Planned Parenthood Fight Shifts to States

The political fight over government funding for Planned Parenthood - the health care organization that, among other things, provides abortions - is shifting from Congress to the states.

Indiana could become the first state to cut off all government funding for the organization under legislation that has reached the desk of Governor Mitch Daniels, a Republican who is often mentioned as a potential presidential candidate next year. The bill would cut about $3 million in federal funds for Planned Parenthood of Indiana.

Daniels has a week to approve or reject the measure, according to Politico , which notes that the governor usually has distanced himself from divisive social issues such as abortion. (Daniels has called for a political "truce" on such matters.)

Kansas also is moving ahead with a plan to defund Planned Parenthood, the Kansas City Star reported earlier this week . The paper noted that "budgets winding their way through the Legislature would redirect about $300,000 in federal family planning funds from Planned Parenthood to state and local health clinics."

Other states also are taking aim at family planning services, The Associated Press notes.

"In North Carolina, the proposed state budget includes a ban on state contracts with Planned Parenthood for teen pregnancy prevention and family planning," AP reports . "In Texas, the Republican-controlled House stripped more than $60 million from the state budget for family planning services, shifting some of the money to anti-abortion programs and crisis pregnancy centers."

Planned Parenthood has become a target for budget cuts now that anti-abortion Republicans have taken control of the U.S. House of Representatives, as well as many legislatures. 

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