From Michael Macagnone at the main site:
HARRISBURG -- State money would be steered away from Planned Parenthood and other healthcare providers that perform abortions in Pennsylvania under a state House proposal unveiled today.
Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Cranberry, said the bill would end the "flow of taxpayer money to support abortionists" during a press conference introducing the bill.
The bill, similar to legislation passed in states like Texas and cosponsored by several Republican legislators and pro-life groups, prioritizes funding for hospitals, rural healthcare clinics and other providers. It prohibits any public funds from going to organizations that provide certain types of abortions, even if the funds are not used for abortion procedures.
Mr. Metcalfe said that under House Bill 2405, Planned Parenthood would "not receive this money for their public relations arm." He dismissed claims that Planned Parenthood primarily provides other health-care services.
"They provide this testing to bring women in the front door, at the same time there is someone in the back room performing abortions," he said.
Mr. Metcalfe said one program in particular, involving $4 million in state funds and more in federal money, would be affected, but did not provide information about the total amount of state funding involved.
Rebecca Cavanaugh, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania, said that abortions account for less than 5 percent of the organization's statewide operations.
Ms. Cavanaugh said the organization has six clinics across the region that do not provide abortions, and one that does in Downtown Pittsburgh. The health-care facilities provide health check-ups, testing for sexually transmitted diseases and breast cancer screenings.
Cutting state funds would affect more than 100,000 people who receive care from clinics in the state, she said.
"Politics should have no place in determining whether a woman should be able to get a breast exam," she said.
UPDATE: Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Squirrel Hill harshly criticized the proposal in the statement below:
"The right-wing Republicans that control their party's agenda want to control women's basic health care, even down to telling them where they can get their annual cancer screenings," Frankel said. "To my mind, this is just one more battle in the Republican war on women."
Frankel continued, "The names of these bills always put women first: The Women's Right to Know Act, The Whole Woman's Health Funding Priorities Act. But let's be honest, these bills don't put women first. They put the Republican agenda first; so, let's give them their real names:
"The Republicans Promote Invasive Procedures Act.
"Rep. Metcalfe's Priorities for Women's Health.
"Now the legislation sounds as absurd as it is. The last time I checked, Rep. Metcalfe was neither a doctor, nor a nurse, nor a woman. Most Pennsylvanians know that being a member of the extreme right wing of the Republican Party does not qualify you to set the priorities for women's health."