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State Senate OKs bill to cut Planned Parenthood aid

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The Indiana Senate approved a bill Tuesday that would cut off funding to Planned Parenthood and give the state some of the country's tightest abortion restrictions.

The Republican-controlled Senate voted 35-13 for the bill, which would prohibit state funding for organizations that provide abortions and cut off some federal money that the state distributes to them.

The bill would also ban abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy unless there is a substantial threat to the woman's life or health. Indiana law now permits abortions up to the point of a fetus' viability — about 24 weeks.

Planned Parenthood of Indiana said the bill is unconstitutional and threatened to sue, saying the intent of the legislation is to immediately shut down nearly $3 million in federal family planning and Medicaid funding that passes through the state to the organization. It said thousands of residents rely on its 28 health centers.

Planned Parenthood performed more than 5,500 abortions in Indiana last year and had revenue of about $15.7 million.

"It makes absolutely no sense to reduce access to birth control when the objective is to reduce the incidence of abortion," said Betty Cockrum, president of Planned Parenthood of Indiana.

The proposal is similar to an effort that Republicans in Congress agreed to drop earlier this month. The GOP dropped the plan that would have cut off federal funding of Planned Parenthood as part of the deal that averted a shutdown of the federal government.

Mike Fichter, president of Indiana Right to Life, said Senate passage of the bill marked a "monumental day."

"The Indiana Senate is sending a resounding message that our state is solidly behind policies that respect the sanctity of life," he said.

Bill supporters said state and federal money shouldn't be funneled to organizations such as Planned Parenthood. Hospitals where abortions are performed could still receive state funding.

"Taxpayers will no longer fund any agency that provides abortions," said Sen. Mike Young, R-Indianapolis.

Opponents say federal laws prohibit government grants from going toward abortions. They said the money Planned Parenthood receives is used to provide services such as birth control and pelvic and breast exams to thousands of low-income women.

Sen. Vaneta Becker, R-Evansville, said she could have voted for the bill had it only changed the abortion rules. But she said it was a mistake to include a provision in the bill to cut Planned Parenthood funding — especially because the measure was inserted in the bill Monday without going through the committee process of holding a public hearing.

"I cannot support it when it takes away preventative health care services for low-income women," Becker said. "It's unconscionable that we would even consider doing so."

Sen. Vi Simpson, D-Bloomington, said the bill — which also requires abortion providers to tell women in writing that a fetus might feel pain at or before 20 weeks — is demeaning to women. She said those considering abortions do not make the decision lightly.

"It is a difficult, awful, trying, terrible family decision," she said. "Why we feel like we have to harass women when they're in the midst of making these most important decisions. ... My goodness."

If the bill passes, Indiana would join Nebraska and North Carolina in banning abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive-health research organization that supports abortion rights.

The bill now moves to the Republican-controlled House for consideration. A House committee previously approved a similar funding ban for Planned Parenthood, but that bill wasn't voted on by the full House because of the five-week walkout by Democrats over other legislation.

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  • Really
    Because we don't believe in killing an unborn child we don't care about children being born??? Nice try but what we don't care about are the selfish men and women that forego the multiple types of available contraception and its not rich vs poor as those who are in favor of keeping the doors of PP would like to say it is. Many clinics in low income areas provide birth control!!! Women that use this excuse need to explain to me why they feel like someone else must provide their abortion instead of them working to pay for the birth control to prevent it which when its divided by two( since she can't get pregnant by herself) isn't anymore expensive than cigarettes, getting your nails done, your hair done, etc... I work in a low income area and see abuse of this excuse daily!!! I have worked two and three jobs at a time so not buying the hype or their abortion!!!
  • Planned parenthood
    Why is it planned Parenthood can only exist if it provides abortions? I work in healthcare and I'm baffled by the lack of accountability that is disguised as power in women today. If you want to retire instead of raise another child teach your daughters true power and to be pro-choice, not by the ability to choose abortion but the choice of the MULTIPLE types of birth control available in 2012! Teach them responsible choices. A truly powerful woman controls her body before conception instead of after. This is not the rich vs poor argument you would like to make it out to be. Many clinics provide birth control in low to no income areas. I talked to a girl one night that opened up to me that she was getting ready to have her 8th abortion!!! I have been a single mom and know the difficulty but I also knew if I took one dime of assistance my father would disown me because he made it quite clear, the taxpayers didn't get me pregnant nor should they have to pay for my child. His expectations of me fueled my need to be responsible and provide the things my child and I needed as well as the realization that I didn't want to add to my responsibility!!!! I am a woman, an American and I am powerful enough to be accountable and expect the same from other women!!! If Planned Parenthood chooses to truly help young women why not do so but without providing abortions???
  • bill number for Mary, Morgan, and anyone else who asked....
    I just looked it up, and the bill number is HB 1210. It was amended in the Indiana Senate, and is back in the House to approve the amendments that Indiana House lawmakers added to this bill.

