Planned Parenthood defunding bill gets new life

A Minnesota House panel has revived legislation to take away family planning money from Planned Parenthood and redirect it to other health care clinics that do not provide abortion services.

Members of the House Rules Committee voted Tuesday to waive a deadline and allow the measure to move forward. They then sent the bill to the Ways and Means Committee.

The House Health and Human Services Finance Committee heard the proposal last week and laid it over for possible inclusion in a larger funding bill. But Rep. Kathy Lohmer, R-Stillwater, said House leaders decided to give her bill a different path.

“Our caucus made a decision to remove it from the omnibus bill and take it to the floor as a stand-alone bill, and that’s why we’re here,” Lohmer said.

The bill does not have a Senate companion. But Lohmer said she expects an attempt there to amend the language to a larger Senate bill.

Planned Parenthood officials estimate they would lose more than $4 million in government reimbursements if the bill became law.

DFL Gov. Mark Dayton has promised to veto the bill, which he described as a “blatant attack” against Planned Parenthood.

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