Senate surprisingly follows House in opposing abortion funding
By Michael Baggot
RICHMOND, VA, February 29, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Virginia Senate decided to end taxpayer funding to abortion provider Planned Parenthood on Wednesday. Lt. Governor Bill Bolling cast the tie breaking vote and approved the amendment to the state budget following the 20-20 tie vote among senators.
Attorney general hopeful Sen. Ken Cuccinelli II introduced the amendment. He explicitly attacked Planned Parenthood's abortion programs. "What we are doing is financing an abortion-mill operator," Cuccinelli said. "This will deny them that money."
The decision was a surprise, given the Senate's Democratic majority. Democrat Sen. Charles J. Colgan's vote in favor of the amendment led to the tie vote, which was decided by the Lt. Governor's vote. Despite pressure from fellow Democrats, Colgan sided with 19 Republicans, stating, "I ran on a pro-life platform, and most of my constituents are pro-life." Colgan cited fidelity to his conscience as a major reason for opposing funding to Planned Parenthood.
Democratic opponents of the amendment claimed that Planned Parenthood's programs actually decrease abortion, and that cutting funding to PP would hurt PP's HIV prevention and pregnancy prevention programs.
Sen. Janet D. Howell, argued that Planned Parenthood's contraceptive programs lead to a decreased number of abortions. "The irony is, Planned Parenthood probably prevents more abortions than any other organization in the country," said Howell.
Senate Majority Leader Richard L. Saslaw expressed fears that the Wednesday decision will lead to further funding cuts to groups that supply abortion. "Once we start down this road, there will be no stopping," said Saslaw.
Last summer, Planned Parenthood revealed that it had received $305.3 million in tax-player funding in 2006, 12 percent more than in the previous year. Planned Parenthood admitted that 34 percent of its 2006 income came from taxpayer funding. The organization also reported a $55.8 million profit for the year.
The Republican-controlled House has already eliminated Planned Parenthood funding from its budget.
Planned Parenthood's abortion support was a clear reason for House opposition to funding. "We should shut off all federal dollars to any organization that provides abortion services or counseling," Rep. Stephen King told Cybercast News Service.
Representatives also cited the inappropriate sexual material on Planned Parenthood's teenwire.com site as reason to end taxpayer support of the group. The site tells teens that viewing pornography is normal. "I don't believe taxpayer funding should be going to groups that put sexually explicit material on the Internet targeted at minors" said Rep. Joseph Pitts.
The final state budget will be decided during the next week in light of both House and Senate proposals.
Lifesite recently reported on undercover investigations that showed Planned Parenthood's racist tendencies(http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/feb/08022802.html). An actor playing a white racist was able to give money to the group for the specific purpose of eliminating a black baby who might someday rob the apparent donor's son of a spot in college because of "affirmative action".
Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, once stated, "We do not want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population."
In another case from last year, Lila Rose, editor of The Advocate pro-life magazine, who also organized the recent racism investigation, posed as a 15 year old seeking an abortion at Planned Parenthood. In a recorded conversation, she was encouraged to change her birth date so that the organization would not have to report her pregnancy as statutory rape.
In light of undercover recent investigations, Rose argues that "young girls are at risk and Planned Parenthood is receiving federal tax money. The federal government should investigate this and Planned Parenthood, like any other corporation, should be held accountable."
See other related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
Undercover Investigation Reveals Planned Parenthood's Racism
U.S. Planned Parenthood Reports Record Profit, Record Amount of Taxpayer Funding
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