McDonnell says he fulfilled his campaign pledge on defunding Planned Parenthood
In the days leading up to the November election, Bob McDonnell appeared on Laura Ingraham's conservative radio show and pledged that tax dollars would not be used to fund Planned Parenthood.
Yesterday, the new Republican governor returned to Ingraham's show to announce that he had delivered on his promise.
"We got that done,'' he told her. "I sent down an amendment to the budget to enact for the first time in history the Hyde Amendment in Virginia. That was a significant victory for us back in April. ... It was a great win for a pro-life cause."
The General Assembly in April approved an amendment to the state budget that will limit funding for abortions to those performed in cases of rape, incest or when the life of the mother is at risk. Nothing in state law had previously banned Medicaid-funded abortions in instances when the health of the mother was in jeopardy.
A small number of abortions -- paid for with state funds -- in cases of deformities can still be performed. But McDonnell, a Catholic who has long opposed abortion, argued that the change will essentially bring Virginia in line with federal law.
You can listen to the clip here.
But despite the change, Planned Parenthood will still receive some state funding. And while some conservatives praised the governor for his efforts, he faced criticism from others who thought he went back on his word.
Ingraham questioned McDonnell about the funding. "Any money they get ends up helping them offsets abortion services,'' she said. "It's all fungible money.''
McDonnell said he is not allowed to withhold money from Planned Parenthood -- or other Medicaid providers -- which are required by law to provide abortions and other services. "I believe we've done everything we can do,'' he said.
Officials at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services confirm that a state can't defund any legitimate entity that receives Medicaid funding.
Planned Parenthood, which serves 30,000 women in the state a year, had been receiving about $35,000 in state funds, according to its Virginia office. Planned Parenthood enrolled providers and their associated entities received more than $275,000 in health-care claims, according to state documents.
June 2, 2010; 12:45 PM ET
Categories: 2009 Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Robert F. McDonnell
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