Pro-life, pro-choice groups speak out about bill to defund Planned Parenthood

Pro-life, pro-choice groups speak out about bill to defund Planned Parenthood

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The Virginia House of Delegates voted to defund Planned Parenthood. Dozens of protesters turned out to support the clinic, but a vote along party lines helped the Republican-backed bill to pass.

The bill that made it's way through the House is one we've seen before too. This bill, should it become law, would take federal money away from any clinic, like Planned Parenthood, that doesn't qualify for matching Medicaid funding.

Victoria Cobb is the President of the Family Foundation, a pro-life group who is glad to see House Bill 2264 pass the House of Delegates with full Republican support.

"There are 140 federally-qualified health centers that do far more comprehensive, real health care for women. They're located in both rural and urban settings where they can reach all kinds of women, whereas there's only a few Planned Parenthoods doing limited services," said Cobb.

Ha Tran works with the Richmond Reproductive Freedom Project, a pro-choice group who works with those families who can't afford certain women's healthcare, including abortions, and also helps provide transportation for the people Cobb mentioned - who don't live near one of the five Planned Parenthood facilities in Virginia.

"We know that our work will just be harder when our community partners, like Planned Parenthood who provide essential community health, are under attack by legislators," said Tran.

Cobb argues that Planned Parenthood doesn't provide essential services, saying the bulk of the business is abortion. Planned Parenthood's annual report for 2014-2015 shows three percent of its services were abortion.

"Bottom line is they are an abortion provider, and other places are going to offer women far great services," said Cobb.

We asked: Do these other clinics also provide abortions?

"No, they don't. They're focused on STDs and birth control and every other options," said Cobb.

"Without their existence, then a lot of people of color and low-income folks, and people who wouldn't normally have access because of insurance, especially if the ACA gets repealed, would not be able to access life-saving preventative cancer measures and other things that would make sure the health of their current children or their future families would be safe," said Tran.

The bill now moves to the state Senate, where Republicans have the majority.  Even if it passes, Governor Terry McAuliffe has vetoed this exact bill before and the General Assembly would not have the necessary two-thirds majority in both houses to override his veto.

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