Since Republicans failed to ban federal funding for Planned Parenthood, a few states have decided to do it themselves. First up, Indiana, where the Senate passed a funding ban last week. But, as the Indianapolis Starreports, it’s not that simple: Under federal law, states cannot choose which organizations are allowed to provide family planning to Medicaid patients. The Planned Parenthood ban could now cost the state all $4 billion of its federal funds for family-planning services.
The Texas House recently voted to slash $61 million out of the state’s family-planning budget, which would leave just $37 million over the next two years to prevent unwanted pregnancies. The consequences should be obvious, but state lawmakers needn’t go beyond their own borders to see the results of underfunded family-planning and sex-education programs. As Gail Collinswrites in TheNew York Times today:
Michelle Rhee, former D.C. public schools chancellor, and Gov. Rick Scott of Florida (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
In the last-minute horse-trading and compromising before reaching a budget deal, House Speaker John Boehner won from Democrats a small, weird concession: the renewal and expansion of the District of Columbia's school voucher program. Known as the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, it was the first federally funded voucher system. Congress ran it from 2004 until 2009, when the Obama administration began to wind it down. The District -- already the epicenter of aggressive school-reform measures -- woke up last Saturday morning and found that its old voucher program had returned.
One area where Republicans were looking to trim fat from the budget was international family planning. When the House passed H.R.1, their ideal budget, at the end of March, they slashed family-planning assistance by $200 million, a 30 percent reduction. In the final budget, that number has been reduced to $73 million. Based on calculations by the Guttmacher Institute, here’s what that translates into:
Mayor Vincent Gray and several Council members were arrested yesterday evening while protesting the budget deal on Capitol Hill. The deal struck between Republicans and the White House used D.C. as a bargaining chip, including a provision blocking D.C. from putting local funds toward abortions for low-income women. “John, I will give you D.C. abortion. I am not happy about it,” Obama reportedly said in negotiations.