Texas is the latest state to withdraw Medicaid funding from Planned Parenthood due to fetal tissue video scandal.
On Monday, October 19, 2015 Texas announced that it would no longer support Planned Parenthood clinics with state Medicaid funding. This, as Planned Parenthood continues to defend it’s position against the undercover videos released by Center for Medical Progress, which attempt to claim that they caught top Planned Parenthood doctors in the act of selling fetal tissue research donations for profit. Currently, it is prohibited to profit from the sale of fetal organs, limbs, or other tissue by federal law. The only fees permissible are in exchange for things like transportation, processing, storage and internal administrative of personnel; and the mothers’ permission is required. The Center for Medical Progress asserts that in Planned Parenthood partnering with Stem Express, the research center that receives the fetal tissue, that both organizations profit through this partnership. Therefore, of course they would defend each other’s positions in this scandal.
In the midst of the investigation by Congress into whether or not Planned Parenthood has violated any laws, now several states are conducting their own inquiries on the issue; attempting to strip Planned Parenthood of state funding of the non-profit organization. Texas is the most recent state to follow suit denying taxpayers’ money to fund the non-profit, which survives on private donations, state, and federal funding to sustain their services.
“Texas was always going to withdraw funding from Planned Parenthood, just as several other Republican-controlled states already have. This was just a convenient excuse. The problem however is that millions of women rely on PP for basic health services, and now they have nowhere to go. Their action is stupid, regressive, politically motivated, and hurts the most vulnerable people in their state,”
comments NDNU Professor of Communications Studies, Richard Rossi. The other states that are attempting to withdraw funding are Alabama, Louisiana, Utah, and New Hampshire. Originally 13 states conducted investigations, some of which have cleared Planned Parenthood of any wrongdoing.
“I don’t blame the other states for withdrawing funding because that doesn’t sound right, but hopefully there’s further investigation since this is recent.” Renae Roque, NDNU student.
Currently, congress gives more than $500 million a year in funding to the organization, which provides low-cost family planning, and various health services to low-income families across the nation.
When asking our local NDNU community to weigh in on this issue,“When it comes to Planned Parenthood, I really believe it’s a great resource for women and men. In a way, I guess the biggest thing I can say is it’s unfair. There’s a lot of people that need that help- they don’t have insurance and Planned Parenthood has a lot of resources available for them.”Senior Notre Dame de Namur student Danielle Rubin said.
She adds, “No one should have the right to judge someone and tell them they can’t use Planned Parenthood because of their beliefs.”
To many, this is a moral or ethical debate, especially since the videos depict doctors speaking on a very scientific and non-attached level about aborted fetal organs/tissue. This has proved disturbing to even those who are pro-abortion as the information is graphic and the tone, matter of fact. In defense, Planned Parenthood maintains it’s innocence and states that the videos released are heavily edited, and they have done nothing illegally.
“I think the videos were appalling and stupid. They were so poorly doctored that it was easy to prove they were fraudulent. CNN destroyed the producer of the films in a series of interviews. Turns out they weren’t showing aborted fetuses – they stole one of the images off some poor woman’s Facebook page – and they weren’t shot at PP clinics,” Richard Rossi, NDNU professor.
For now, the battle for funding continues. Planned Parenthood has moving forward, adopted the policy to not take any money in exchange for even administrative costs of donating fetal tissues for research.