The Obama administration has joined with Planned Parenthood in a suit intended to stop an Arizona law that defunds the abortion giant. The Whole Woman’s Healthcare Funding Prioritization Act, signed into law last May by Republican Governor Jan Brewer (pictured with Obama), defunds abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood. The law offers the state family planning funds instead to entities that provide comprehensive healthcare without an abortion option.
On October 4, Obama's Department of Justice filed a brief in the suit, claiming that the state of Arizona is not permitted to decide which groups will receive Medicare money it gets from the federal government. But Arizona Solicitor General David Cole pointed out that federal law allows states to establish “meaningful provider qualifications” for Medicare recipients, giving the state the authority to withhold funding from Planned Parenthood and other “health care” providers that perform abortions. “Cole said Planned Parenthood could get family planning funds if it divorces its family planning services from its abortion business,” reported LifeNews.com, a path Planned Parenthood is unlikely to take as long as it has such a solid ally in the White House.
In signing the defunding measure, Brewer called it a “common-sense law that tightens existing state regulations and closes loopholes in order to ensure that taxpayer dollars are not used to fund abortions, whether directly or indirectly.” When the bill was passed, Cathy Herrod of the Center for Arizona Policy explained that cutting funding to the abortion giant meant that more funding would now be available to groups that don't rely on the deadly procedure for revenue. “The grants will be made to community health centers,” Herrod said of the former Planned Parenthood funding, adding that “there are many providers out there providing these services able to pick up the slack.”
Marjorie Dannenfelser of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, which, along with Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) provided the model legislation for the bill, said that when Arizona state lawmakers passed the measure, they were acting on behalf of the state's citizens, who “do not want their tax dollars going to abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood, which performs more than 330,000 abortions a year.”
Dannenfelser noted that the Obama administration's actions in filing the suit through the DOJ are on behalf of one of the president's staunches allies. “While Planned Parenthood spends millions to re-elect President Obama and even sends its president, Cecile Richards, to campaign in Iowa this week,” she said, “the Obama Administration once again is stepping in to protect the bottom line of its top political ally and the nation’s largest abortion provider.”
She added that in spite of nearly non-stop scandals on the part of Planned Parenthood, “including allegations of the waste, abuse and potential fraud of millions of taxpayer dollars, President Obama has refused to allow a single tax dollar to be cut from Planned Parenthood at the federal level. When the states take matters into their own hands to protect taxpayers from the abortion industry, Obama’s Administration promptly intervenes on the abortion businesses’ behalf.”
ADF Senior Counsel Steven Aden said that the Arizona bill is worded in a way that allows the state “to be good stewards of the people’s money in this regard. It’s no surprise that Planned Parenthood would oppose that in light of their ongoing thirst for taxpayer dollars.”
Arizona is the third state the Obama administration has sued for defunding Planned Parenthood, following Indiana and Texas. Wisconsin, Kansas, and North Carolina have also passed laws to defund the abortion giant, and all face lawsuits over the legislation.
Last year the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the Texas law, affirming that the state could withhold funding from Planned Parenthood. “Since then, the Obama Administration has withheld federal Medicaid dollars from the state until it agrees to restore Planned Parenthood’s funding,” reported Focus on the Family's CitizenLink.com. “The case is again making its way through the federal court system, as is Indiana’s.”
According to pro-life research, Planned Parenthood is responsible for the death of a pre-born baby approximately every 96 seconds. As for funding, the U.S. Government Accountability Office reported that between 2002 and 2009 pro-abortion groups such as Planned Parenthood received over one billion dollars in federal funding, not to mention state and local grants. Planned Parenthood alone received $657.1 million in federal grants and contracts during that time period.
Photo of President Obama with Governor Brewer: AP Images