HEMPSTEAD, NY - OCTOBER 16: Women protest for continued funding of Planned Parenthood outside Hofstra University prior to the second presidential debate on...
Andrew Burton

Michigan GOP goes after non-existent Planned Parenthood funding

State policymakers in Michigan are working on the state’s budget, and with Republicans in control of the legislature and the governor’s office, a pretty conservative blueprint is taking shape.
 
But there’s one policy fight in particular that caught my eye.
Organizations like Planned Parenthood wouldn’t be able to contract with the state of Michigan under a $37.86 billion budget passed by the House of Representatives Tuesday. […]
 
Amendment WW adopted Tuesday would amend state law to keep the state from contracting “with an organization which provides elective abortions, abortion counseling or abortion referrals.” The amendment also bans organizations under contract with the state from contracting with the same types of organizations.
The report from MLive Media quoted one GOP leader who said “multiple members of the House Republican caucus expressed concern about state dollars going to support Planned Parenthood.”
 
OK, and exactly how much state money is currently going to support Planned Parenthood? Well, in the most recent Michigan budget, the grand total was $0. In the budget before that, it was $0.
 
Michigan Republicans, however, are unsatisfied with this, pushing a measure to prevent Planned Parenthood from ever receiving public funds – even for health services that have nothing to do with abortion.
 
The proposal comes by way of state Rep. Gary Glenn (R), a right-wing activist known for his fierce anti-gay views.
 
Regardless, the GOP’s campaign against Planned Parenthood became a national issue in advance of the 2012 campaign – when the so-called “Republican war on women” was taking shape – and it’s clear that the party’s focus hasn’t changed in advance of the 2016 campaign.
 
In Kansas, meanwhile, state officials are dealing with a brutal budget crisis, but the Republican state government is nevertheless getting ready to set aside quite a bit of money to defend its new anti-abortion law.
Kansas’ attorney general is telling legislators that defending a first-of-its-kind anti-abortion law in court could cost the state up to $450,000, as Republican Gov. Sam Brownback commemorates the measure with events across the state.
 
The Republican governor announced plans Monday for four re-enactments of his signing of a bill banning a common second-trimester procedure that anti-abortion activists describe as dismembering a fetus.
The state AP’s report added that the Kansas attorney general’s office has already paid outside attorneys $1.2 million “to defend other anti-abortion laws enacted” since Gov. Sam Brownback (R) took office in January 2011.
 
Several Kansas school districts were forced to close early this year due to lack of money.
 
Disclosure: My wife works for Planned Parenthood, but played no role in this piece and her work is unrelated to Michigan, Kansas, and the 2016 campaign.
 

Abortion, Kansas, Michigan, Planned Parenthood and Reproductive Rights

Michigan GOP goes after non-existent Planned Parenthood funding