    I just have a bad feeling that Mitch Daniels might sign this bill into law, but you never know. I was pleasantly surprised he was against the 'SB1070-like' immigration bill, so maybe he'll surprise us here and veto this bill if it reaches his desk?

    http://www.in.gov/apps/lsa/session/billwatch/billinfo?year=2011&session=1&request=getBill&docno=1210&doctype=HB
  • Bill numbers
    Mary and Morgan: This is an Associated Press article. AP doesn't list the bill numbers in its stories about legislation. We simply don't have the time to track down bill numbers or voting rundowns for every AP story we publish about legislation. That info is readily available at http://www.in.gov/legislative/index.htm for those who want to dig deeper after they read a story. Thanks for reading.
  • Unfortunate
    This latest legislative agenda by the GOP is simply another example of the assault on the less fortunate in this country. Take away any option to educate or provide birth control and then demean the same people for being poor and having too many babies.
  • They won't
    Morgan - the IBJ won't print the Bill numbers or the list of Yes and No voters on any of these recent social controversial bills. Makes me wonder why. It would be nice to hear from the IBJ on this.
  • R U CRAZY
    Im too old 2to raise another child. you are only making retiremen a dream for seniors
  • If you care enough, support the organization
    Planned Parenthood is a nonprofit organization. If you believe enough in the mission and this bothers you, send them more donations to make up for the loss. I understand there are some that receive services that can't donate, but there are plenty of other people that can!
  • suggestion?
    IBJ editors - can you start printing bill numbers? I'd like to be able to look up the bill to see who exactly voted for/against and that would be a big help.
    • IDIOTS
      Did we really elect (hire) these idiots? Leave Planned Parenthood to take care of of the people in our community who depend on them! How dare any of us to think that we know what is best for people who have tough decisions to make!
    • fixing font
      â??fact sheetâ?? detailing its â??servicesâ?? for 2009, affiliates performed 332,278 abortions, saw 7,021 prenatal clients and made 977 adoption referrals. That means for 97.6 percent of its 340,276 pregnant clients, abortion was Planned Parenthoodâ??s provided â??service.â??
    • NationÃ?¢ââ??‰â??¢s largest abortion provider: Planned Parenthood
      If Planned Parenthood wants to receive taxpayer money for "birth control" and "health screenings", they can simply stop practicing abortion. But the truth is that it is not about providing health screenings and birth control to impoverished women; it is about Planned Parenthood making a multimillion dollar profit on the backs of impoverished and vulnerable women.

      Fact check: Washington Times 4/18/11- According to a Ã?¢ââ??¬Ã?â??fact sheetÃ?¢ââ??¬ï¿½ detailing its Ã?¢ââ??¬Ã?â??servicesÃ?¢ââ??¬ï¿½ for 2009, affiliates performed 332,278 abortions, saw 7,021 prenatal clients and made 977 adoption referrals. That means for 97.6 percent of its 340,276 pregnant clients, abortion was Planned ParenthoodÃ?¢ââ??‰â??¢s provided Ã?¢ââ??¬Ã?â??service.Ã?¢ââ??¬ï¿½ http://bit.ly/g9MzgE
      • Backwards
        This is absolutely ridiculous! I'm a conservative and don't think abortion is right, but to cut women's health aid is crazy. Just wait until the teen pregnancy stats start rising again. Dumb, dumb, dumb!
      • Life
        I would go a step further and say that proponents of this bill do not even care about the child before it is born, except to make sure that it is in fact, born. They don't care whether the mother gets adequate pre-natal care, whether the child is going to be born into a good home, whether the mother is capable of caring for her child, ...you get the picture.
      • "Pro-Life"
        I agree with Shane completely. Proponents of ending abortion rights only seem to care about the child before it is born. Now, once that child is born, they leave the room. How "Christian" is that??
        • Call your representative
          Planned Parenthood is so important to so many women. Please make your voice heard on this issue. Call your representative and simply tell them that you stand with Planned Parenthood.

          No tax dollars actually got to fund abortion, and abortion is only 3% of Planned Parenthood's programs. 97% of all Planned Parenthood funds go to cancer and disease screening, education, contraception, and prenatal care.

          Planned Parenthood matters please take five minutes and make a phone call, write an email, or send a letter. Tell all of these old men to respect women healthcare!

          IN.gov Representative Finder
          http://www.in.gov/sliverheader/Welcome.do?url=http://kyeo-in.egis.39dn.com/

          Planned Parenthood Advocates of Indiana
          http://ppfa.convio.net/site/PageServer?pagename=in_ppin_homepage&scid=2242
        • Unbelievable arrogance
          What is up with the assault on women by our state legislators? Enough already! It's obvious you don't have a clue how to create jobs or fix a broken economy so you spend all of your time on wing-nut agenda items.
        • Stupid
          This is horrible. So they want to cut women's health services, but I have yet to have seen or heard of a bill that is going to fund ADDITIONAL child services, food stamp programs, ect. that this will surely cause down the road.
          • don't cut funds
            hey what happen to women rigth's you know if cut the funds their going be teen pregrant.At lease if you don't have insurance you can still get your birthcontrol pills
          • viagra
            There is no coverage for Viagra. I work in a pharmacy. That is a myth.
          • Making women second class citizens.
            Again the men of America, seem to think they have the GOD given right, to tell women what they can do with their bodies.I may not believe in abortion but donot tell me I can't.The men in the world have abused,sold and controlled women long enough.The women should start standing up for their rights.I will not vote for anyone who will try and take my rights away from me.
            If they are going to take birth control away the they should also stop paying for Vigra for the men.

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