-income communities who need it – without all the controversy surrounding Planned Parenthood,” Ryan said in response to a reporter’s question about whether defunding the abortion provider could hurt Republicans in the 2018 election cycle.

“That’s why we think these dollars are better directed to community health care clinics. Federally qualified health clinics, which I had lots of experience with in Wisconsin, are very good, and by the way, for every one Planned Parenthood clinic, there’s 20 federal community health centers. There’s 20 to one, and we think it’s better to send these dollars to those clinics that do a very good job of giving women the services they need – the preventative services - without all the controversy surrounding Planned Parenthood,” Ryan said.

House Bill 3762 was passed by Congress last year but was vetoed by President Barack Obama, and not enough votes were garnered to overturn the veto.

The bill said, in part:

“For one year, this bill restricts the availability of federal funding to a state for payments to an entity (e.g., Planned Parenthood Federation of America) that:

  • is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization;
  • is an essential community provider primarily engaged in family planning services and reproductive health;
  • provides for abortions other than abortions in cases of rape or incest, or where a physical condition endangers a woman's life unless an abortion is performed; and
  • received a total of more than $350 million under Medicaid in FY2014, including payments to affiliates, subsidiaries, successors, or clinics.”

According to a publication distributed last summer by the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, women have many other options for seeking primary care, contraception, STI testing, and cancer screening other than Planned Parenthood and are entities that don’t provide abortion.

According to research done by the Charlotte Lozier Institute that’s included in the publication, there are 13,540 federally certified health care centers and rural health clinics nationwide or more than 20 community health clinics for every one Planned Parenthood clinic.

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