South Carolina governor Henry McMaster has reduced state funding for abortion providers, reports the Los Angeles Times. McMaster vetoed a $16 million budget item which would have directed funds to Planned Parenthood and other abortion clinics.
“I have stated many times I am opposed to what Planned Parenthood is doing. And the veto I have is the most direct way,” McMaster told reporters during a formal news conference.
McMaster’s veto fulfills a campaign promise to pro-life voters who seek to decrease state funding for South Carolina abortion mills. Planned Parenthood denounced McMaster’s political integrity as a “stunt,” arguing that his veto will do little to prevent abortions in the state.
“It’s clear that the governor is singularly focused on his election bid in November and that is at the expense of South Carolina women. The veto does not ‘defund’ Planned Parenthood, but it will ensure that South Carolinians who use Medicaid as their primary insurance will be unable to access affordable, basic healthcare,” said Vicki Ringer, a Planned Parenthood spokeswoman.
In fact, McMaster’s veto removed less than half of the proposed $34 million allocation for “Family Planning” in the legislature’s budget, leaving in place sufficient funding for Medicaid patients who benefit from South Carolina’s prescription drug program.
Despite McMaster’s inclusive concern for both unborn children and Medicaid recipients, however, South Carolina lawmakers remain determined to oppose his pro-life agenda. “You are voting for a budget with an illusion at the expense of a reality,” Rep. Kirkman Finlay (R-Columbia) told colleagues during legislative debates in June.
President Trump is considering a series of actions that would significantly cripple Planned Parenthood, following through his commitment to protecting the unborn. While the President had stated his interest in aiding the Pro-Life movement at events such as the Washington, D.C. March for Life, he did not mention specific strategies for accomplishing his goal. This time, the President has a plan.
Title X, also known as the “Family Planning Program,” provides families, especially those of low-income background, with health services and resources. While abortion does not fall under the programs that Title X supports, Planned Parenthood still receives over $50 million a year from it, according to LifeSitenews. This is because the organization is listed as a family and health program, and claims to use the money for non-abortion services. Under President Ronald Reagan, Title X was barred from groups that promoted abortions. However, the Clinton administration eagerly overturned Reagan’s mandate. Thus, President Trump seeks to return to the Reagan-era restrictions.
Specifically, the President seeks to focus on the separation of Title X funds from practices that harm the unborn. Since the Clinton administration, Pro-Choice groups have not been not required to strictly report their spending of government money, which has enabled Planned Parenthood and its associates to funnel federal money to its abortion clinics. According to the National Review, under Trump’s restrictions, Planned Parenthood would be forced to financially separate its Title X operations from any activities involving abortions. However, since Planned Parenthood’s abortion services are integral to its finances, some analysts claim that it would be impossible, or at least extremely difficult, to meet this separation. If Planned Parenthood refuses to comply, it will be denied its funding from Title X.
Critics claim that this decision will severely inhibit access to women’s health care, as Planned Parenthood provides services that lie outside the boundaries of abortions. However, the Trump administration stated that “non-abortion” health centers greatly outnumber their counterparts at Planned Parenthood by more than 20 to 1, assuring families that they will still have ample access to a wide array of providers. Additionally, many opponents of Planned Parenthood believe that the group’s alleged allocation of Title X funds to abortions are a misuse of tax dollars that are meant to be spent on tackling illnesses and health issues.
The Trump administration has not spared words when opposing the misdeeds and moral crimes of Planned Parenthood and similar organizations. Now it seems that the President is closer to taking action against such groups, though it is also up to voters to support and pressure the White House to follow through with its words.
A Planned Parenthood abortion facility in Grand Chute, Wisconsin, recently closed its doors. According to a state pro-life group, Pro-Life Wisconsin, the facility lacked an abortionist and fewer women are seeking abortions.
Pro-Life Wisconsin state director Dan Miller acknowledged the support of pro-life volunteers and those who prayed for the facility’s closure.
“It’s because of those volunteers, who have prayed outside the facility, daily, even while it was shuttered, that’s why it’s closed,” Miller said.
The abortion clinic had unofficially closed its doors in September 2015 but Planned Parenthood repeatedly stated that it would reopen.
“When the clinic didn’t reopen in the spring as anticipated, Pro-Life Wisconsin recognized the truth. For Planned Parenthood, it’s all about the bottom line – if you don’t produce, you’re gone,” Pro-Life Wisconsin said. “The Grand Chute facility wasn’t killing enough babies, so they will close. Planned Parenthood’s internal policies are focused on abortion. That’s where the money is.”
