Bad bill threatens women’s health

Posted: June 04, 2012

Republicans in Harrisburg have launched another misguided attack on women’s reproductive health care with a bill to defund Planned Parenthood in Pennsylvania.

Legislation introduced by a small band of GOP lawmakers would bar all federal and state funding to Planned Parenthood. The bill’s chief sponsor, Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R., Butler), claims overall public funding for women’s health services would not be reduced, but that the bill would prioritize funding so that hospitals, health centers, and other clinics would receive money first.

But the intent behind this bill supported by antiabortion groups is blatantly obvious. Health-care providers that offer abortion services would go to the back of the bus for state funding.

There is no word yet on whether Gov. Corbett will support the measure, which would likely face a legal challenge. If it reaches his desk, he must consider its harmful impact on women.

There are already restrictions that prohibit the use of state and federal funding for abortion services, and abortions make up only about 3 percent of the services provided by Planned Parenthood.

So why impose funding restrictions that would roll back women’s ability to obtain family-planning services and safe abortions.

Similar versions of this legislation have failed in several other states. Pennsylvania lawmakers shouldn’t pass this shortsighted bill that puts in jeopardy access to affordable services for thousands of poor and uninsured women who visit Planned Parenthood facilities for vital preventive health care and screenings.

This legislation deserves the same fate as a misguided bill that would force women undergoing an abortion to watch an ultrasound of the fetus before undergoing the procedure.

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