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Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels said today he will sign a controversial bill that cuts off government funding to Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider.
Indiana will become the first state to take such action.
“I supported this bill from the outset, and the recent addition of language guarding against the spending of tax dollars to support abortions creates no reason to alter my position,” said Daniels, a Republican.
The governor is currently weighing whether to run for president next year. Daniels has drawn fire for saying there should be “a truce on the so-called social issues until the economic crisis is resolved.”
Daniels said he expects to sign the Indiana bill in the next week or so.
The Indiana legislation would cut $3 million in federal money to Planned Parenthood that the state distributes for family planning and women’s health programs. The bill also bans abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy unless the life of the woman is threatened.
Planned Parenthood has said cutting off these funds would put low-income women who receive birth control, health screenings, and tests for sexually transmitted diseases from the organization at risk.
Daniels said he commissioned a review of services in Indiana and “can confirm that all non-abortion services, whether family planning or basic women’s health, will remain readily available” in all of Indiana’s 92 counties.
Indiana congressman Mike Pence, a Republican, tried this year to cut off all government funding for Planned Parenthood. Although his proposal passed the GOP-led U.S. House, it was taken out of a final fiscal 2011 budget agreement worked out by President Obama, House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
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