Dems hit Tipton on Planned Parenthood vote

Measure to defund group would have had little impact in Colo.

A television ad from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee attacks Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Cortez, for a vote to defund Planned Parenthood. The effort did not pass Congress, but if it did, its effect in Colorado would have been minimal because Planned Parenthood is mostly privately funded here. Enlarge photo

Courtesy of Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee

A television ad from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee attacks Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Cortez, for a vote to defund Planned Parenthood. The effort did not pass Congress, but if it did, its effect in Colorado would have been minimal because Planned Parenthood is mostly privately funded here.

A television ad by the Democratic Congressional Committee criticizes Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Cortez, claiming his vote to defund Planned Parenthood would have closed women’s health centers.

However, a Planned Parenthood executive said she’s not certain clinics would have had to close down had the bill passed.

The “Tipton Playing Politics” ad refers to an amendment tacked onto a spending resolution in 2011, which proposed defunding Planned Parenthood. Tipton voted yes. It passed in the House, but did not clear the Senate.

But a cut to funding of Planned Parenthood would affect only part of its funding in Colorado. Planned Parenthood in Colorado does not receive Title X funds, which are part of a federal grant program that provides people with family-planning services such as contraception. There are about 62 other family-planning services in Colorado that receive Title X funds, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s website.

“While not all Planned Parenthoods fit into that type of (Title X) structure, most of them did. Obviously this was an attempt to harm our organization on a national level,” said Monica McCafferty, director of marketing and communications for Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains.

McCafferty said PPRM could not speculate how its facilities in Colorado would have been affected if the bill had passed.

However, the amendment that Tipton voted for also would have stripped from Planned Parenthood $709,000 in grants for free breast and cervical cancer screenings, as well as $2.82 million in reimbursement from Medicaid. Patients in Colorado would not have been able to use Medicaid to see a doctor at Planned Parenthood.

“Knowing that it would have prevented us from seeing Medicaid patients, taking away the funding for breast and cervical cancer screenings, we definitely would have seen patient numbers drop,” McCafferty said.

Private donors gave Planned Parenthood in Colorado $1.8 million in 2012.

Republicans argued that because Planned Parenthood provides abortions, it should not get federal money. Under the 1976 Hyde Amendment, the federal government is banned from funding abortions. Conservative critics argue that federal funding for Planned Parenthood’s other services frees up money for abortions.

Leigh Giangreco is an intern for The Durango Herald and a student at American University in Washington, D.C. She can be reached at lgiangreco@durangoherald.com.

Comments » Read and share your thoughts on this story