GOP representatives from Texas and Oklahoma formally objected to using federal funds to terminate pregnancies.
Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) and Rep. Michael Cloud (R-Texas) have introduced the Women’s Public Health and Safety Act to let state legislatures decide whether to exclude Planned Parenthood and other pro-choice service providers from receiving Medicaid funding.
Lankford believes killing unborn babies is a ‘forced’ act neither he nor the Trump administration wants to be a part of and urged each state to declare their positions.
“Abortion is not health care and taxpayers should not be forced to support the largest abortion providers in the country under the guise of women’s healthcare,” he said on Facebook. “This bill allows states to ensure that tax dollars support the thousands of health care providers without the worry that tax dollars will also contribute to abortion services … [and] we can simultaneously stand for the unborn while also supporting fundamental, quality health services for women everywhere.”
The remarks came in response to current legislation that compels state jurisdictions to let any qualified provider participate in the Medicaid system.
According to a Government Accountability Office report, Planned Parenthood received $1.2 billion in Medicaid reimbursements over three years, accounting for 80 percent of the abortion provider’s joint federal and state funding stream.
“For too long, abortion providers have operated on the taxpayer’s dime, while performing elective abortions in the name of ‘health care’,” Cloud said in a statement. “Sixty percent of Americans object to taxpayer-funded abortions. Yet abortion providers, like Planned Parenthood, have access to billions in state Medicaid dollars–which the taxpayer reimburses at 90 percent for family planning services. Sen. Lankford and I are seeking to empower states to end federal subsidies for abortion providers and to ensure quality healthcare is made available to women.”
The bill has already attracted support from different senators, including Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Mike Crapo (R-N.D.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Jim Risch (R-Ind.), and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).
Other supporters include senators John Cornyn (R-Texas), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.), Jerry Moran (R-Kans.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), and John Thune (R-S.D.).
The U.S. Supreme Court previously rejected “threatening statements” from Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) who allegedly warned associate justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch they would face serious consequences unless they supported abortion cases at the Supreme Court in Washington.
Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. denounced Schumer’s remarks to a pro-choice rally hosted by the Center for Reproductive Rights. Schumer said that Kavanaugh and Gorsuch had “released the whirlwind,” would have to “pay the price,” and “will not know what hit” them if they voted unfavorably toward pro-choice activists.
“Justices know that criticism comes with the territory but threatening statements of this sort from the highest levels of government are not only inappropriate, they are dangerous,” Roberts said in a statement.