Paul Ryan vows to defund Planned Parenthood in Obamacare repeal

By Danielle Haynes   |   Jan. 5, 2017 at 3:02 PM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- House Speaker Paul Ryan on Thursday said House Republicans intend to strip Planned Parenthood of funding as part of their promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Speaking at his weekly news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., Ryan said the women's healthcare organization would lose millions of dollars in a fast-track bill.

"Planned Parenthood legislation would be in our reconciliation bill," he said, referring to a congressional procedure that avoids a potential Senate filibuster and would require a simple majority instead of the 60-vote supermajority.

Republicans, who control both chambers of Congress, have vowed to dismantle much of Obamacare this year. Ryan said Thursday they'd provide a transition period before implementing new healthcare legislation.

"We're going to have a transition period so that people do not have the rug pulled out from underneath them while we get to a better place," he said. "Obamacare has failed, is getting worse and we have to provide relief.

"This law is failing and we have to fix it."

Democrats and pro-choice leaders gathered on Capitol Hill on Thursday to speak against Republican efforts.

"We are going to stand against this with every fiber of our beings," said Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., chairwoman of the House Pro-Choice Caucus.

Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards said "an attack on the Affordable Care Act is an attack on women's health, plain and simple."

In 2014, Planned Parenthood said it received $553 million in government funding, The Washington Post reported. That represents about 40 percent of its overall funding.

Planned Parenthood isn't allowed to use federal funds for abortions, but can use it to pay for other health services like birth control.

A reconciliation bill defunding Planned Parenthood was passed by both houses of Congress in 2015, but President Barack Obama vetoed it. Trump is expected to sign the new legislation after repeatedly calling for the organization to be defunded throughout his campaign.

"Planned Parenthood should absolutely be defunded," Trump said in an October 2015 appearance on Fox News Sunday. "I mean if you look at what's going on with that, it's terrible."

In December, Obama signed an executive order preventing states from cutting off federal funding to Planned Parenthood.

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