Trump Signs Bill Targeting Planned Parenthood

The move reverses an Obama rule aimed at protecting family planning funds.

Ron Sachs/CNP/ZUMA

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.


Update, 4/13: On Thursday, President Trump signed this bill into law, officially allowing states to withhold public funds that pay for contraception and other non-abortion services from providers who also offer abortions. “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,” Planned Parenthood Executive Vice President Dawn Laguens said in a statement.

Update, 5:45 p.m.: On Thursday afternoon, the Senate voted to pass a bill allowing states to withhold federal family planning funds from abortion providers, including Planned Parenthood. Once again, Vice President Mike Pence provided the tie-breaking vote. The bill now goes to President Donald Trump for his signature.

Vice President Mike Pence and a Republican senator recovering from surgery were whisked onto the Senate floor on Thursday to help advance legislation that would allow states to withhold federal family planning funds from health care providers who also offer abortions, including Planned Parenthood.

Two Republican senators, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, voted against the bill, leaving it with just 49 votes. Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), who had been recovering from back surgery at home in Georgia, arrived at the Capitol to cast the 50th vote. That resulted in a tie that allowed Pence to cast the tie-breaking vote on a procedural motion on the bill, which can now advance to a final vote.

The bill would overturn an Obama administration rule that prohibits states from withholding federal family planning money from abortion providers like Planned Parenthood. The use of federal funding for most abortions is already illegal thanks to the Hyde Amendment, a budget rider first passed in 1976. The Obama-era rule protects funds for health care services like contraception, cancer screenings, and annual gynecological exams for low-income patients.

“Mike Pence went from yesterday’s forum on empowering women to today leading a group of male politicians in a vote to take away access to birth control and cancer screenings,” said Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, in a statement. “Four million people depend on the Title X family planning program, and this move by DC politicians would endanger their health care. This would take away birth control access for a woman who wants to plan her family and her future.”

Last month, the House voted to approve its version of this measure. If the Senate passes the bill, it will move to President Donald Trump’s desk for his signature. On the campaign trail, Trump repeatedly promised to defund Planned Parenthood.

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate