The Nation

Planned Parenthood Sees Ongoing Budget Peril

Friday, March 11, 2011

Planned Parenthood won breathing room Wednesday when the Senate rejected the House Republican spending bill that would have defunded the family-planning organization. But ongoing congressional spending negotiations remain perilous.

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NARAL Commends Move

Immediately after the vote Nancy Keenan, president of the Washington-based NARAL Pro-Choice America, hailed the Senate's rejection of the Republican spending bill.

"We commend fair-minded senators for rejecting the anti-choice House leadership's efforts to defund Planned Parenthood and dismantle the nation's family-planning centers," she said in a press statement.

The Senate vote also saves, or at least stalls, deep cuts in U.S. international aid to family planning, which faced a 32-percent lop from 2010 spending levels, according to a Feb. 14 report by Ms. Magazine.

The rejected budget bill included a $210 million cut in Maternal and Child Health block grants and $1.83 billion cut in Head Start from 2010 spending levels.

Pro-choice rallies peppered the country in protest on Feb. 26, days after the House voted for the spending bill. A New York rally to "stand with Planned Parenthood" drew 5,000 people. See Women's eNews' photos from the rally on our Flickr page. Other rallies took place in Buffalo, N.Y., Ohio, Boston, Washington, D.C., Chicago and Los Angeles.

Anti-choice activists pushed back with a series of demonstrations on March 7 supporting the defunding of Planned Parenthood.

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Karsten Strauss is a freelance journalist based in New York City.

For more information:

Planned Parenthood:
http://www.plannedparenthood.org/

NARAL Pro-Choice America:
http://www.naral.org/

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