Cutoff of Federal Funds Urged For Clinics Providing Abortion Referrals
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Two congressional Republicans launched a drive Wednesday to cut off federal family planning funds for Planned Parenthood and other organizations that provide abortion referral and counseling.
Rep. Jack Kemp of New York said he will offer an amendment mandating such a funding cutoff to the continuing resolution for fiscal 1986 when it comes before the Appropriations Committee, of which he is a member.
It is expected that the resolution will contain about $142.5 million for Title X of the Public Health Service Act.
″We propose prohibiting the use of Title X funds not only for the abortion procedure, but also for abortion referral and counseling,″ said Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, chairman of the Committee on Labor and Human Resources.
Hatch said that Congress must demand a return to the original intent of the Title X, which states: ″None of the funds appropriated under the title shall be used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning.″
He said the initial intent of law has since been subverted.
Faye Wattleton, president of Planned Parenthood, said the amendment was ″mean-spirited and a cruel attack on family planning.″
She said Planned Parenthood received about $30 million from Title X in the last fiscal year.
Kemp told reporters that the amendment is not an attempt to reduce the amount of money for family planning. He said the money should go only to organizations that counsel family planning methods other than abortion.
Kay James, director of public affairs for the National Right to Life Committee, also present at the news briefing, said that Title X ″is the largest single funding source for a nationwide network of organizations which aggresively promote abortion″ as a method of family planning.
She said some recipients of Title X funds promote abortion through counseling which presents abortion as a simple and often preferred option and through referral to abortion clinics.
″In many cases, the abortion facilities are under the same roof, and are operated by the same corporation, as the Title X-funded clinic,″ James said.
She said Planned Parenthood-operated facilities performed 87,000 abortions in 1984.