Republicans on a committee in the Iowa House tonight advanced a plan to “defund” Planned Parenthood. It sets up a likely showdown with the Democratically-led Iowa Senate which has resisted similar efforts in the past.
Chuck Hurley of The Family Leader Foundation, a Christian conservative organization, has been lobbying Republicans legislators to take a stand.
“From our vantage point, we should not be funding anybody who’s killing children in the womb,” Hurley says.
State tax dollars currently cover the costs for Medicaid patients who get reproductive health exams or contraceptives at Planned Parenthood, but state tax dollars are not used to pay for abortions. Hurley says that’s not good enough.
“Imagine saying, ‘Well, the money that the German people are sending to Auschwitz only goes to cover the gates and the fencing and the food to keep the place open,'” Hurley says.
Democrats suggest House Republicans are out of touch with public opinion. A recent Des Moines Register “Iowa Poll” found 74 percent of Iowans want the state to continue spending tax dollars at Planned Parenthood to cover non-abortion services for low-income Iowans.
Hurley says there’s more “zeal” among activists due to undercover videos released last summer that showed Planned Parenthood officials discussing the organization’s fetal tissue donation program. A Texas grand jury concluded Planned Parenthood broke no laws. Two people who worked on the video project have been charged.