Arkansas Senate Votes to Defund Planned Parenthood

Little Rock, Arkansas — Senators in Arkansas have voted to revoke funding from the abortion giant Planned Parenthood, sending the measure to the House of Representatives for deliberation.

Representative Gary Stubblefield, who introduced the legislation, believes that disbursing funds to Planned Parenthood or any other abortion provider violates the state constitution, which states that “[n]o public funds will be used to pay for any abortion, except to save the mother’s life.”

While the grants that Planned Parenthood currently receives in the state do not directly fund abortions, it is asserted that the money is enabling the organization’s abortion services nonetheless.

“The direct or indirect subsidization or facilitation of abortion with funds distributed by the state constitutes paying for an abortion, and, therefore, conflicts with Amendment 68 to the Arkansas Constitution of 1874,” Senate Bill 818 outlines. “As elected representatives of the people of Arkansas, the members of the General Assembly are entrusted with ensuring that all activities conducted with the aid of public funds are in accordance with the wishes of the people of Arkansas and the intent of the laws of this state.”

Therefore, any abortion provider, organization that provides referrals to abortion services, or affiliate of any abortion provider is barred under the legislation from obtaining state and federal funds, except for under the state’s Medicaid program. This means that grants currently awarded to Planned Parenthood to teach sexual education in schools will be discontinued.

Planned Parenthood of the Heartland president Jill June told reporters that she disagrees with the move as she believes the organization’s educational programs are beneficial to the state.

“It’s disheartening that some extreme lawmakers would rather make a political statement against Planned Parenthood than support these vital prevention programs for our young people,” she said.

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The organization currently receives two grants to teach about HIV and Syphilis, both sexually transmitted diseases.

However, the latest report from the Planned Parenthood Federation of America outlines that the organization, which has over 800 locations nationwide, performed a record-breaking number of abortions in 2011. According to the report, 333,964 abortions were performed during the 2011-2012 fiscal year, up from 329,445 in 2010. Planned Parenthood generated over $150 million from abortion services that year alone.

“For decades now, Planned Parenthood has operated the most proficient killing machine in the United States,” Douglas R. Scott, Jr., president of Life Decisions International, commented to reporters. “And the machine has set yet another record.”

The Arkansas Senate passed the legislation 19 to 7 on Tuesday to cut off any support to the abortion provider. The House of Representatives will now likewise deliberate whether to revoke grants to the organization or allow them to stand.

As previously reported, Arkansas lawmakers recently passed two abortion bills in an effort to curb infanticide in the state. The first outlawed late-term abortions past 24 weeks, and the second banned abortions past 12 weeks when a heartbeat is detected.

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