Another Planned Parenthood located in Appleton, Wisconsin, suspended abortions last year due to difficulty in finding an abortionist to work there. That same clinic had shut down before due to a Senate bill that gave women access to an ultrasound of their baby before an abortion. The bill also required that abortionists, in order to perform abortions legally, have admitting privileges to a hospital within thirty miles of where the procedure will be performed. The bill was the reason for the temporary closure, according to Planned Parenthood.
Wisconsin’s governor Scott Walker signed this bill into law earlier in 2016. Called Sonya’s Law, this piece of legislation guarantees that women have access to ultrasounds before getting an abortion.
“Sonya’s Law will empower women to make truly informed decisions regarding how they will proceed with their pregnancies and will protect the lives of women who experience complications after their abortions,” Wisconsin Right to Life said at that time.
While happy at the closing of the Planned Parenthood abortion center in Grand Chute, Wisconsin, Pro-Life Wisconsin’s director Dan Miller was also somber at the news. “We mourn the loss of each and every baby killed in that facility.”
A non profit pregnancy resource center has opened a new office a few doors down from a Planned Parenthood office in Riverhead, New York. AAA Pregnancy Options, run by Life Center, was previously located on the second floor but now has increased visibility on its ground-floor location in the same office complex of the Planned Parenthood.
The new resource center is one of four on Long Island, all of which are located near a Planned Parenthood. The pregnancy resource centers work “to promote, encourage, and foster public sentiment and respect for the dignity of human life, from conception to natural death.”
AAA Pregnancy Options is equipped with resources to serve the Riverhead community. The center has counseling rooms, educational resources about pregnancy, and a storage room with baby supplies such as formula, baby food, and clothing. Every three months, clients can pick up these free supplies for up to two years after childbirth. In addition, the center pays for free ‘limited’ sonograms and offers post-abortive healing services to women who have had abortions and their partners.
50 percent of Life Center’s clients are between the ages of 15-24 and the second largest group of clients are over 40 years old.
The new location is already allowing AAA Pregnancy Options to make a difference and serve more people in the community. In the first two weeks, the center helped 16 new clients and saved three babies from abortion.
After Oregon State House Speaker Tina Kotek cancelled a hearing into Planned Parenthood’s practices in Oregon last month, several State House Republicans sent a letter to top Oregon Planned Parenthood officials as well as the president of the Oregon Health and Science University asking detailed questions about what happens to body parts of babies after they are aborted.
The legislators asked OHSU and Planned Parenthood what the baby body parts have been used for and how much Planned Parenthood has been reimbursed for those parts, among other questions.
This week OHSU, Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette (PPCW) and Planned Parenthood of Southwestern Oregon (PPSO) responded to the Legislators with their own letters. PPSO and PPCW both refused to give specifics about what happens to the remains of babies aborted at their facilities, although PPCW admitted to working with OHSU as part of two research studies.
But OHSU’s response, which can be read here, is more revealing. In it, they first admit that as part of a study, the “OHSU lead scientist or OHSU research study coordinator” is responsible for examining tissue from abortions in the actual PPCW facility and determining what part of the tissue is from the baby and what isn’t.
According to the letter, “in some cases involving tissue at less than five weeks gestation, the microscopic embryo tissue may not be able to be distinguished and is not separated.” The room and equipment used for this is paid for by OHSU to PPCW. The tissue (whether placental or from the aborted baby), is then sent to OHSU for further study. The number of cases where the aborted baby parts are indistinguishable from placental tissue is not revealed in the letter.
Furthermore, the letter admits that “OHSU has paid a service fee to obtain fetal livers and fetal thymus from Advanced Bioscience Resources (ABR). The service fee price range to obtain the tissue is $230-$340 per specimen.”
This confirms what was first surfaced in one of the investigative videos released by the Center for Medial Progress in recent weeks. In response to a question about how many specimens OHSU has purchased from ABR, OHSU responded “OHSU has acquired a total of 123 specimens from ABR.”
This means that OHSU has spent between $28,290 and $41,820 on purchasing baby body parts from Advanced Bioscience Resources.
In a statement obtained by the Oregon Optimist, Republican State Representatives Bill Post and Gail Whitsett issued the Republican response to this new information:
After last month’s hearing was canceled, we submitted specific fact based questions in writing to Planned Parenthood and OHSU. The answers provided by OHSU and Planned Parenthood make it clear that a corporation was selling fetal organ[s] in the State of Oregon. Advanced Bioscience Resources (ABR), the largest fetal organ company in America, sold livers and thymus collected from second trimester fetuses for between $230 and $340 per organ. This activity could possibly violate state and/or federal law. We owe the people of Oregon a full and open investigation into this activity.