If President Trump and conservative Republicans in Congress succeed in cutting off Planned Parenthood from receiving any federal funds, the impact will be particularly strong in California—a state where legislators over the years have interpreted federal laws and rules in ways that have allowed more federal dollars to flow to Planned Parenthood clinics. Roughly half of the federal funding that Planned Parenthood receives nationwide now goes to cover health care for Californians.
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If President Trump and conservative Republicans in Congress succeed in their effort to cut off Planned Parenthood from receiving any federal funds, the impact will be particularly strong in California—a state where legislators over the years have interpreted federal laws and rules in ways that have allowed more federal dollars to flow to Planned Parenthood clinics. Roughly half of the federal funding that Planned Parenthood receives nationwide now goes, mostly via Medicaid reimbursements, to cover health care and family planning services primarily low-income Californians.
And ironically, Planned Parenthood say if they were to lose all their federal funding, their California abortion clinics would remain open—those already are funded by private sources and by state reimbursements for poorer patients. Instead what would be at risk are all the non-surgical sites that provide other medical and contraception services.
Already the federal government prohibits any federal dollars from paying for abortions except in cases of rape, incest or to save the mother’s life. But this effort seeks to block federal funds from paying for any other kind of health care by providers who also perform abortions.
The state’s progressive state policies, put in place 30 years ago under Republican Gov. Pete Wilson, created a friendly environment for Planned Parenthood to expand and offer family planning services to low-income men and women above the federal poverty level. That’s in stark contrast to states such as Texas and Mississippi, which unsuccessfully sought to ban their state Medicaid healthcare programs for the poor from channeling any money to health care providers that perform abortions.
As a result, today Planned Parenthood is one of California’s major health care providers, operating 115 clinics that serve 850,000 mostly low-income patients a year who rely on Medicaid (in California, Medi-Cal) for health care. That’s nearly a third of the 2.5 million patients who visit Planned Parenthood clinics nationwide for basic health care and family planning services.
“Planned Parenthood is a major safety-net provider at a time of increased health care demand,” said Sara Rosenbaum, a professor of health law and policy at George Washington University. “In a state like California with more Planned Parenthoods, the reliance would be that much greater.”
The Republican-controlled Congress, bolstered by President Trump’s election, is eyeing several strategies to stop the flow of federal funding to Planned Parenthood. That money—roughly $500 million a year nationwide, through Medicaid reimbursements, Title X family planning money and grants—pays for services such as cancer screening, breast exams, birth control, prenatal care and treating sexually transmitted diseases.
Although Trump has frequently acknowledged that Planned Parenthood helps millions of women, he also has said he would support congressional efforts to ban funding.
“I would defund it because of the abortion factor,” he said at the February 2016 GOP presidential debate. “I would defund it, because I’m pro-life.” Read the full CALmatters story: