Planned Parenthood funding in jeopardy in state budget

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – “Planned Parenthood” may be at risk for not receiving any more funding from the state of Michigan.

This comes after state lawmakers approved a $56.8 billion budget on Tuesday, however, there may be some legality issues when it comes to this potential ban.

How did we get to this point?

Back in February, Governor Rick Snyder presented ideas of what he’d like to see in next year’s budget.

For the past few months, state lawmakers have had a chance to review his suggestions and add any ideas they’d like to see in the budget as well.

However the budget language presented about “Planned Parenthood” isn’t just stirring up concern, 6 News was told that it could be unconstitutional.

“There was a provision on the budget as passed that would cease funding for Planned Parenthood because they provide abortion services and we’re concerned that that part of the budget is not enforceable because it violates the constitution at the state level,” said Anna Heaton; Press Secretary for Governor Snyder.

Heaton says before the budget is signed into law, it’s the governor’s job to make sure everything is constitutionally correct and she says right now that’s not the case.

“There is a law already that governs in Michigan how MDHHS (Michigan Department of Health & Human Services) can spend taxpayer money with health service providers and so in order for the legislature to change that, they need to go in and open up that section of the law,” Heaton stated.

“Planned Parenthood” has been a hot button issue for the past couple years and Republican Senator Rick Jones fears that federal funding could be taken away as well.

“The federal government has informed us that they will not give us aid for abortions so to comply with title 10, what we’re doing is distributing it by county and it will have to go first to family planning organizations that don’t have abortion,” said Senator Jones.

And Democratic House Minority Leader Sam Singh agrees that the language is unconstitutional and says lawmakers should be spending time on other issues.

“One of the things that we really wanted to talk about in this budget was roads, school funding, the things that are really important to the average day person but the republicans wanted to play games with the budget and that’s what we found really disappointing,” Representative Singh stated.

6 News did receive a statement from Lori Carpentier, the President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan in response to the actions in the legislature. It says quote:

“This is a targeted attack on the patients who choose Planned Parenthood for access to basic preventative health care like S.T.I. testing and treatment, cancer screenings and contraception. We agree with the governor’s office that this is unconstitutional and therefore should be considered unenforceable.

This budget would block access for patients who use Planned Parenthood for their reproductive health care and family planning needs. This is a policy introduced for political gain and at the expense of Michigan’s women and families – they deserve better.

Right now, the budget is still being reviewed by the governor so it’s undetermined when he will sign it or what will happen with that funding.

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