Senate Committee votes not to re-instate Title X money into budget

The Senate Finance and Claims Committee meeting Friday

The Senate Finance and Claims Committee meeting Friday

The Senate Finance and Claims Committee voted Friday not to add back into the budget $4.5 million in federal family planning funds. The money was removed from the budget earlier in this process and was not added back in when the budget bill went through the House. Republicans have opposed the funding because some of it goes to Planned Parenthood, which also provides abortion services with other funding.

“I know there’s a lot of sensitivity about what this money is used for and let’s make it clear from the outset, none of this money can be used for abortions,” said Senator Dave Wanzenried (D-Missoula), referring to legal stipulations placed on the federal funding. But he says the funds are used for services such as preventing premature births, reducing infant mortality rates, and even reducing abortions through providing contraceptives.
Senator Alan Olson (R-Roundup) was the only Repubican to vote for Wanzenried’s amendment to add the funding back in. All Democrats voted for the amendment. It failed on a 12-8 vote.

Montana Right to Life State Director Greg Trude says Republicans know the federal funds cannot be used for abortions—but says that money frees up other resources for Planned Parenthood that could go toward those types of services. Trude says that federal funding is important, however, and he supports it if it is not distributed to Planned Parenthood.

“I’d actually like to see that money put back in but redirected to the county healthcare centers,” said Trude, who mentioned he is working with some Republicans on getting the money back in the budget in some modified way.

 

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