CBS News: Can Congress defund Planned Parenthood?

CBS News: Can Congress defund Planned Parenthood?

By Rebecca Kaplan

Senate Republicans unveiled a bill Wednesday that aims to block any federal dollars from reaching Planned Parenthood. The legislation is a response to a series of undercover videos produced by anti-abortion activists who claim the organization is selling fetal tissue to researchers. (Planned Parenthood says the costs are only related to handling of the tissue donations, and it has done nothing wrong.)

Had the legislation advanced, it would violate existing federal law and almost certainly face a challenge in court, Susan Fogel, the Director of Reproductive Health for the National Health Law Program, told CBS News.

The laws governing Medicaid – the health insurance program for low-income families – prevent states from excluding certain providers solely because of other medical services they provide, like abortions. Those laws also say Medicaid recipients must be allowed to seek treatment from anyone who is qualified to perform the services. This is sometimes called a “freedom of choice” provision. Read the full article here. »

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