Hyde-Smith, Lankford act to stop taxpayers from paying for abortions

U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) is joining U.S. Senator James Lankford (R-Okla.) in introducing legislation that would give states the authority to exclude abortion providers, like Planned Parenthood, from receiving state Medicaid funds.

The Women’s Public Health and Safety Act (S.471) would amend current law that requires states to allow any qualified provider to participate in a state’s Medicaid system.

“Taxpayers should not be forced to finance abortion businesses under the guise of health care,” said Hyde-Smith, chair of the Senate Pro-Life Caucus.  “This modest legislation would clarify the right of states to prevent their Medicaid programs from underwriting Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry, and instead ensure women have access to comprehensive health care providers that care for both mother and child.”

“Abortion is not health care,” said Lankford, chair of the Senate Values Action team.  “It should not be controversial to say that taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to support abortion providers.  States should have the right to decide that Medicaid funds will not support an abortion provider’s bottom line.  This bill is just one solution that we can advance to stand up for the self-evident fact that all children have value and—to ensure our government values every life, at every stage.”

non-partisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) report revealed that Planned Parenthood received nearly $1.3 billion in Medicaid reimbursements over a three-year period, accounting for 81 percent of the abortion provider’s joint federal-state funding stream. 

Additional cosponsors include U.S. Senators Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.), James Risch (R-Idaho), John Thune (R-S.D.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), and Roger Marshall, M.D. (R-Kan.).  U.S. Representative Michael Cloud (R-Texas) introduced companion legislation in the House.

S.471 is supported by Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, CatholicVote, March for Life, Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee, Americans United for Life, Students for Life Action, National Right to Life, Family Research Council, Family Policy Alliance, Faith and Freedom Coalition, and Ethics and Public Policy Center HHS Accountability Project. 

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