President takes first step in defunding Planned Parenthood

President Donald Trump signed legislation this month to grant states the decision to withhold Title X federal funding from abortion providers — including the non-profit Planned Parenthood.

Vice President Mike Pence cast the final tie-breaking vote when the senate voted on the bill in late March.

Several Republican senators, including Sen. Susan Collins, voted against the measure, “If you’re serious about trying to reduce the number of abortions the best way to do that is to make family planning more widely available.” She said after the vote, according to the Huffington Post.

Gov. Jay Inslee affirmed his support of funding Planned Parenthood back in February, commending the non-profit’s vital health care services.

The decision comes months after President Trump’s executive order to defund international abortion services, including Planned Parenthood International, which extends their leading reproductive health care and family planning services to underprivileged countries.

“Millions of women have been helped by Planned Parenthood, but we’re not going to allow and we’re not going to fund as long as you have the abortion going on in Planned Parenthood,” President Trump said weeks before the vote.

The President openly stated his pro-life stance since the start of his campaign.

Four million people depend on the Title X family planning program, and by signing this bill, President Trump disregards their health and well-being,” Executive Vice President of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America Dawn Laguens said in a statement opposing the bill. “We should build on the tremendous progress made in this country with expanded access to birth control, instead of enacting policies that take us backward.”

Since 1970, Title X of the Public Health Service Act has granted family planning organizations with aid. If states choose to deny these funds, Planned Parenthood could face a loss of $70 million annually.

Additionally, GOP lawmakers also targeted medicaid — which provides the bulk of Planned Parenthood patients with financial aid — in the American Health Care Act, but the measure failed before getting to a vote in the House. The healthcare reform suggested cutting Planned Parenthood’s medicaid funding by nearly half.

The Family Planning Act and the Hyde Amendment already prevent abortion services from receiving Title X and Medicaid funding. The funds received for Planned Parenthood instead go to contraceptives, reproductive care for men and women, screenings for sexually transmitted diseases and other family care needs.

Planned Parenthood says the potential cuts will affect low income families and those families living in rural areas the most.

Many state officials have yet to comment on their stances regarding the bill