By Bob Katzen
The House 140-14, Senate 33-5, approved and sent to Gov. Charlie Baker a bill to provide up to $8 million for family planning providers. The Trump administration recently announced it would no longer direct federal funds which support family planning services for low-income residents, toward any clinic that provides, refers or offers counseling on abortions. The $8 million would be used to replace whatever funding Massachusetts clinics lose under the new Trump rule which also faces a legal challenge from 21 states, including Massachusetts, but will go into effect in May if it is not blocked in court.
“Once again, where Washington falls short, we in the commonwealth are ready and willing to step up and fill the needed gap,” said House Ways and Means Committee Chair Aaron Michlewitz (D-Boston). “We cannot allow people’s health care to be put at risk because of the narrow-minded politics of the Trump administration. Today, we are taking the first step to put a stop to this.”
Michlewitz noted that an estimated 75,000 Massachusetts residents, most of whom earn less than $30,000 a year, would be impacted by the cut in federal funding.
“This action by the House is nothing but a giveaway of our tax dollars to the abortion business,” said Chanel Prunier, executive director of the Renew Massachusetts Coalition which opposes the funding. “The CEO of Planned Parenthood of Massachusetts makes over $250,000 annually, and they spend millions each year on political advocacy and campaign efforts. So why are our taxes making up for their funding shortfall?”