Pol Wants CA to Stop Funding Planned Parenthood

     FRESNO, Calif. (CN) – A California lawmaker on Monday introduced a bill to eliminate state funding for Planned Parenthood and other clinics providing fetal tissue to researchers.
     Modeled after federal legislation – which failed to garner enough votes to bring it to the Senate floor on Monday – Rep. Jim Patterson, R- Fresno, introduced the bill at a press conference in his home district in front of other anti-abortion supporters.
     Patterson said his Fetal Tissue Exploitation Prevention Act was created in response to recently released undercover videos of Planned Parenthood employees discussing the sale of tissue from aborted fetuses.
     “If Planned Parenthood’s goal is honestly to provide care for women, let them prove it by ceasing the barbaric practice of providing fetuses for dismemberment. This practice has nothing to do with the mammograms, prenatal care and other important screenings that actually have an impact on women’s health in our state,” Patterson said in a statement.
     Planned Parenthood and other facilities providing legal abortions have come under fire following an anti-abortion group’s release of videos depicting officials speaking with purported researchers looking to buy fetal tissue. Planned Parenthood responded to the heavily edited videos by calling the Center for Medical Progress a “well-funded group established for the purpose of damaging Planned Parenthood’s mission and services.”
     The National Abortion Federation sued the CMP Friday in Federal Court to stop the release of more secretly recorded videos of their employees discussing fetal tissue. The CMP claims the undercover videos were legally recorded and that it “follows all applicable laws during its investigative journalism work.”
     Patterson, who is a member of the Assembly health committee, said Planned Parenthood received $230 million in state funds during 2012-2013 and that he expects his bill to be heard during a special session on health care.
     Patterson denounced Planned Parenthood for allegedly selling fetal tissue to researchers.
     “This is a slippery slope that has the potential to become an immoral landslide if we continue to allow these transactions to occur.”
     The scrutiny over the sale of fetal tissue for medical research has drawn reaction from state and federal leaders, culminating with the Republican-led U.S. Senate failing to gather the 60 votes needed to advance legislation that would remove all federal funding from Planned Parenthood. A Politico report on Planned Parenthood’s financing shows it received $528 million in government funding last year, or 40 percent of its overall budget.
     Meanwhile, a spokesperson for President Obama said the president would veto any legislation to remove funding for the women’s health group.
     Planned Parenthood could not be immediately reached for comment.

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