Trump Signs Bill Targeting Planned Parenthood

The move reverses an Obama rule aimed at protecting family planning funds.

Ron Sachs/CNP/ZUMA

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.


Update, 4/13: On Thursday, President Trump signed this bill into law, officially allowing states to withhold public funds that pay for contraception and other non-abortion services from providers who also offer abortions. “We should build on the tremendous progress made in this country with expanded access to birth control, instead of enacting policies that take us backward,” Planned Parenthood Executive Vice President Dawn Laguens said in a statement.

Update, 5:45 p.m.: On Thursday afternoon, the Senate voted to pass a bill allowing states to withhold federal family planning funds from abortion providers, including Planned Parenthood. Once again, Vice President Mike Pence provided the tie-breaking vote. The bill now goes to President Donald Trump for his signature.

Vice President Mike Pence and a Republican senator recovering from surgery were whisked onto the Senate floor on Thursday to help advance legislation that would allow states to withhold federal family planning funds from health care providers who also offer abortions, including Planned Parenthood.

Two Republican senators, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, voted against the bill, leaving it with just 49 votes. Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), who had been recovering from back surgery at home in Georgia, arrived at the Capitol to cast the 50th vote. That resulted in a tie that allowed Pence to cast the tie-breaking vote on a procedural motion on the bill, which can now advance to a final vote.

The bill would overturn an Obama administration rule that prohibits states from withholding federal family planning money from abortion providers like Planned Parenthood. The use of federal funding for most abortions is already illegal thanks to the Hyde Amendment, a budget rider first passed in 1976. The Obama-era rule protects funds for health care services like contraception, cancer screenings, and annual gynecological exams for low-income patients.

“Mike Pence went from yesterday’s forum on empowering women to today leading a group of male politicians in a vote to take away access to birth control and cancer screenings,” said Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, in a statement. “Four million people depend on the Title X family planning program, and this move by DC politicians would endanger their health care. This would take away birth control access for a woman who wants to plan her family and her future.”

Last month, the House voted to approve its version of this measure. If the Senate passes the bill, it will move to President Donald Trump’s desk for his signature. On the campaign trail, Trump repeatedly promised to defund Planned Parenthood.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate