In April, conservatives in Congress brought the nation to the brink of a government shutdown in an attempt to strip federal funding from Planned Parenthood. Though the effort was defeated, some in Congress aren’t ready to throw in the towel.
One such member is ardent anti-abortion congressman Steve King (R-IA). ThinkProgress spoke with King about funding for Planned Parenthood at last month’s Ames Straw Poll.
King said that he still wants to strip Planned Parenthood funding, despite the fact that federal law already prohibits taxpayer money being used to pay for abortions, because “money is fungible.” We asked King if, by his logic, he would therefore like to see money stripped from hospitals that provide abortion as well. King entertained the idea – “Maybe. I’d want to look at the case.” – before telling us that Planned Parenthood is currently breaking federal law.
KING: That’s one of the things that Planned Parenthood’s pioneering, there are Skype global abortions. And I offered the amendment that blocks all funding to that. I don’t think that any taxpayer should be compelled to fund anything that has to do with abortion, and I don’t think we should have federal funds going to any organization that provides abortion services or counseling.
KEYES: What about hospitals that provide abortion? Would you like to see the money stripped away from them, for instance?
KING: Maybe. I’d want to look at the case. I think it’s immoral for us to compel pro-life America to fund pro-abortion America.
KEYES: So just to clarify, Planned Parenthood, are they breaking federal law here or just switching money?
KING: They’re breaking federal law here and if these reports come through, we could just shut that off so I don’t know if that’s going to be the case anymore.
Earlier this year, King called Planned Parenthood – an organization that provides such services as breast cancer exams, STI testing, and cervical cancer screening – “ghoulish and ghastly and gruesome.“