A student anti-abortion group made a stop at U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly’s (D-Ind.) office. They want Donnelly to support the latest push to repeal the Affordable Care Act which includes a provision to defund Planned Parenthood.
Students for Life of America President Kristan Hawkins says Donnelly calls himself pro-life.
“Then voting against funding the single largest abortion vendor in our country should be a very, very easy decision,” she says.
The Graham-Cassidy bill would block the use of Medicaid dollars to Planned Parenthood. Hawkins says doing that, even for a year, would force some locations to shut.
“They keep many of their clinics in the red, they are able to offset clinics that don’t make a profit because they have the federal piggybank,” says Hawkins.
Planned Parenthood receives more than $500 million a year in federal funding but it’s illegal for that money to be spent on abortions.
Mary Carmen Zakrajsek, a student at Marion College, says she would like to see the money directed to other venues.
“There are many alternative options for women, including over 13,000 federally qualified health care centers that are here to provide comprehensive health care for women,” Zakrajsek says.
Opponents have said those centers wouldn’t be able to handle the influx of patients.
The latest repeal effort would restructure Medicaid, which covers many pregnancies in this country. Hawkins says that could work.
“We have to find a way to bring health care back to the states, to bring it as close to the people as possible,” says Hawkins.
Donnelly declined to comment but has said that he will not support the GOP’s latest plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act.