As another state has banned Planned Parenthood funding, Rep. Robert Dold (R-IL) introduced a bill to protect federal funds to Planned Parenthood. Dold, one of the few pro-choice Republicans in Congress, said today that he was pushing for the bill because of the importance of Title X family planning funds for women’s health:
We have seen several attempts to block funds and exclude health care providers from participating in the Title X program simply because they separately offer services beyond the scope of Title X. We should not discriminate against hospitals and organizations that provide access to basic, preventative, and in some cases life-saving services for so many underprivileged women through Title X.
Dold said he wants to “bring both sides together” in support of Planned Parenthood and health care for women, but it’s unclear how much support he will get. Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL), Energy and Commerce Oversight subcommittee chairman who launched an investigation into Planned Parenthood, told Politico that he did not understand why Dold’s bill was necessary because “there’s no discrimination against Planned Parenthood.”
In recent years, eight states have voted to block Planned Parenthood from receiving funds. And last year, the GOP-controlled House voted to prevent the women’s health organization from receiving Title X money. Dold was one of seven Republicans to break from their party, and he spoke out against the measure, saying it would be “shortsighted and would negatively impact the lives of women who depend on these health care services.”
But the need to protect women’s access to health care has not stopped other Republicans from defunding Planned Parenthood. Texas Republicans’ decision to cut Planned Parenthood out of the state’s Women’s Health Program endangered care for 130,000 women.