The president has signed a bill that opens the door to defunding the organization, The Hill reports. He has repealed an Obama-era measure that prohibited states from passing politically motivated bills to defund medical providers.
Anti-abortion activists are already praising the order. Via The Hill, a statement from Marjorie Dannenfelser, head of Susan B. Anthony List:
“Prioritizing funding away from Planned Parenthood to comprehensive health care alternatives is a winning issue,” Dannenfelser said in a statement. “We expect to see Congress continue its efforts to redirect additional taxpayer funding away from Planned Parenthood through pro-life health care reform after the spring recess.”
This is partially thanks to the work of Mike Pence, who broke a tie in the Senate to pass the bill in question. He has reason to know better: Indiana suffered an HIV outbreak after it defunded Planned Parenthood, which provides a host of necessary medical services. But the Trump administration never lets facts interfere with its policymaking. And legally, they occupy an excellent position.
Two weeks ago, this all would have been a dead end. Courts have repeatedly rebuffed state attempts to defund Planned Parenthood. But Neil Gorsuch’s appointment to the Supreme Court alters the legal calculus—and that means the abortion provider’s funding may now be in real danger. So much for Cecile Richards’s meeting with noted Secret Liberal, Ivanka Trump.