89.3 KPCC: Planned Parenthood California branches vow to fight Senate bill

June 23, 2017

By Rebecca Plevin

Planned Parenthood affiliates in California are vowing to fight the Senate GOP's proposal to eliminate federal support for the health care organization.

The group will do everything from calling members of Congress to "seeking legal avenues that protect... access to affordable, quality health care for our patients," said Julianne Hines, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood Pasadena and San Gabriel Valley.

The Senate bill would do away with Planned Parenthood's Medicaid reimbursements for one year. The House of Representatives voted to do the same thing last month. If the funding cut survives the legislative process, it would translate to a loss of $175.7 million in annual federal support for Planned Parenthood in California, according to Hines.

That amount would be more than half of the state organization's budget.

State Sen. Ed Hernandez, chair of the Senate Health Committee, said the loss of federal dollars would be an extra strain on the state's budget. He criticized Congress' motivations for pursuing the funding cut.

"It seems like what the federal government is doing, especially to Planned Parenthood, is punitive and it's political," Hernandez said. 

Republicans have targeted Planned Parenthood because it provides abortions. The organization can't use federal dollars for the procedure, but critics say taxpayers are indirectly funding it.

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