‘The Moral High Ground’: REPUBLICAN Congressman Bob Dold Introduces Bill to Protect Planned Parenthood Funding
Refusing to tow the party line of hostility toward Planned Parenthood, one Republican congressman is boldly introducing a bill to preserve government funding for the besieged women’s health organization.
The bill would prohibit legislators from blocking Title X family planning funds to Planned Parenthood over objections to the fact that some PP clinics perform abortions.
“This is something I’ve being dealing with since I got here, I was the only Republican to stand up and speak out against defunding Planned Parenthood,” Dold told Politico. “This is Title X funding, and I want to make sure we are preserving access to health care for women.”
“Specifically, this legislation says that when it comes to participation in the Title X program, health care providers such as hospitals and health care clinics, including Planned Parenthood, cannot be discriminated against and excluded simply because they choose to offer additional services, separate from Title X,” Dold told reporters Wednesday after introducing his bill.
His position– Dold is a pro-choice Republican, one of only seven in the House– places the congressman squarely at odds with the majority of Republican lawmakers, who have targeted Planned Parenthood for a reduction or even elimination of government funding over the abortion issue.
Indeed, Republican lawmakers in eight states have voted to defund PP in order, they say, to prevent “taxpayer-funded abortions.” The Huffington Post points out that under the Hyde Amendment, the government is barred from using taxpayer funds to pay for abortions, but Republicans claim that Title X or Medicaid funds given to Planned Parenthood for cancer screenings, STD testing and contraception could theoretically make money available to pay for abortions.
Presumed GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney has vowed to defund Planned Parenthood if elected.
But Rep. Dold is undaunted. He says he plans to “bring both sides together” to bolster Planned Parenthood and to educate Americans about its importance. The Title X program provides invaluable health care services to some five million low-income Americans each year.
“We should not discriminate against hospitals and organizations that provide access to basic preventative and in some cases, lifesaving services for so many underprivileged women through Title X,” Dold said.
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